Pune-based Travind Institute of Travel & Tourism Management is looking to establish its next school in Singapore, a project that aspires to provide cross-cultural connections for international students as well as internships and on-the-job training opportunities.

Deep Bhong, director of Travind Institute, which is part of the BTW Group that has businesses in travel and tourism, food and nutrition, tourism and hospitality education, and legal and apostille services, told TTG Asia that Singapore was chosen for its positive reputation as a place for education and as a welcoming multi-culture and multi-racial destination.

Bhong said: “Singapore’s higher education reputation is strengthening, and it is set to become one of the best destinations for tourism education. Furthermore, Singapore has a strong appeal among Indians, who regard the country as a second home that offers superb infrastructure and a high standard of living.”

He envisions the new institution to provide courses led by trainers and guest lecturers who are travel sector professionals, promote interaction between students from different cultures, and to facilitate internship and on-the-job training arrangements.

Travind Institute hopes to draw support from travel agencies, trade associations, semi-government bodies or public-private partnerships, said Bhong, who added that the Singapore Tourism Board “would be at the forefront” of his partnership acquisition efforts.

“I believe the local NTO plays a vital role in shaping the functioning (of the new institution),” he remarked.

Bhong hopes the next Travind Institute in Singapore will bring about a revolution in the way tourism education is offered.

He opined that many leading and globally-recognised travel and tourism institutes offer somewhat similar specialised degree courses, and there has not been “any revolution in this sector”. Furthermore, many people who were educated in tourism end up working in only one country despite there being vast opportunities to work elsewhere in the world.

“The travel and tourism industry will remain a manpower-heavy industry, even with all the new technology coming onstream, and we want to invest in grooming this manpower of the future,” he said.

The five-year-old Travind Institute in Pune has 300 graduates on record to-date.