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Tourism Corporation has no initiative to attract foreign tourists

Musa Ahmed.
December 1, 2022 2:23 pm
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The tourism corporation has no initiative to attract foreign tourists. There is no information about how many foreign tourists have come in three years. Lack of promotion, lack of planning and no environment. Bangladesh is at the very back of the tourism development index.

After 50 years of independence, almost all sectors of the country have raised their heads more or less. Making an important contribution to the economy. However, the exception is the tourism sector. Tourism is not able to stand upright due to mismanagement and lack of coordination. As a result, foreign tourists are not attracted to Bangladesh tourism.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh Tourism Corporation and Bangladesh Tourism Board could not provide any statistics on how many tourists have come to Bangladesh from different countries in the last three years. Besides, they could not provide much information about what kind of plans have been taken or are being made to attract foreign tourists. As a result, there is a question about how many domestic and foreign tourists will come in the future.

Tourism sector officials say that the country’s tourism sector is lagging behind due to lack of promotion, lack of coordination, lack of planning and inability to create environment. Apart from this, no publicity is carried out abroad about the tourist centers of the country. Foreign tourists are not attracted to Bangladesh. But to attract foreign tourists, Cox’s Bazar has many attractions including the world’s longest beach, Saint Martin, Kuakata to watch the sunrise and sunset, Nijhum Island, Sylhet’s tea plantations, Sundarbans, antiquities.

Tourism Corporation has no initiative to attract foreign tourists

On the occasion of World Tourism Day on September 27, Bangladesh Tourism Corporation celebrated the day through various programs including processions, meetings and seminars at Agargaon in colorful Dhaka. In these meetings and seminars, the speakers highlighted the various problems and possibilities of the country’s tourism sector. But there was no program to attract foreign tourists. Such activities of the corporation have given rise to discussion and criticism.

Chairman of Bangladesh Tourism Corporation said. Ali Kadar told Jago News that the tourism corporation is carrying out various programs for the development of the country’s tourism industry. Besides, various initiatives have been taken to simplify the visa process for tourists abroad. But he could not give any answer to the question why the tourism corporation does not have a list of foreign tourists.

Referring to various limitations in the tourism sector, Ali Kadar said, due to the limitations, we cannot reach the desired goals in this sector. Now a 30-year master plan for the development of the tourism sector is in progress. I hope we can implement this plan step by step. Then foreigners will be more interested in visiting Bangladesh.

According to Bangladesh Tourism Corporation, 323,000 tourists came to the country in 2019. But in the post-corona period, no tourists have come so far. There were various restrictions for foreign nationals or tourists. Later, the government lifted the restrictions on foreign tourists coming to Bangladesh from September 26. Apart from this, various initiatives have been taken including making the visa process easier for foreigners. But the Tourism Corporation could not provide any statistics on how many foreign tourists have come to Bangladesh since September till Wednesday (November 30).

Tourism sector stakeholders say that the country’s tourism sector is in this state due to lack of effective roadmap to overcome the crisis, lack of promotion, lack of coordination between responsible ministries and corporations and inefficiency. Now the situation of foreign investment in the tourism sector is very fragile. In such a situation, Bangladesh ranks 110th in the very back row among 117 countries in the Travel and Tourism Development Index of the World Economic Forum. It was 113th in 2019.

An official of the Tourism Corporation, who did not want to be named, said that Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport immigration has updated information on foreign tourists. From there the number of foreign tourists is known. But the tourism corporation has no interest in knowing or collecting the information.

However, Tourism Corporation manager Nazrul Islam told Jago News that they used to keep information on foreign tourists regularly. But in the post-corona period, several letters have been given to the immigration to know that. But got no reply. Nazrul Islam could not tell when the last letter was sent.

About the tourism situation in Bangladesh, Chairman of Asian Tourism Fair Mohiuddin Helal said that despite having diverse tourism resources, Bangladesh is in the back row in attracting foreign tourists. The main reason for this is that foreign tourists are not coming because they cannot meet the demand. Foreign tourists can be attracted if the tourist centers of the country can be developed to international standards. Only then the country’s tourism sector will be able to turn around. For this, both public and private infrastructure is needed.

Bangladesh International Travel and Tourism Expo (BITTI) has started from Thursday (December 1) at Bangabandhu International Convention Center in the capital to attract tourists from home and abroad. Organized by the Association of Travel Agents of Bangladesh (ATAB), this fair will continue till December 3. The fair will run from 10 am to 7 pm every day.

When asked to know, ATAB president SN Manjur Morshed said that one of the objectives of this fair is to spread the country’s tourism in the international arena. Apart from this, we are working on how to earn foreign currency and at the same time how to establish our country as the aviation hub of South Asia.

Besa said that foreign tourists are not coming due to various restrictions in the tourism sector