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THE BUSINESS SCHOOL, UNIVERSITY OF JAMMU INAUGURATED A TWO DAY NATIONAL CONFERENCE ON INTEGRATED STRATEGIES FOR MARKETING TOURISM

AND ALLIED SERVICES INAUGURAL SESSION


A two day National Conference on Integrated Strategies for Marketing Tourism and Allied Services (Under UGC SAP-DRS-II) commenced at The Business School, University of Jammu. The gathering paid a tribute to Dharamjit Singh, a student of The Business School, who passed away on 24th March,2014. Prof. M.P Singh Isher, Vice Chancellor, University of Jammu was the Chief Guest for the occasion. Prof. Versha Mehta, The Business School in her welcome address acknowledged the presence of the dignitaries and elaborated on the outline of the initiatives to be undertaken by The Business School to promote academic research. Prof. Keshav Sharma, Coordinator, UGC SAP DRS-II, enlisted the achievements of The Business School under DRS-I in terms of research and publications and further elaborated upon the importance of UGC SAP DRS-II. Prof. Neelu Rohmetra, Deputy Coordinator, UGC SAP DRS-II, while presenting the Conference Overview spoke about the importance and benefits of enhancing Tourism and Tourism Management. Further she talked about the acceptance of 55 research papers over the last six technical sessions. Prof. Desh Bandhu Gupta, Dean Faculty of Business Studies made his remarks on the expectations of a tourist and quoted, Outbound Tourist has out passed the Inbound Tourist. He also discussed about Tourism conditions and opportunities in J&K. Prof. Nimit Chowdhary, IITTM Noida, presented his Key Note Address, speaking about the worldwide marketing of Tourism and praised the branding of the Indian Tourism as Incredible India. He also made a mention about the countries sending out the maximum number of tourists.

Chief Guest, Prof. MPS Ishar, Vice- Chancellor, University of Jammu in his address congratulated the organizers of the conference and highlighted the role of tourism in providing employment and entrepreneurial opportunities. Prof. Soujanya Sharma, Director Tourism Jammu, J&K Govt. held the view that we are unable to provide the required infrastructure to the tourists and advocated the importance of a clear marketing strategy. Prof. J.P Sharma, University of Rajasthan, during his inaugural address, shared that the magnitude of investment required in Tourism is much less than that required in Agriculture and other sectors. He also informed the audience that Tourism is a significant contributor to the GDP of the country and elaborated on the need for a favorable change in attitude. Prof. Ashok Aima, Central University Jammu, suggested that there is a need to develop and market the personality of each destination in such a way that it is visible not just to the foreign tourists but also to the domestic ones. Dr. Kavita Lagathe, Director, Jamana Lal Bajaj Institute of Management, University of Mumbai, congratulated the team for organizing such an appropriate conference and conveyed her best wishes for the conference. Mr. Chander Gulati, an eminent citizen of J&K, talked about the Government sector and the private players to join hands and remove the trust deficit in order for the Tourism of the state to actually do and perform well. During the function the conference proceedings were also released. Dr. Vinay Chauhan, Conference Organising Secretary, presented a formal Vote of Thanks and Dr.Anil Gupta, Asstt. Prof. The Business School conducted the proceedings of the function.

PANEL DISCUSSION
Topic: Strategy Shift For Reengineering Tourism Services Delivery Model In J&K Date & Time: 26th march, 2014 at 2-00- 3.00p.m

Venue: executive convention hall,TBS,JU Moderator: Prof. Ashok Aima The panel discussion was started by Prof Ashok Aima. He introduced the entire panelist to the audience. Mr Soujanya Sharma, Director Tourism, J&K Govt started the discussion with the view of developing tourism in Jammu. He added that any profession requires qualification either inherited or from any institutions in the form of degrees. But tourism is the only profession where you require knowledge. Supporting this view he gave an example of the owner of the Taj Hotel who doesnot have any qualification but speaks good English i.e. he has good knowledge and aptitude. Taking about tourism he said that we dont go to see the places, it is we want to experience the places. The person is spending money and wants value for his money. Therefore tourism provides that value. In our state, tourism is the backbone. He told about various strategies which the government has adopted to grow tourism in the state. Some of them are the artificial lake development, development of Suchetgarh which indeed brings people to interact across borders. The main thrust of Jammu tourism is Shri Mata Vaishno Devi, even if we are able to retain 10% of it, we are able to make a huge difference. Further he added we dont ta ke inventions easily, we have had the idea of open bus from Jammu to Suchetgarh but it was denied by local taxi drivers. At the end he requested everyone to contribute at your own place. He concluded with the idea that the basic thing for a state to develop is its tourism and we need to change our attitudes towards it. Following him Mr. V K Sehgal, Founder Chairman, Jammu Kashmir & Ladakh Tourism Promotion Council, praised the Director Toursim for his work. He added that rather than looking out to other states like Kerala, we should look at small areas like Ladakh which has been able to retain their culture and is thus the most explored tourist destination of the state. He added that spiritual tourism is beyond any other tourism, we should mix heritage and culture to attract more tourist. Mr. Aijaz , J&K State Cable Car Corporation preceded the discussion telling that everyone talks about infrastructure and attitude but we are forgetting that we are a developing nation, so we should talk about what we have in our pockets. He added the importance of ecological and environmental balance in tourism. Talking about the state tourism he said marketing starts from

Lakhanpur, Jammu airport and Srinagar airport itself. The first contact person should be well trained and there should be special emphasis on marketing. Mr. Jyoti Bhatti, Principal, FCI, Jammu elaborated further the need to train the unskilled manpower who comes in direct contact with the tourist. He said a satisfied customer will spread his experience to 20 more guests but a dissatisfied guest will spread it to 50 more guests. He added that the training to the manpower should be below the managerial level and the changing concept of tourism industry, previously tourism was destination based but now it is destination plus activity based. Prof. Dipankar Sen, Department of Economics, JU took the discussion further with the concept that tourist should be priced right. Giving the example of Himachal, we also require entrepreneurs in tourism industry. He further said that Government Intervention is required but upto a limit. There should be a focus on preserving the ecology. The private sector should come forward so that the Government does not invest much. Prof B.C. Sharma put the main focus on technology. He said that technology has made a great change. If you have technology, people attitudes can be changed easily. Service is an experience which differs from person to person and state to state and he concluded that technology is the leading tool for tourism.