Govt Has Prioritized Tourism Development: Minister Bhattarai

Interview with Nepal Communist Party (NCP) lawmaker Yogesh Bhattarai, in Kathmandu, on Thursday, January 10, 2019. Photo: Naresh Krishna Shrestha/THT

Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Yogesh Bhattarai said the government had prioritised development of tourism sector which is a major source of gaining foreign currencies.

Stating that tourism sector was generating foreign currencies worth over Rs 80 billion every year, the Minister said, “Tourism sector is a main base for economic development of the country. We have expanded a branch of Nepal Academy of Tourism and Hotel Management (NATHM) to produce a qualified workforce in Jhapa which falls in Province-1 that carries huge potential for tourism.” He was inaugurating the NATHM branch in Birtamod, Jhapa amid a function on Wednesday.

The expansion of the NATHM branch in Jhapa is meant to produce a qualified workforce required for three five star hotels and other big ones under construction in Mechinagar and Birtamod sharing east borders with India, he said. NATHM branches were being expanded in Nepalgunj and Mahottari, he shared. The Minister hoped that with the expansion of the NATHM branch, students of Province-1 could contribute to tourism by pursuing hotel management at home.

The government was at work to make rules making it compulsory for tourists visiting Nepal to have a Nepali guide, which he said would require a big manpower in the country.

The NATHM branch established at Anarmuni Public Campus in Birtamod offers classes up to Bachelor’s Level, said the NATHM executive director Dipak Kumar Thapa.

So far, the NATHM has produced 45,000 qualified human resources through trainings and classes, of which, 90 percent is in employments, he said. Charpane-based Bir Amar Singh Secondary School has provided 1.5 bighas of lands to construct buildings for the NATHM branch, said Deputy Mayor of Birtamod Municipality Pabitra Mahatara.

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