Nepal | July 10, 2020

NATHM organises ‘Academia-Industry Interface on Tourism & Hospitality’ in Kathmandu

Mausam Shah Nepali
Share Now:

KATHMANDU: At a time when the country is marking Visit Nepal Year 2020, stakeholders, experts, panellists, students convened in an interaction themed ‘Academia-Industry Interface on Tourism & Hospitality’ to discuss challenges and opportunities, in Kathmandu, on Friday.

With the motive of highlighting related issues to students, Nepal Academy of Tourism and Hotel Management (NATHM) organised the event today.

Speaking in two different sessions, guest speakers and panellists shed light on various issues and interacted with delegates from Pokhara, Chitwan, Kathmandu and others in the event.

Welcoming the guest and delegates, NATHM’s Executive Director Durga Dutta Dhakal said the interaction programme would help to forge a collaboration between academia and hospitality industry to usher development of human resources.

NATHM’s Deputy Head of Department Surya Kiran Shrestha highlighted challenges galore in the hospitality industry such as low salary at entry-level, brain drain, political interference during the recruitment process, low turnover and stressed the need of a paradigm shift in hospitality education.

Although Nepal produces at least 12,000 fresh graduates, a majority of them leave for foreign countries seeking jobs due to low employment opportunities in the country, Shrestha lamented.

Shreejana Rana speaking at an event. Photo: Mausam Shah Nepali/THT

Tourism expert and keynote speaker Ravi Jung Pandey said, “Interactive and collaborative mechanism should be established between the academia and hospitality sector. Pandey said this referring to the creation of a win-win situation for both the parties.

“Though regarded as a critical challenge to the hospitality-tourism education sector in Nepal, less has been suggested about the right path and strategy of cashing on partnership and aligning the benefit of both the academia and industry. Each of the above mentioned potential areas of avenues needs to be explored in detail to identify the nitty-gritty of Nepali tourism and developing the right strategy to make them work,” Pandey shared.

Likewise, speaking in the event, Nepal Association of Tour & Travel Agents (NATTA) President Achyut Guragain stressed on the conceptual as well as practical excellence of graduates and executives working in the sector for the sustainability of the industry. He also urged the concerned stakeholders to organise travel fair, travel mart to attract tourists rather than spending millions on advertisement abroad.

Addressing the event, Sreejana Rana, President of Hotel Association of Nepal and Executive Director of Hotel Annapurna, urged the government to implement the SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) from deluxe hotels to home-stays operating in the country to maintain the standard.

Rana further shared her experience of more than two decades in the industry, urging the young generations not to refrain from doing small things — from cleaning to picking up trash if they really wanted to succeed in the field.

“Going abroad for an internship is not a bad idea, but you should always stick to your roots to serve your culture and values to the customers after returning to Nepal. Every day is a new day and never stop learning,” Rana, first female executive director in the industry, shared.

General Manager of Gokarna Forest Resort Dorjje Sherpa speaks during an interaction programme in NATHM in Kathmandu. Photo: Mausam Shah Nepali/THT

Guest speaker Dorjje Sherpa, Managing Director of Gokarna Forest Resort, shared his two-decade wide experience in the hospitality industry and urged the academia to think beyond the traditional learning and teaching methods. He pointed out that time has come in Nepal to design curriculum focusing on value sharing rather than training them to offer service with a smile to guests.

Ghanshyam Upadhya, acting secretary of the tourism ministry, said, the government has given an emphasis on tourism development and the tourism policies are incorporated in the constitution.

Courtesy: Sanjay Nepal

During the event, a group of nine researchers from Bachelor of Travel and Tourism Management (BTTM) made a presentation of their recent interesting finding of ‘Sati Devi Trail/Route’ in Kathmandu.

Team member Sanjay Nepal said, referring to their team leader and mentor Dr Rajiv Dahal, “We knew about the Sati Devi Trail from Hindu myths and decided to explore Kathmandu valley to find a new and exciting trail to help pilgrims looking for spiritual attainment. Another team member Muna Aryal said the project is ongoing to reveal other facts about the trail. It is believed that Sati Devi’s remains fell on various areas in Kathmandu as Lord Shiva carried her for final rites.

During a panel discussion, students and delegates interacted with Digbijaya Koney, CEO Gandaki Treks and Expedition Pvt, Abishek Bikram Shah, MD Chandragiri Hills Pvt, Junu Maleku, Country Manager Cathay Pacific Airlines, Bipin Nepal, Chief Instructor at NATHM, Ashish Shrestha Co-founder Honey Guide App, Dr Mahendra Prasad Shrestha, Senior faculty member of MHM in NATHM.

Answering question put forth by one of the participants referring to low pay for fresh graduates and attraction to foreign lands, Abishek Bikram Shah said, “love your country, keep working hard and you will succeed one day.” He said, one doesn’t have to be extra-talented to succeed in life. “All you need is dedication, passion and confidence.”

NATHM senior instructor and BHM coordinator Binod Aryal. Photo: Mausam Shah Nepali/THT

Fellow panellist Junu Maleku urged the participants to keep alternatives if Plan A fails in life. Likewise, Bipin Nepal urged the students to be themselves and enjoy their work and life not expecting too much.

NATHM’s Bachelor in Hotel Management (BHM) coordinator and senior instructor Binod Aryal said, “Experts imparting their knowledge and experience would help the students to understand the real-world scenarios.”

Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Silva shines as Man City thrash Newcastle 5-0

MANCHESTER: David Silva scored one goal and made two more as Manchester City put on a passing masterclass to overwhelm Newcastle United with a 5-0 Premier League victory on Wednesday. Having announced that he will leave the club at the end of this season after a 10-year spell, the 34- Read More...

Salah double keeps Liverpool on track for points record

BRIGHTON: Mohamed Salah scored twice as champions Liverpool moved on to 92 points with a 3-1 win at Brighton and Hove Albion in the Premier League on Wednesday. The victory kept Liverpool on target to secure a record Premier League points tally, with Juergen Klopp's side needing nine from Read More...

Adequate social security key to minimise impact of COVID-19, says PM Oli

KATHMANDU, JULY 8 Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli said protection of the most vulnerable, including migrant workers and those in informal sectors, and provision of adequate social security and health care was the key to minimise the impact of COVID-19. Addressing virtual ‘Global Summit on COVID Read More...

Suarez scores as Barca condemn Espanyol to relegation

Barca beat Espanyol 1-0 in city derby Suarez won the match with his 195th goal for the club Espanyol were relegated after 26 years in La Liga  BARCELONA: Barcelona kept up their pursuit of leaders Real Madrid in the La Liga title race by beating city rivals Espanyol 1-0 at home Read More...

Coronavirus pandemic affects Nepal’s sovereign credit rating process

KATHMANDU, JULY 8 The country’s sovereign rating assessment is likely to be delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Though the government had awarded Fitch Ratings, a United States-based international credit rating agency, to study and confirm Nepal’s sovereign credit rating in December l Read More...

Human rights awareness, Human rights education

‘Respect rights of vulnerable people’

KATHMANDU, JULY 8 International partners, civil society and humanitarian organisations have been working together to support the Government of Nepal’s response to the COVID-19 crisis, read a joint press statement issued by United Nations, various embassies and international agencies in Nepal to Read More...

SP-N notifies EC of Giri’s expulsion

KATHMANDU, JULY 8 Samajwadi Party-Nepal today wrote a letter to the Parliament Secretariat stating that it had expelled lawmaker Sarita Giri from the House of Representatives. Assistant Spokesperson for the Parliament Secretariat Dasharath Dahamala said his office would inform Speaker Agni Pra Read More...

Man held for swindling job aspirants of hefty amount

Swindler allegedly offered ‘fake offer letters’ to victims  KATHMANDU, JULY 8 Police have arrested Bijay Pandey, 34, on charge of swindling lakhs of rupees from at least seven persons on the pretext of securing them employment at World Health Organisation’s Nepal office. Pandey, who ha Read More...