India with its unique combination of snowy mountains, desert, sand dunes, golden beaches, historical sites, colorful people, rich culture, and festivals is a great attraction for international tourists. Domestic travel has also been growing at a brisk rate of 14 to 15%. The initiatives taken by the government to improve infrastructure and transportation facilities have also increased the demand for hotels across star categories. However, considering India’s size and diversity, the number of tourist arrivals is paltry.
Despite the low share in international tourist arrivals, India has multiple challenges to overcome in terms of infrastructure, rising real estate costs, and above all, an acute shortage of professionally trained manpower for hotels. It can hardly be contended that the tourism product is all about people and place – they are the core values. If we were to strive for a third core value, surely it must be professionalism and excellence in hospitality. The major initiative under the aegis of Clarks Centre for Excellence presently is the Professional Hotel Education (PHE) Programme wherein the participants are provided a platform to acquire practical experience in real hotel working environment, coupled with support for a graduate degree in the hospitality industry. The Programme does not charge any fees; on the contrary, they are paid a stipend to take care of their pocket expenses. This endeavor results in achieving the twin objective of creating employable youth from all classes of the society, benefiting the growth of the country in a holistic manner and fulfilling the increasing quality manpower requirements thereby improving the industry’s operational performance. Because, ‘We Care at Clarks’—the individual, the society, the nation as a whole.