– Ayshwaria Lakshmi
This Pandemic had seen global and national impact throughout all the sectors among which the Hospitality and Tourism sectors were the most affected. The H-Schools (Hospitality schools) see a slow start and reduced admissions. She also feels that educational institutions should change the syllabus in addressing the new challenges in the county.
Speaking to ChefBharath.com Dr. R Sangeetha, HoD of the Hospitality and Tourism Department, Bharath University spoke on the academic perspectives and says the impact of admissions and internships in this lockdown. Training for hospitality students is more hands-on. The lockdown and the social distancing norms have made it difficult for them to reap the benefits of these, as the online classes provide space for only audio-visual demonstrations. She also says that Bharath University, keeping in mind the new norms, has added it into their training syllabus.
Apart from this, the biggest challenge for passed out students is less exposure. A hospitality student has to go through an internship in their final year. “This year, the students are not in a position to have that training. Even those who are undergoing it have to experience a fresh set of exposure with the new norms, regulations, and advanced techniques,” said Sangeetha.
She also adds that with the current situation in mind, getting a job is very difficult in this current period. Students should use this opportunity to enhance their skills, by specializing in an intricate art course like carving, bartending, and others or pursue their masters. Everyone in this field should also work towards channelizing their thought to be innovative to fulfill the needs of the present situation. For instance, Multinational companies have come up with an idea to provide food to the employees on their desks as a measure for social distancing. As the pandemic has also taken away jobs, it has given rise to such opportunities as a necessity.
This sector has endured the major brunt of the pandemic. This has also provided for a rise to a new phase in the hospitality industry, right from changes in Menu, the importance given to sanitation and housekeeping, and new norms in the safety. She adds, “This situation is not a permanent situation to the industry. We need to give it over six months for the industry to revive as people cannot stay without traveling.”
India, a country with the rigid mindset of the people, it is a tough place for such changes to happen. These 4 months have brought about a lot of changes in the hospitality industry and in the people’s mindset. “This pandemic has brought changes that provided us a good reach towards International standards,” Sangeetha adds. “The practice of monitoring cleanliness now will be done on all levels and all aspects.”