Hands-on tourism education: Outdoor rural tourism study program in Nepal

By Bijaya Pradhan, Executive Chairman, Dream Nepal Travels & Tours

In June, Dream Nepal Travel & Tours organized a three-day outdoor rural tourism program in Nagarkot (33km north east of Kathmandu) for the students of Silver Mountain School of Hospitality Management (SMSHM). Working with tourism colleges, Dream Nepal organizes these trips across Nepal, encouraging education and capacity building through outdoor activities.

As part of the SMSHM program, the students prepared presentations on their skills and what they have learned about setting up tourism and hospitality enterprises. The outdoor activities on the rural tourism program allowed the students to go and see for themselves what they have learned about in the classroom. The close encounter with nature, culture and adventure will not only help them further develop their skills, but also grow their confidence as they prepare for their career in travel and tourism.

DreamNepal-PresentationsGenerating students’ interest in the places they visit, the local people and cultures, and the social, political, cultural and environmental issues facing these destinations, is just as important as providing courses and training opportunities. By offering hands-on learning experience, we are helping prepare today’s youth for the development of the tourism industry in Nepal. There are many students in Nepal studying tourism, but unless they are familiar with the on-the-ground realist of tourism, their learning.

These outdoor study trips also promote domestic tourism and support rural communities. The goal is to engage students to further help the destinations they visit by sharing their experience with others, and, in the future, contribute to promoting the destinations as tourism professionals.

DreamNepal-OutdoorThese students are the future successors of the tourism industry. That’s why it’s important to pass on the knowledge and experience of today and prepare them for tomorrow. Many tourism businesses believe that these types of programs targeting youth not only provide educational benefits for students and economic benefits for rural destinations, but also help build a sustainable future of the tourism industry in Nepal, with the potential to attract more domestic and international tourists.