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From Bhutan, with Love : Exploring the Perceptions of Bhutanese Students Studying Tourism and Hospitality in an Indian University

Affiliations

  • Assistant Professor, School of Hotel Management and Tourism, Lovely Professional University, Phagwara, Jalandhar, Punjab- 144411, India
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Tourism & Travel Management, Central University of Himachal Pradesh, (TAB) Shahpur, Kangra -176 206, Himachal Pradesh, India
  • Assistant Professor, School of Tourism & Hotel Management, Ansal University, Gurgaon - 122 003, India
  • Assistant Professor, School of Hotel Management and Tourism, Lovely Professional University, Phagwara - 144 411, Punjab, India

Abstract


The paper explored the perceptions of Bhutanese students studying tourism and hospitality in a private Indian university. Interviews with 21 students enrolled in 'Airlines, Tourism and Hospitality' degree program were conducted followed by focus group. The study explored the participants' perceptions about India, motivation to study tourism, viewpoints on the way of teaching, use of information technology in academics, and language at the place of study. The findings revealed that participants mostly held unfavourable pre-departure (prior) perceptions about the country, which eventually transformed to more favourable as the interface with the place of study grew. Participants' interest in the program could be attributed to the appeal towards tourism, especially in the hopes of a career in airlines. They also perceived the program to be more theoretical than practical and more inclined towards hospitality learning rather than tourism. Perceptions of information technology used in the university were positive and participants acknowledged challenges related to the language in the place of study.

Keywords

Perceptions, Bhutanese Students, India, Tourism, Program

I21, I23, L83, Z39

Paper Submission Date : February 8, 2017 ; Paper sent back for Revision : May 17, 2017 ; Paper Acceptance Date : May 25, 2017.


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