National Conference on Destination Branding and Competitive Positioning concludes at CUJ
Sep 08, 2018

The three days National Conference on Destination Branding and Competitive Positioning organised by School of Business Studies, Central University of Jammu (CUJ) concluded on Saturday.

The Chief Guest of the event Ambassador G. Parthasarthy, Chancellor, Central University of Jammu delivered his address which stressed on spiritual dimensions and highlighted on immense scope of faith tourism particularly pertaining to the Buddhist Circuit in the country.

He emphasised on the need to tap the South East Asian market, and called for immediate attention to deficiencies from cultural perspective and need to inculcate cultural sensitivity while conducting tourism activities. Further, he advocated the active role that states need to assume in the national efforts of tourism development.

Stating the crucial role of academia, he encouraged the scholars present to work in consonance with government to deliver excellence in tourism development at all levels. He pointed out that India is not a country with uniformity in cultures and needs to leverage its diversity and project itself as an epicentre of religious, cultural and ethnic diversity.

In his presidential remarks, Prof. Ashok Aima, Vice Chancellor, Central University of Jammu, reiterated the importance of maintaining balance between economic benefits and socio-environmental impact of tourism. Concurring with the ideas of Ambassador G.Parthasarthy, Prof. Aima shared his vision regarding the role Universities can play as active catalyst in policy formation at state and central level.

He suggested we should be exploiting our intellectual pool in order to achieve excellence in tourism and the outcomes of research need to find place in plans that are implemented at ground level for tourism development.

Further, addressing the audience, he urged the players in tourism sector to encourage various stakeholders to work in unison wherein government can act as a facilitator. He also motivated the students to get rid of lackadaisical attitude towards issues socio-economic issues confronting the state and the nation and become active participants in societal development and preservation and conservation of our common pool of natural resources rather being over dependent on the government.

The keynote address was delivered by Prof. C Reddy, Director, NIHTM, Hyderabad, wherein he shared the difficulty in promoting tourism in the newly formed state of Telangana and how they have been overcoming it.

Drawing comparison with Indonesia, he said we should learn from successful marketing campaign of other nations which have helped in distinct branding of their tourism destinations. Prof. Jaya Bhasin delivered the welcome address in which she summarised positive outcomes of the conference which would be of immense value to academicians, marketing professionals as also the policy makers. Various other achievements and contributions of the School of Business Studies at Central University of Jammu were also highlighted. Dr. Neelika Arora apprised the audience about the key takeaways of the conference and the scholarly discussions that were witnessed during the three days of the conference.

This was followed by the release of edited e-book “Evolving Trends and Sustainable Tourism” authored by Dr. Jaya Bhasin, Dr. Shahid Mushtaq and Dr. Neelika Arora containing research papers received during the earlier Conference on the theme “Silk Route Tourism held on 4th-6th May, 2017. An e-book of abstracts of various research papers that were accepted for the present conference was also released. Dr. M. Naved Khan, Adjunct Faculty, School of Business Studies, and the Conference Chair presented the Vote of Thanks wherein the valuable contributions of all those actively associated with the conference were acknowledged. Dr Khan thanked the various stakeholders for making this conference a success. Ms. Anjali Pathania was the master of ceremony.

The national conference was sponsored by Ministry of Tourism, GOI. The event brought together academicians, scholars, professionals from travel and tourism industry, policy makers, from across the country to promote Dialogue, Discussion and Discourse on intrinsic nuances of destination branding and competitiveness. The outcome of the conference was quite productive and the participants gave constructive suggestions to pave the way forward for growth and development of sustainable tourism in State of J&K. The delegates coming from length and breadth of the country including Rajasthan, Haryana, Karnataka, Hyderabad, Tamil Nadu, Himachal Pradesh, Goa, Meghalaya and Kashmir contributed more than 50 research papers. The list of resource persons included the leading practitioners from academics and industry. Deliberations on various thematic areas were conducted during five technical and three plenary sessions.