Tourism and hospitality are the highest employment generators, contributing significantly to the country’s GDP. At the same time there is an intense competition amongst international and national destinations and the quality of services is also a major factor in destination choice. This requires trained human resources as well as entrepreneurs and IGNOU has been significantly contributing towards this since 1994 when the Tourism Programmes were first launched from the School of Social Sciences from certificate to PhD levels.
The School of Tourism and Hospitality Services Management (SOTHSM) came into existence in 2007. Today the School offers a variety of Programmes emphasising on quality research and meeting the societal and industrial needs. It is also open to taking up capacity - building training programmes, entrepreneurial development programmes and management development programmes at various levels, independently and in collaboration with national and international institutions/ organisations/ industry. The major collaboration of the School is with the National Council of Hotel Management and Catering Technology (NCHMCT) wherein MSc. And BSc. Programmes are offered through dual mode since 2002.
Today, IGNOU has more than 20,000 students enrolled in both tourism and hospitality programmes. These programmes have been developed in consultation with experts from the tourism and hospitality industry, industry associations and academicians. Special attention has been given to offer these programmes in remote and marginalized areas; destination areas and in centers in Foreign Countries.