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India’s travel sector creates jobs; Risk of a shortage of workers

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We unpack the travel industry’s impact on jobs in India. There is no doubt that the demand is there and companies want to hire. But we have also heard from industry leaders that it will be difficult to retain the next generation of workers – changes are needed, they say.

Bulbul Dhawan

The hotel, restaurant and tourism sector in India is estimated to generate around 200,000 jobs in the next 12 to 18 months, according to recruitment firm TeamLease Services. About 50% of these jobs are expected to be created by the hotel industry, the Economic Times reported.

As more hotels open across different markets, companies are recruiting for permanent, temporary and gig positions, said TeamLease vice president Balasubramanian A.

According to the Hotel Association of India (HAI), the hotel industry has seen a 271% increase in hiring over the past two years.

Challenges in the industry: But a report by the Tourism and Hospitality Skills Council said young workers are leaving the industry because of low wages and extended working hours.

Dilip Puri, founder of the Indian School of Hospitality, said these challenges lead to young professionals being poached by various sectors. A large number of students who graduate from hospitality schools find better opportunities in retail, real estate, e-commerce and startups.

“The sector should also focus on providing opportunities for career development through training and development programmes. Employees should also be recognized and rewarded,” said Puri.

Industry leaders agree that competitive salaries and incentives such as health insurance and work-life balance are necessary to retain talent.

“There is a need for better collaboration between educational institutions and industry players to fill the gap between hospitality education and the real demands of the industry,” said President KB Kachru of the Hotel Association of India.

In an interview with Skift, Sarovar Hotels and Resorts CEO Ajay Bakaya said, “We have to match the demands of the new generation of workers who have different needs than the workers we had in the last 15 to 20 years. The organizations that evolve faster will grow faster.”

Domestic Airlines carried 13.2 million passengers in April 2024

According to data released by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, Indian airlines carried 13.2 million passengers in April this year. This marked a growth of 2.42% compared to April 2023 passengers.

Between January and April this year, domestic airlines served nearly 52.35 million passengers, up from 50.4 million passengers in the same period last year. IndiGo continued to have a lion’s share of the market, accounting for 60.6% in April.

Despite Vistara’s delays and cancellations due to mass pilot vacations, there have been almost no complaints from passengers.

Akasa Air continued to deliver the best on-time performance among domestic airlines, according to the data.

India, UK Sign Agreement to Expand Air Connectivity

India and the UK have revised their air traffic agreement to improve connectivity between London and Delhi and Mumbai. Under the revised agreement, the weekly cap on flights from each of the two countries has been revised from 56 to 70, allowing the airlines to operate an additional 14 flights per week.

The updated agreement will take effect from the winter season this year. The airlines will determine the number and schedule of these new flights.

While Indian carriers currently operate 38 weekly flights between these airports, British carriers have reached the limit of 56.

60% of visitors to Sri Lanka are Indians

Sri Lankan Prime Minister V Radhakrishnan has said that around 60% of visitors to the country are from India. He added that the two countries are on good terms because of tourism, as the island nation is heavily dependent on the sector.

He added that the issue between India and the Maldives earlier this year led to more Indians choosing to visit Sri Lanka.

In a bid to attract more tourists, Sri Lanka had waived the visa fee for passport holders from India as well as six other nations last October. It has also extended its visa-free access for Indian tourists till the end of May this year.

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