Swiss Education Group signs a Memorandum of Understanding with the Indian state of Uttarakhand

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Swiss Education Group signs a Memorandum of Understanding with the Indian state of Uttarakhand

In a positive step toward sustainable tourism development in the state of Uttarakhand, Swiss Education Group will help develop and support the hospitality education of future tourism workers in India. 

By Swiss Education Group

2 minutes


On 6 October 2023, the Indian state of Uttarakhand signed its first-ever Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with an international private institution of higher education, Swiss Education Group (SEG), headquartered in Montreux, Switzerland. 

The state of Uttarakhand, in the north of the country, is one of three new states established in the 21st century in India. Due to its stunning natural beauty, diverse landscapes, and spiritual significance, tourism in Uttarakhand is a significant and growing industry in this new state. 

Known as the "Land of the Gods" or "Devbhumi," Uttarakhand attracts tourists from all over the world. Located in the northern part of India, it is home to the Himalayas as well as national parks and wildlife sanctuaries, including Jim Corbett National Park, Rajaji National Park, and Valley of Flowers National Park. 

Uttarakhand is also a significant destination for pilgrims due to its numerous temples and religious sites. The Char Dham Yatra, which includes Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath, and Badrinath, is a sacred pilgrimage that draws thousands of devotees. The city of Haridwar is famous for its Ganga Aarti, and Rishikesh is known for its yoga and meditation centers.

The Quest for Sustainable Growth

The Uttarakhand government is keenly aware of the popularity and potential of its natural and cultural heritage. Its pristine natural and sacred destinations underscore the importance of a strong ecotourism infrastructure emphasizing preservation and sustainability. Therefore, the government has actively sought to develop this infrastructure through education, training, and partnerships to ensure ecological and sustainable development. 

Tourism in Uttarakhand plays a vital role in its economy, and the state is committed to achieving balanced and sustainable growth while preserving its natural beauty and cultural heritage. The plan to achieve this includes:

  • Improved infrastructure to facilitate better access to remote and less-explored areas, including better road connectivity, improved airports, and the development of sustainable accommodations.
  • A focus on sustainable tourism practices to conserve the environment and maintain the region's cultural heritage. Top priorities include initiatives for waste management, responsible tourism, and wildlife conservation.
  • Diversification of seasonal tourism by promoting activities such as adventure sports, wellness, and cultural experiences spread throughout the year.
  • Training and skill development for local residents to enhance their skills in hospitality, tourism management, and other related areas to improve the quality of tourist services and develop the local job economy.
  • Collaboration with the private sector to invest in and develop tourist infrastructure and services.

The new state is determined to sustainably develop its tourism and hospitality industry and sees this new relationship with SEG as an essential step to meet its tourism goals, particularly in education and industry partnerships. 

A Partnership to Succeed

A ceremony formalizing and celebrating the new educational relationship between India and Switzerland was held at the Secretariat of the state government. The state's Chief Minister, Pushkar Singh Dhami, presided over the signing of the MoU by Project Director Banshidhar Tiwari on behalf of Samagra Shiksha, representatives of Swiss Education Group and Chief Secretary Radha Raturi. At the ceremony, Chief Minister Dhami expressed his satisfaction with this agreement in saying,

There is a lot of employment potential in the tourism and hospitality sectors in Uttarakhand. By gaining proficiency in these areas, our students will be better equipped to avail of these opportunities. This agreement will prove to be a milestone. 

Under the new relationship, SEG will provide education and training to the state's students in grades 9 – 12 in the areas of hospitality and tourism and further advise them in developing state-of-the-art teaching techniques and curricula in vocational education in the state. A select group of these students will come to Switzerland for a month-long intensive global hospitality and tourism orientation.

SEG, the largest private educational institution in Switzerland, comprises four schools located on five campuses in western and southern Switzerland. All four of the schools are rated in the Top 8 in the world, according to the global QS Rankings. More than six thousand students come to Switzerland annually from some 110 countries for their studies in tourism and hospitality. The extensive network of 25,000+ alumni work worldwide in top management positions or in hospitality businesses they founded. 

India is only the latest country to establish a formal educational relationship with SEG, which also maintains important educational agreements with the United States, the United Kingdom, China, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Dominican Republic and many more, as well as with organizations such as CRS Consulting.

"We at Swiss Education Group are delighted to establish this dynamic relationship with India, the largest democracy in the world and one of the most important world economies. The natural and cultural tourism assets of the state of Uttarakhand are very impressive. These forward-thinking state leaders have every reason to be very optimistic about the bright future of their young people who set their sights on a career in tourism and hospitality."

- Tarsila Fercher Geis, Executive Director of Partnerships & Development, Swiss Education Group

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By Swiss Education Group