The 14th Men’s Hockey World Cup, to be held in the Odisha capital from November 28 to December 16 this year, would present an excellent opportunity to focus on the state’s tourism potential and market the same, Dr. Jitendra Nath Mishra, former Indian Ambassador to Portugal and Laos, author and an expert on the game said on Thursday.
“International hockey can spin off on tourism and has enormous potential,” Dr. Mishra said while addressing the Orientation Program for freshers at the School of Hotel Management, faculty of hospitality and tourism management at the SOA (Deemed to be University).
Several thousand people from other countries will converge in Bhubaneswar for the hockey showpiece having 16 countries in the fray and they would need hotel rooms, excellent cuisine and relaxation avenues, he said adding the state government might have to step in to bolster infrastructure.
Dr. Mishra, who has been appointed advisor by the Odisha government on sports and tourism, said many of these tourists would be interested in the city, tourist places, food and fabrics. “Visitors would value their money and hospitality would be important,” he said.
The meeting, presided over by the SOA Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Amit Banerjee, was also addressed by Mr. S.C.Hota, Director, Biju Patnaik International Airport, Bhubaneswar, Mr. Nisar Ahmed, Corporate Chef at the Mayfair Hotels and Resorts and Mr. Prasanna Ray, Accommodation Manager at the Fortune Park Sishmo, Bhubaneswar.
Stating that the need was to put Odisha on the world map, Dr. Mishra said there was need for team effort to improve quality of service as “we don’t keep deadlines” unlike people in other countries.
Mr. Hota said the aviation and hospitality sectors complimented each other and the growth in aviation promised good employment prospects. “The passenger traffic at the Bhubaneswar international airport was growing at 44 per cent and it augured well for the future,” he said adding the IAAI proposed to construct two hotels, one of 5-star and the other of 3-star category, outside the airport in the city.
Mr. Ahmed recounted his experience in the hospitality industry saying it offered enormous future for the students. However, he stressed on the acquiring of skills which were needed to succeed in the industry. “You have to take the profession seriously, surround your skill with knowledge and stick to values to succeed,” he added.