Established as preferred destination for tourism and hospitality education in the SAARC region, NATHM (Nepal Academy of Tourism and Hotel Management) is dedicated to human resource development for tourism and hospitality sector in Nepal with the motto of “Centre of Excellence”. NATHM has a history of four decades of service in Nepalese Tourism and Hotel Management education. It was established by the Government of Nepal in 1972.
Formerly, NATHM was known as HMTTC (Hotel Management and Tourism Training Centre) in which basic short term level trainings were provided like Culinary course, Food production courses, food and beverage service, rafting guide and many more . After the passage of time and with the demand of courses to create supervisor-level human resource, NATHM started its bachelor level course in affiliation with Tribhuwan University which included courses like BTTM(Bachelors in travel and tourism management) and BHM(Bachelors in Hotel management). Later, Masters in Hotel Management (MHM) was launched as a two year program.
For further details about NATHM, our correspondent Juliyana Shah interviewed Surya Kiran Shrestha, Deputy Head of Department/Program Co-coordinator(BHM) who himself is the product of NATHM batch of 1984. He has studied culinary course in NATHM and is a chef by profession with 5 years of experience in hotels. He is very dedicated towards applying his knowledge in the further developmental policies of NATHM.
Q: What are the courses provided in NATHM?
Surya: With the aim of enhancing the standard of quality in education in tourism and hospitality sector NATHM launched its Bachelor of Hotel Management (BHM) program in 1999. Later in 2002, Bachelor of Travel and Tourism Management (BTTM) program was introduced. With the rapid growth of industries over past decades NATHM launched its two years Master of Hospitality Management(MHM) program in 2011. Along with this course, short term basic courses like Culinary course, Food production courses, food and beverage service, rafting guide and many more are being operated at NATHM. Being a government academy it has to carry some social responsibilities in which mobile trainings are also provided outside the valley.
Q: What are the objectives of NATHM?
Surya: The main aim in running these courses was to produce senior level human resource and besides that, these courses train the students to become skilled workforce for the hotel and tourism industry. Similarly, it is focused towards producing trained and skilled workforce requires for the hotel and tourism industry. Also NATHM is also dedicated towards conducting long term higher level academic programs and to carry our survey and research for the development of tourism.
Q: What is the uniqueness of NATHM?
Surya: The best thing that a college can give to its student is discipline and quality education. NATHM is not only focused on providing education but also it helps student to work in system and be well groomed. Being a Hotel Management student, it is necessary that the work of the student will be seen through his/her personality. NATHM promotes students to do various things as a part of learning and in upcoming days it will be continued. Similarly, NATHM has major renovations with facilities to meet the training challenges of the hospitality industry’s standard of work force. The facilities includes training kitchens, training Bakeries, training restaurants, theory classrooms, computer lab, WI-FI, food, science, lab, multipurpose hall, library with AHLA training video series, e-library and 20 guestrooms.
Q: What were the challenges that NATHM faced while introducing Hotel management courses in Nepal?
Surya: Before, when Nepalese people travelled around the world, they were attracted by this course so this course was also introduced in Nepal. It was difficult to run a professional teaching course. Later, when students visited various hotels they got attracted in this course slowly and gradually other colleges also ran this course under various universities within Nepal. This course was highly motivated when Higher Secondary level introduced this course as part of the syllabus.
Q: What should be done to enhance this sector in Nepal ?
Surya: The course should be restructured to enhance this education sector and also proper use of technologies should be done. Also human resources that needed should be reformed. Entrepreneurship should also be created and the youths should be encouraged to return back in their country. People should apply new techniques and provide quality service by taking risk only then this sector can take new path of development.
Q: Is NATHM affordable? Can students from foreign country be attracted here? What is the role of government in developing this sector?
Surya: Yes, NATHM is affordable. For four year BHM degree it costs around 575,000, for BTTM 300,000 and MHM 300,000. The other short term courses also range from 3000-30,000. Nepal is a geographically well facilitated country and has lots of resources so there is a favorable environment in which students from foreign countries can study here. Similarly, government plays crucial role in developing this sector. The government should make policies to develop industries and develop the infrastructure to create a favorable environment.