New Hotel School in Kandy to meet the tourism boomView(s):
The latest Hotel School under Sri Lanka Tourism and Hotel Management Institute, which has been built at Pallekele in Kandy will be declared opened by Minister Basil Rajapaksa on 15 May.
The institute, equipped with all the modern facilities, is meant to train personnel required for the programme to attract 2.5 million tourists to Sri Lanka by 2016. The five year programme launched is expected to bring an annual income of nearly three billion US dollars. Consequently the industry will create nearly 500,000 job opportunities parallel to the construction of 40,000 new hotel rooms.
The first school for training hotel staff under the Colombo Plan was established in 1966. The first provincial hotel school was established in two rooms of the Queens Hotel Kandy in 1992 thus providing job opportunities for young people in the area. It conducted courses on guest relations and housekeeping twice a year for 100 trainees.
Later this school was shifted to another location to accommodate more students. Still only no more than 200 could be trained at this new building which was rented for the purpose.
The building housing the new institute comprises a fully furnished office complex, fully equipped kitchen for training the students, auditoriums, class rooms, restaurant, dining room, library, computer section, open air theatre, large hall for holding functions and five luxury rooms for local and foreign tourists.
According to the Kandy hotel management institute’s Principal Irandi Wijegunawardena, this hotel school has the capacity for training over 500 students a year. The courses include training of chefs, training in restaurant services, guest relations, hotel room management and adapting Kandyan traditions and culture to the tourism industry.
This training institute is open on weekends and at night for outsiders who are keen to follow such courses. All the students gain practical experience at this institute since it also serves both local and foreign tourists as does a normal tourist hotel.
Principal Wijegunawardene said that this tourism promotion programme directed by Chairman Bhashwara Gunaratne of Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority(SLTDA).
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