KATHMANDU: After realising the need for expanding hotel and tourism management related education for overall development of hospitality sector, the government has decided to open Nepal Academy of Tourism and Hotel Management (NATHM)’s branches outside Kathmandu valley.
Kedar Bahadur Adhikari, Secretary of the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation said, Nepal Academy of Tourism and Hotel Management (NATHM) board meeting has decided to launch Bachelors in Hotel Management (BHM) and Bachelors in Travel and Tourism Management (BTTM) programmes at Birtamode of Jhapa district in Province 1, Bardibas of Mahottari district in Province 2 and Nepalgunj of Banke district in Province 5, in the first phase.
The ministry has allotted Rs 20 million budget for setting basic infrastructure and other equipment for running classes. Staffs selection has also been processed for the same, Adhikari shared.
Dipak Kumar Thapa, Executive (ED) of NATHM, said the local bodies have agreed to provide us public land for the construction of colleges in proposed locations.
“As per our strategic master plan, we are developing NATHM into a five-star level institution to attract foreign students from China, SAARC region and BIMSTEC countries,” Under-Secretary and ED Thapa said adding that discussions are underway with the line ministry on various models including government to government (G2G) model to facilitate admission of foreign students.
As soon as the Tribhuvan University (TU) grants us approval of additional 40 seats quota allotted for foreign students, we will start our academic session, Thapa shared.
Ministry’s secretary Kedar Bahadur Adhikari informed that the procedure had been delayed due to COVID-19 pandemic, however, internal preparations are being made to address it in policy itself.
With the total budget of around Rs 28 million allotted by the Department of Archeology and the ministry, overall maintenance, upgradation and beautification of 29 ropanis of college premises is underway, Thapa shared.
“Plans for construction of multi-purpose building, establishment of incubation centre, where new ideas, innovation would flourish — are also on the cards.”
He further said that all the reconstruction works are being carried out on the recommendation of sub-committees formed for the same.
“In spite of government imposed lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19 transmission, overall upgradation work has been carried out in war footing even during the pandemic,” said the college spokesperson Shiva Prasad Jaishi.
“Incorporating seniors’ experience with youth’s enthusiasm, we are trying to establish NATHM as a centre of excellence,” said BHM program co-ordinator Binod Aryal.
Preparations are also underway to set up a travel and tourism laboratory consisting all the adventure gears, accessories, mountaineering equipment among others informed Shuvam Paudel, co-ordinator of Bachelors in Travel and Tourism Management (BTTM) programme.
Hearing about the formation of an alumni, one of the students Nima Lhamu Sherpa said they were excited to be a part of it.
The government has decided to expand NATHM, which was confined to Kathmandu for years, beyond the valley and in all the seven provinces.
NATHM is an educational institution offering BHM, MHM, BTTM courses related to tourism and hospitality, run by the Government of Nepal since 1972.