Goa Tourism is on a fast track towards scaling up skill development in the tourism sector – both in the hospitality division and in providing skill development support to enterprising young local Goans seeking avenues in tourism through self-employment opportunities.
Following a slow-down in the mining sector, today Goa’s economy is surviving on tourism and the state government through the Department of Tourism and Goa Tourism Development Corporation is opening new doors and opportunities. More than one-third of Goa’s population is now engaged in tourism, both directly and indirectly.
Sharing insights into how the state is catering to the industry requirements in terms of resources and skills development, Menino D’Souza, Director of Tourism, Govt. of Goa said, “We are extremely keen on encouraging more youth to venture into tourism and providing them with all the necessary training, education and knowledge on latest developments in the tourism sector. Goa Tourism is taking various initiatives in this direction which is creating a positive impact and sustainable livelihoods.”
To begin with, Goa’s Institute of Hotel Management, Porvorim offers the best of education to those aspiring to enter the hospitality sector and also to generate self employment avenues. Both degree and diploma courses, short term courses and trainings are conducted all year round. Around 500 to 600 students are availing education and training through IHM. Similarly, several professional colleges in the state are also offering courses in hospitality and food production, catering and restaurant management. Considering the increase in demand for hotel management, the Goa government is also in the process of setting up a state-of-the-art Hotel Management Institute in Goa.
D’Souza further informed that Goa Tourism is also focusing on training all stakeholders in the tourism sector to help make them local brand ambassadors for the state to further step up the tag of Goa being a warm and hospitable holiday locale. Trainings to local taxi drivers, tourist guides, language interpreters, water sports operators, shack operators, lifeguards, etc are being provided through tie-ups with experts, NGOs and institutions. Over the last one year, Goa Tourism has also provided training to its official personnel engaged in operating and managing its tourism services in the state.
Days ahead of the launch of a new taxi based app, Goa Tourism through the Goa Tourism Development Corporation organised training sessions for drivers on etiquette, first aid, among others. Goa Tourism, however, believes that there is a need to further enhance human capital to meet new challenges every passing year and brace up to competition from other tourism destinations. By imparting knowledge through various skill certification programmes and trainings being initiated by the central ministry of tourism, it is hoped that these exercises will motivate the Goan youth to take to a profession in tourism. The new Mopa airport, major tourism infrastructural projects and newer tourism products and services are all expected to open up employment opportunities and the need for skilled resources.