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Navigating The Nexus: Exploring Careers In Public Policy For Students Of Tourism Studies In India – IMPRI Impact And Policy Research Institute

Navigating the Nexus: Exploring Careers in Public Policy for Students of Tourism Studies in India

Dr Arjun Kumar

Tourism is not merely an industry; it’s a bridge that connects people, cultures, and economies. As students embark on their journey in Tourism Studies, a field that traditionally focuses on the dynamics of travel and hospitality, there lies an uncharted realm that intersects with the policymaking landscape. This article aims to illuminate the exciting opportunities awaiting students of Tourism Studies in the diverse and dynamic field of public policy in India.

The Evolving Role of Tourism in Public Policy

Tourism is a multifaceted sector with far-reaching implications on economies, societies, and the environment. Recognizing its potential impact, policymakers are increasingly turning their attention to crafting policies that not only promote sustainable tourism but also address the broader socio-economic implications associated with the industry.

Students of Tourism Studies are uniquely positioned to contribute to the formulation and execution of policies that shape the future of tourism in India. By understanding the intricacies of the industry, these students can play a crucial role in developing policies that strike a balance between economic growth, cultural preservation, and environmental sustainability.

Policy Research and Analysis

Tourism Studies students possess valuable insights into the nuances of the tourism industry, from market trends to consumer behavior. This knowledge can be leveraged in policy research and analysis, helping policymakers make informed decisions.

Engaging in research projects that assess the impact of tourism policies, both at the local and national levels, allows students to contribute to evidence-based policymaking. By examining case studies, conducting surveys, and analyzing data, students can provide valuable recommendations to policymakers seeking to enhance the positive impacts of tourism while mitigating potential negative consequences.

Sustainable Tourism Advocacy

The concept of sustainable tourism has gained prominence as a critical aspect of responsible travel. Students of Tourism Studies can actively engage in advocating for policies that promote sustainable tourism practices. This may include supporting initiatives for eco-friendly accommodations, responsible wildlife tourism, and community-based tourism projects.

Graphic design students, for example, can create visually compelling materials to communicate the benefits of sustainable tourism to the public. From designing posters to developing social media campaigns, these students can play a pivotal role in raising awareness and garnering support for policies that prioritize environmental conservation and community well-being.

Crisis Management and Resilience

The tourism industry is particularly susceptible to crises, ranging from natural disasters to health emergencies. In recent times, the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the vulnerability of the tourism sector and underscored the need for robust crisis management policies.

Tourism Studies students can specialize in crisis management and resilience planning, contributing to the development of policies that ensure the industry’s ability to withstand unforeseen challenges. This could involve formulating contingency plans, establishing communication strategies, and collaborating with relevant stakeholders to create a resilient tourism ecosystem.

Public-Private Partnerships

Collaboration between the public and private sectors is vital for the success of tourism policies. Students of Tourism Studies can explore careers that involve facilitating effective partnerships between government bodies, businesses, and local communities.

In roles that bridge the gap between public policy and private enterprise, students can contribute to the creation of policies that stimulate economic growth while preserving cultural heritage and natural resources. This collaborative approach ensures that tourism development aligns with the interests of all stakeholders, fostering sustainable and inclusive growth.

Tourism Education and Capacity Building

As the tourism industry evolves, there is a growing need for skilled professionals who understand both the theoretical and practical aspects of tourism. Students of Tourism Studies can play a pivotal role in shaping the future workforce by contributing to policy initiatives related to education and capacity building.

This could involve advocating for curriculum enhancements, promoting vocational training programs, and participating in initiatives that foster continuous professional development within the industry. By actively engaging in these areas, students can contribute to building a skilled and knowledgeable workforce that meets the evolving demands of the tourism sector.

Educational Pathways and Skill Development

To embark on a career in public policy within the context of tourism, students must equip themselves with a diverse skill set. While a strong foundation in Tourism Studies is crucial, complementing it with additional skills can enhance one’s effectiveness in the policymaking arena.

Students can consider pursuing additional courses or certifications in public policy, environmental studies, and sustainable development. Developing skills in data analysis, research methodologies, and project management will also be beneficial for roles that involve policy research and implementation.

Networking with professionals in the tourism and policy sectors is essential for gaining insights into industry dynamics and potential career paths. Internships, workshops, and conferences provide valuable opportunities to connect with experts and understand the practical implications of policymaking in the tourism sector.


As India continues to position itself as a global tourist destination, the need for informed and innovative policies in the tourism sector has never been greater. Students of Tourism Studies have the unique advantage of possessing in-depth knowledge of the industry, making them valuable contributors to the policymaking process.

By exploring careers in public policy, these students can actively participate in shaping the future of tourism in India. Whether through research and analysis, sustainable tourism advocacy, or crisis management, there are diverse opportunities for students to make a meaningful impact on the industry’s trajectory.

As the tourism landscape evolves, students of Tourism Studies can be the architects of policies that not only drive economic growth but also foster cultural preservation, environmental sustainability, and inclusive development. Embracing the intersection of tourism and public policy opens up a world of possibilities for students seeking fulfilling and impactful careers.

Dr Arjun Kumar is the Director of the IMPRI Impact and Policy Research Institute, New Delhi.

Disclaimer: All views expressed in the article belong solely to the author and not necessarily to the organisation.

This article was posted by Mansi Garg , a researcher at IMPRI.

Read more by the author: 

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  • Arjun KumarArjun Kumar

    Arjun Kumar is the Director of the Impact and Policy Research Institute (IMPRI), New Delhi. He holds a PhD in Economics from the Centre for the Study of Regional Development, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi. With training in development economics, he specialises in quantitative and qualitative research methods, econometrics and the use of statistical software to crunch big data. He has been a Visiting Faculty at the Institute for Human Development (IHD) amongst others and has been associated with several think tanks, research institutes, governments, civil society organisations, and private enterprises. He is President of a Jharkhand based NGO (registered in 2010), Manavdhara- a youth social organisation working for humanitarian causes in backward regions and for marginalised communities. He has also taught Economics at the University of Delhi. His research interests are in the economy, development studies, housing and basic amenities, urban and regional research, inclusive and sustainable development, data and evidence-based policy, and, research methods. He has several research publications to his credit and has experience of being involved in research projects of international and national repute. He is also a member and part of various government and non-government formed committees, groups, and advisory boards overseeing the deliberation as subject matter expert and for possessing strong research acumen. He is an avid writer and frequently writes on various dimensions of economic issues, policies, and their impact for several eminent media platforms.


    IMPRI, a startup research think tank, is a platform for pro-active, independent, non-partisan and policy-based research. It contributes to debates and deliberations for action-based solutions to a host of strategic issues. IMPRI is committed to democracy, mobilization and community building.

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IMPRI, a startup research think tank, is a platform for pro-active, independent, non-partisan and policy-based research. It contributes to debates and deliberations for action-based solutions to a host of strategic issues. IMPRI is committed to democracy, mobilization and community building.


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