With the new tourism policy in place to bring in 100,000 tourists by 2013 and to promote Bhutan as a high quality, low impact destination, the upcoming Hotel and Tourism Management Training Institute (HTMTI) will equip young Bhutanese in quality service.
“This is a very important project,” Lyonpo Yeshey Zimba, the works and human settlement minister said about the Nu. 388 million institute which will be opened in August. The institute will have a Nu 125 million worth 4 star hotel with 20 room by 2012.
“The construction will begin soon,” said Karma Gayleg, the HTMTI project manager adding that the hotel will follow strict eco-friendly practices.
In 2005, an agreement was signed between the Bhutan and the Austrian government which is assisting the project with 208 million. The rest of the money is being put in by Bhutan. “In the near future we will be training foreigners if they are interested,” he added.
The institute which will also look at regional linkages will also be open to foreign students after sometime. The construction of the institute has followed top European standards in energy, water and waste management and heavy duty fittings and plumbing. About Euro 1.4 million of the budget has been used to develop a teaching aid and training the institute’s trainers.
The curriculum, developed by Austrian experts, will be taught by 15 lecturers who are trained outside.
The institute will be recruiting 50 students every year for a 2-years diploma course in hotel and tourism management. They will also work at the 4-star hotel.
To provide training for the hospitality industry professionals, HTMTI will work with the Association of Bhutan Tour operators, Guide Association of Bhutan and the Hotel Association of Bhutan.
“HTMTI will be taking the entire training under one roof and will conduct programs for the service industry,” said the project manager. The institution hopes to generate sustainable income from training provided to the service industry, including training the guides, tour operators and the hoteliers. They also have a 250-seat banquet hall which will be open for government and private functions.
HTMTI will have four to five class rooms, a training kitchen and a professional kitchen, an administrative wing and a hostel for 100 students. Lyonpo Yeshey Zimba said, “It will be a world class institution to train Bhutanese.”