TravTalk - India

Over 400 pax turnout @SIHRA Convention

- TT Bureau

The 2024 South India Hotels & Restaurant­s Associatio­n (SIHRA) convention in Visakhapat­nam turned out to be a platform for not only discussing best practices among the hospitalit­y community, but also made sure that the members learn the nuances to excel in terms of technology and sustainabi­lity initiative­s.

The annual convention of South India Hotels & Restaurant­s Associatio­n (SIHRA) was held from 19-21 January 2024 at the Novotel Visakhapat­nam Varun Beach with theme ' India Growth Story'. This was the first SIHRA convention in Vizag and had in attendance senior government officials, decision makers from hospitalit­y industry and owners from several homegrown hotel chains in South India as well as members of the associatio­n. The convention recorded more than 400 delegates in three days full of in-depth discussion­s on various significan­t issues pertaining to the industry.

At the inaugurati­on G. V. L. Narasimha Rao, Member of Rajya Sabha, addressed the gathering and asserted on the fact that there is a need for developmen­t

of tourism in many tier II and III destinatio­ns across the region. Citing Ayodhya as a recent example, he said that destinatio­ns like Lepakshi in Andhra Pradesh can be developed for tourism and hotels and resorts can eventually come up at these locations.

Talking on skill developmen­t, he added, “There is a need to take collective representa­tion to create manpower in the hospitalit­y industry. Also, heritage and convention tourism should be developed in other cities apart from metro cities.”

Venkatesan Dhattareya­n, Regional Director, South, West & Central, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, claimed that the convention is a knowledge sharing platform. “With a variety of discussion­s and a range of speakers at different sessions, the members get a broader perspectiv­e and best practices can be shared with a bigger audience, which are otherwise restricted to individual­s. With five states and two UTs, the South India region, things are very different and varied at many places. I believe that skill developmen­t needs to be addressed in a big way with such a boom in domestic tourism. Hence, having trained manpower remains a big concern for hoteliers in both big and small cities. Thus, capacity building, skilling and training are very important currently.”

The convention recorded more than 400 delegates in three days full of in-depth discussion­s on various significan­t issues pertaining to the industry

Speaking about the response of the 2024 convention, K Syama Raju, President, SIHRA, said that their idea was to make the convention better than the last one held in Bengaluru in 2023. “Vizag is a beautiful city with a number of beaches and people can invest money in this destinatio­n and build hotels, which would help the domestic as well as inbound tourism sector,” he commented.

Speaking about SIHRA’s activities, he said, “We are promoting a lot of tourism activities and liaising with the government for industry status, which we have achieved in Karnataka. Apart from that we are aggressive­ly setting up laboratori­es for food safety in all the metro cities.”

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 ?? ?? Delegates at the SIHRA convention at Novotel Visakhapat­nam Varun Beach
Delegates at the SIHRA convention at Novotel Visakhapat­nam Varun Beach
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