Staff reporter 

Sixteen in-service hotel and tourism employees began advanced studies in hospitality management this month at the Royal Institute for Tourism and Hospitality (RITH).

The diploma programme will train them on professional development and basic hospitality management, management and principles of marketing, human resource and operational management, and principles of finance and entrepreneurship.

The diploma programme is part of the fifth phase of Bhutan Middle Management Hotel Program (BMMHP).

According to a press release from BMMHP, the programme offered attractive incentives to the three toppers with an internship at Hotel Belvedere in Scuol for three months. “After the successful completion of the studies, the participants will receive a ‘Diploma of Advanced Studies in Hotel Management’ issued by HWZ University of Applied Sciences Zurich, Switzerland, and RITH.”

The trainees were selected through an entrance exam and an interview.

A participant of the programme and general manager of Hotel Riverside in Thimphu, Om Nath Bhattarai, said he looked forward to learning new knowledge that would professionalise the hotel industry in the country.

“Many of us start our career in the sector with minimal knowledge of the industry, therefore it becomes important for us to keep learning new knowledge and trends so that we keep up with the many developments happening around the world,” he said.

The programme which was scheduled to begin in August 2020 had to be postponed due to the pandemic.

“The programme is now integrated with RITH and will form one of the series of academic programmes that the RITH offers,” stated the press release from BMMHP.

The BMMHP Programme Director, Ugyen Dorji, said the main goal was to provide an opportunity for the existing service personnel in the hotel industry to enhance their knowledge and skills and to further develop professionally to be able to serve as middle managers.

Speaking at the opening session of the programme TCB’s Director General, Dorji Dhradhul, said because of the pandemic, tourism in Bhutan has come to the point where it first started. So there is a need for the people in the industry to work hard and push the sector to the forefront once again.

The programme is supported by the Lottery Fund of the Canton of Zurich and Hotel Belvedere in Scuol, Switzerland.