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Need, Importance and Future Policy of Tourism education in Nepal1

Dr.Ghanashyam Bhattarai Faculty Member TU, Central Dept. of Hist.Kirtipur & Baneshwor Campus

"Naturally Nepal: Once is not enough" Nepal Tourism Board has set this new brand not only to promote tourism in Nepal with a new perspective but also to recognize Nepal in the world as a paradise of nature loving travellers, trekkers and expeditioners. Diversification of the tourist attractions and discovery of new destinations might be other purpose of new branding to tourism. We are now focussing all our activities on market expansion through this new brand. However merely the expansion of tourism market is inadequate to meet the anticipated outcome. Short term and long term planning and strategies to cater the need of tourists would strengthen the steady influx of tourist from various destinations. One important aspect of the blossoming of tourism industry is supply of human resource deemed to the industry. Without being self-dependence and self adequate in the field of required human resources our all efforts will be meaningless. In this background, this concept paper aims to focus on the need, importance and relevance of tourism education in Nepal with a view to open a healthy discourse to realise the noble objectives. Why Tourism? Tourism is one of the biggest industries of the world. Next to the oil industry there is no other example of such a large single product industry in the globe as tourism. It is the largest industry in terms of employment which is exemplified by the fact one out of every eight workers is engaged in this sector. The industry's direct services to customers represent between 3 and 4 percent of GDP in most of the world economy and employ about 3 percent of the world's labor force. In some countries however, the hotel, catering and tourism industry employs as many as 10 per cent of the work force. Tourism sector is expected to provide employment to 10,383 million people by 2007. According to WTO report (2005), the receipt from international tourism accounted for US$ 623 billion in 2004. Similarly, South Asia earned US$ 7.3 billion, increased by 17%, from tourism sector.(WTO:International Tourism Highlight,2005, official website) The importance of tourism industry can also be felt in different sectors of our national life. To quote the preamble of Tourism Policy, 2052, development and expansion of tourism industry is important 'in order to increase national production and income, to expand the earning of foreign currencies, to create opportunities for employment, to improve regional imbalance and to develop the image of Nepal in international community.'

This paper was presented in the seminar organized by Baneswor Campus in association with Nepal Tourism Board on 19 July 2007. Tourism Education in Nepal- 1 -

The tourism industry has a commendable role in Nepal's national economy because it is the biggest source of earning foreign currency. Tourism industry has also offered wide range of employment opportunities to the people across the country. Tourism for Nepal is so important that the Government, in its tenth plan, has taken tourism as an effective means of combating unemployment and alleviating poverty. (Tenth Plan:-2059-2064:185) According to a statistics, foreign exchange earnings from tourism stood at US $ 166.8 million in 2000; US$ 179.9 million in 2004, and US$ 148.4 million in 2005. The share of tourism to the GDP of the nation was 3.1 percent in 2000; 1.5 percent in 2004 and 1.2% in first seven month of 2005.(Nepal Tourism Statistics:2005) Similarly, the contribution of tourism in the total foreign exchange earnings was 12.9 percent in 2000, 9.1 percent in 2004 (Kunwar:2006:331)and 7.1% in 2005. (Nepal Tourism Statistics: 2005) The present statistics show that 283,516 tourists (by air only) arrived in Nepal in 2006 by increasing 2.3% from previous year. The inbound tourist flow is gradually increasing due to the positive development in the country's peace process. Up to the month of May, 143,631 tourist (by air)visited Nepal. increasing by 43.4% from previous year. (MOCTCA:2006). These statistics clearly reveal the fact that our tourism industry is now gradually recovering from a decade long stagnation and dormancy. According to the Hotel Association Nepal, tourism industry alone generates 33 percent of total revenue for the government annually. Of the total foreign currency earnings, 24 percent is generated by the tourism sector alone. The tourism industry directly employs about 2 hundred thousand people in the country, and 1.2 million others have jobs closely tied to the country's tourism infrastructure. According to the REBAN, restaurants are providing employment opportunity to over 37,000 people across the country. As the REBAN stated, on an average, 15 people are employed in each restaurant. (quoted from Xinhua News Agency)

Tourism Education in Nepal

Tourism education is relatively a new academic discipline in Nepal. Besides the Universities, numbers of academic and training institutions are being set up to impart this education. A good number of Nepali students are pursing this study in a number of Universities around the globe. Thus, tourism education can be categorised as one of the most demanded studies in the present century. Tourism industry is one of the largest and fast growing industries of the country. It needs various employees ranging from skilled, un-skilled workforce and professional managers. It will be needless to say that this industry can provide employment several times more than normal manufacturing industries. It is estimated that about 200,000 workers are directly engaged in this sector where as about 1.2 million people are indirectly employed. However the reliability of these figures can be a subject of little debate because of unavailability of authentic records in concerned organizations. The government had set a target in its ninth plan of generating 111,329 employment opportunities during the plan

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period, but only 80,000 opportunities could be generated. At the end of tenth plan, 100,000 employment opportunities are to be generated. Due to the unpredictable political scenarios and slack economy of the country it seems that the target may not be achieved. The statistics presented here shows a current situation of employment generated by two major tourism sectors.
Direct Employment generated by Hotel Induistries-2003/2004 Indicators Number of Establishments No. of persons engaged No. of employees Total: persons engaged Total employment Star Hotels 86 6572 6460 26847 18639. Non-star Hotels 3548 18128 10032 Resorts 161 2147 2147

(source: Central Bureau of Statistics'- Survey of Hotels and Lodges in Nepal, 2003/2004) Total Direct employment in Travel Agency Total No. of Travel agency 609 4969 (source: Tourism Industry Department, 2007) Total employment

Apart from these, other sectors such as rafting, trekking, mountaineering, restaurants; airlines etc. have also contributed appreciably in generating a large number of job opportunities across the nation. These scenarios obviously indicate that tourism is the only sector that would substantially help government in combating unemployment. Paradoxically, the industry is still depended on those workforces who are either foreign nationalities or educated in abroad. Therefore the adequate supply of different level workforce to the industry has always been the most challenging and pressing need for Nepal. Easy access to the tourism education is one of the factors that can help to fulfil the need of human resources in this sector. Generally, tourism education refers the education pertaining to the various aspects directly related to of travel and tourism industry. It is a discipline which deals with the need and importance of tourism and hospitality industry as well as the desired role of society and community to the promotion and development of tourism. The tourism education aims to produce accomplished human resource that is needed and anticipated in the discussed industry. Tourism education is needed to cater to the need of qualified and well-versed supervisory professional to serve for the private and public sectors of tourism industry. It also contributes in building career to the new generation in this rapidly emerging industry. It is a well established and realized fact that without the proper facilities of tourism education, tourism industry cannot flourish in an affective way, as expected.
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The prospect of tourism education in Nepal poses a challenge to the nation to develop human resources. As the industry has grown rapidly over the past decade, the need and demand of professionally trained higher-level human resource has become a pressing demand. In order to meet the need of the time, various educational institutions are now in the fray to produce efficient and market oriented human power. The names of these institutions are as follows:
No. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Name of Colleges Nepal Academy of Tourism and Hotel Management Kantipur Hotel Management College Nepal College of Travel and Tourism Management Nepal Tourism and Hotel Management College Kathmandu Academy of Tourism and Hospitality South Asian School of Tourism and Hotel Management established 1999 2000 1998 1999 2003 2004

All these institutions' humble efforts are commendable. At present, they are giving opportunities to the local people to attain the tourism and hospitality education at reasonable costs in home environment. The establishment of tourism and hospitality education institutions have made them attractive destinations for the students who want to make a career in this field. The trend shows that in near future we will be self dependent for supplying the different level workforce to the hospitality industry. The qualified workforce production by the above mentioned colleges are shown below in the table;
Skilled workforce production in Nepal Up to 2005/2006
University Tribhuvan University " " Purbanchal University " " Pokhara University Total College Nepal Academy of Tourism and Hotel Management, Kathmandu Nepal college of Travel & Tourism Management, Kathmandu Kantipur Hotel Management College, Kathmandu South Asian School of Tourism and Hotel Management, Biratnagar Kathmandu Academy of Tourism & Hospitality, Kathmandu Nepal Tourism & Hotel Management College, Pokhara Programme BHM BTTM BTTM BHM BHM BTTS MTS BHM Production 288 81 200 107
Not Passed out

33 12 174 784

(Source: UGC Report, 2005/06, Official Websites & records of concerned Colleges)

However, the situation of the accommodation of these workforces in the industry is not very encouraging. Very few graduates from above mentioned colleges have opportunity to be associated with the industry. Most of the graduates migrated abroad to seek good job opportunity and future career. It seems that the industry is not much interested in utilizing our own production. If our productions are less qualified or does not meet the requirement of the industry they should have interaction with concern colleges or Universities for the fulfilment of their needed requirement. Only a joint effort of tourism
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education institution and tourism industry would help to be self-dependence in the production of tourism workforce. Till date, government has not taken proper initiation in quality tourism education. Few colleges are founded on the subject with the initiation of private investors. All the universities hastily introduced travel and tourism education in the different levels without proper plans and enough homework. The curriculum is also haphazardly organized and the coherence of subjects in each semester seems lacking. The universities work is not over merely by introducing the new subject they must also exhibit their credibility through constant monitoring and evaluation of the performance that is desired out of any course. There must be proper coordination among the universities through constant interaction between employing agencies and academic institutions to review the quality and standard of the produced manpower. Tourism education is that subject which is relatively new to Nepalese society. Hence, both government and industry sector can play vital role in the promotion of Tourism & hospitality education in the nation. Some Suggestions Tourism & Hospitality education policy should be formulated as soon as possible. Government should keep up-date record of existing as well as required workforce of the tourism industry. While making tourism planning, government should coordinate with the Universities for the fulfilment of projected target of employment generation. Tourism & Hospitality education should be included in the course from the school level. Tourism & Hospitality Education Department should be formed separately in all the Universities for the Promotion of tourism & hospitality education in the nation. Tourism & Hospitality Education subject should be make compulsory in HSEB Curricula. Nepal Tourism Board must act coordinating role between education ministry, University, Tourism & Hospitality colleges and the industry sectors for the promotion of tourism & hospitality education in the country. Tourism & Hospitality industry should join hand with Universities in framing the syllabus as per their requirement. The industry should make an agreement with colleges for the supply of annually required workforce to the industry. Government should provide adequate incentive and support to the Tourism & Hospitality colleges. All Universities should introduced Tourism & Hospitality subject in their curriculum in coordinated way. Proper coordination among the universities should be established through constant interaction between employing agencies and academic institutions to review the quality and standard of its production.
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Curriculum should be developed uniformly and should maintain its international standard. Concluding Remarks Our development process is not getting expected momentum as expected after 1990. The key factors that have slowed down the pace of development are population growth, unemployment, poverty and pollution. It is the high time of rethinking how the development process can be accelerated by eliminating these acute problems. But our options are limited. Our industry and business sectors have been facing worse days at present. It is only the tourism through which we can recover our economy to certain extent. Hence, we should give much priority in tourism development. For realizing substantial output from tourism sector one cannot deny the importance of tourism education. Tourism education is one of the major parts of tourism industry. It is important not only to cater the need of the large number of employment within the industry, but to overall growth and development of tourism. Tourism industry can be feed by educational institutions by producing required qualified workforce. So, in recent years, need of tourism education has been greatly felt and education institutes relating to this field are being established. With the growth of tourism education in the country, it becomes apparent that tourism education should be given high priority. It is high time to think about the formulation of a clear policy and programmes for the development of tourism education in the country. Government and private sectors have to act in a more coordinated way for this purpose. Tourism & Hospitality management holds a fine prospect to Nepalese students because of its practical implications, lucrative job offers upon the completion of the education and the glamour side that is associated with it. Thus if all the above mentioned measures are duly addressed the Tourism & hospitality education will flourish and can contribute to the nation with quality education and skilled human resource. Reference: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Hotel Association of Nepal, News Letter, Special Issue, May, 2007. Tourism Industry Department, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Tourism and Culture. Ramesh Raj Kunwar, Tourist and Tourism, 2006. Tenth Plan, (2059-2064), Nepal Government, National Planning Commission. Satyal, Y, Tourism in Nepal; A profile, Nath publishing House, Banaras, 1988 Nepal Tourism Statistics 2005, Government of Nepal, Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation. 7. Survey of Hotels and Lodges, Nepal, 2003-2004, CBS, National Planning Commission. 8. Statistical Pocket Books, 2006, CBS, National Planning Commission. 9. Annual Report of University Grants Commission, 2001/2002. 10. Annual Report of University Grants Commission, 2003/2004. 11. Annual Report of University Grants Commission, 2005/2006. 12. WTO Tourism Highlight 2005 edition.

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13. Websites of related colleges.


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