World Tourism Day was celebrated with great enthusiasm and gusto at Le Cordon Bleu School of Hospitality, G D Goenka University on 27th September 2016. The theme for World Tourism Day this year was “Tourism for All”. Tourism is the largest service industry. It provides heritage, cultural, medical, business and sports tourism. The main objective of celebrating this day is to develop and promote tourism, maintain competitiveness and improve and expand the existing tourism products to ensure employment generation and economic growth. The ultimate aim of tourism is to make people hearty, healthy and happy.
The guest of honour for the occasion was Ms. AradhanaLal, V P, Sustainability, Lemon Tree Hotels. She was accompanied by Mr. Surender Singh from Muskaan. Together they have worked diligently on employability of differently abled persons in Lemon Tree Hotels.Aradhana leads the Sustainability Initiative at Lemon Tree Hotels including planet/environment and people/inclusion and diversity. The company strategy is to build an inclusive employee base and has been hiring Employees With Disabilities (EWD) for 9 years and the goal is to take this to 20% in FY 2016-2017.
The event started with a welcome address by Dr. Y G Tharakan, Dean, Le Cordon Bleu School of Hospitality. He spoke about the significance of the day for all hospitality professionals, emphasizing on the theme for this year.
This was followed by an address by Prof. (Dr.) Deependra Kumar Jha, Vice Chancellor, G D Goenka University, who emphasized on how providing a safe and secure environment to tourists today is as important as exhibiting a friendly welcome. He spoke about how travel educates people and makes them global citizens.
Ms. AradhanaLal then gave a presentation on the inclusion and diversity programme of Lemon Tree Hotels. She shared her best practices with the audience and encouraged the students to mainstream differently abled people in their work force in the future. Mr. Surender Singh from Muskaan also shared some very practical tips and procedures that have worked very well in the rehabilitation of differently abled in the work place and that too a demanding industry such as hospitality.
As a run up to the event, many activities were conducted in the school. Students of MBA had visited neighbouringSohna to analyse the accessibility challenges it faces as a tourist destination. Blessed with natural sulphur springs, Sohna lacks infrastructure and awareness to attract tourists. The students focused on creating an accessibility route map and marketing campaign for promoting Sohna as a tourist destination. An essay writing competition and poster making competition were also organized amongst all the Schools of G D Goenka University. The students won some exciting prizes for their creativity and original ideas. The event enthused everyone to embrace the ethos of creating accessible environments for tourists from all walks of life, irrespective of age, disability, gender, race or physical barriers.