Some 15 associate lecturers and trainers with the hospitality and tourism institutes in the country attended a train the trainer (TTT) programme at the Royal Institute for Tourism and Hospitality in Thimphu from December 12.

The programme coordinator, Thinley Gyeltshen, said that currently there are limited number of hospitality trainers in the country.

He said the programme is expected to create a pool of quality master trainers in the hospitality industry in Bhutan. “These master trainers should be eligible to further train 100 local trainers within a year so that we can fast-track the creation of a pool of new trainers.”

Last year, Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB) conducted a training needs assessment (TNA) for the tourism and hospitality sector to develop an essential strategic business tool to help the destination [Bhutan] identify key training needs to address skill gaps that limit quality delivery and customer satisfaction.

TNA recommended a need to initiate a structured TTT programme using the resources of American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI), one of the world’s best practice authorities in the field.

“This is why we conducted the training,” Thinley Gyeltshen said.

Two facilitators from AHLEI taught the participants interactive teaching methods, content presentation methods, positive classroom culture, and planning courses.

A facilitator for Certified Hospitality Educator (CHE) in South East Asia, Avril Sule, said as tourism grows, more people will visit the country and it’s important to improve the standards. “If you go to a four-star hotel and it takes 15 minutes to get a glass of water then it is not high standard. So, you need to pull up those standards.”

She said TTT is a powerful programme meant for hospitality educators.

“We are trying to strengthen the teacher’s ability to teach. We hope they will be able to translate and implement what they have learned,” she said. “When you are able to do that, you will have a strong institute producing strong students. It’s no use having a qualification unless you put it in practice in a classroom.”

Associate lecturer with Royal Institute for Tourism and Hospitality, Jigme Norbu, said unlike the previous training that he had attended, the training was helpful because it is specifically related to hospitably and tourism.

An instructor with Bhutan International School of Hospitality and Tourism, Sital Pradhan, said the training enhanced her knowledge and helped her build her confidence to teach.

The participants will be awarded a CHE certificate only if they get through the exam that was conducted Friday afternoon.

“Designed to arm hospitality educators with tools and strategies to motivate their students and revitalise the subject matter, CHE is a must-have for every hospitality teaching professional,” Thinley Gyeltshen said.

TCB in collaboration with AHLEI organised the training.

Dechen Tshomo