Lack of coordination among different ministries blamed to flourish the sector accordingly
Shah Alam Nur: The market size of domestic tourism reached Tk 50 billion in the last year 2018 but the sector has the capability to earn Tk 100 billion by the next five years which is not materialise for lack of proper policy support and coordination of different ministries.
Experts said, Bangladesh has a lot of potentiality to flourish the tourism sector to consider its natural beauty. Actually, country’s truism sector mostly depends on domestic tourist which is failing to attract foreign tourist due to proper policy support.
The tourism spots failed to attract foreign tourists for multifarious reasons including lack of integrated initiatives in the tourism sector, lack of efficient management.
Apart from this, the ineligible people are dominating the tourism sector, the claimed.
Experts said the government has taken several active policies and legislations for the tourism sector namely the Bangladesh Tourism Board Act, the Tourism Policy 2010, the Medium Term Budget Framework (MTBF) and the Perspective Plan 2021. But those initiatives are not being implemented as a result the sector being deprive.
Insider said tourism is one of the top five export categories for as many as 83 percent of countries and is a main source of foreign exchange earnings at least 38 percent of countries.
Many developed countries like USA, UK, Italy, and France are ruling the industry but many Asian countries like India, Srilanka, Singapore, Maldives, Thailand, Malaysia, and Nepal were able to attract foreign tourists for its climate, nature and overall beauty of the spots of their respective country. (See Page-11)
The Bangladesh is far behind of the other Asian countries to develop traditional and non- traditional tourism spots.
According to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) the direct contribution of Travel and Tourism to GDP was Tk 296.6bn (1.9 percent of total GDP) in the last year.
According to Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation, there is some 840,000 foreigners visited Bangladesh annually. Actually, they visit Bangladesh for business purposes not as tourists.
In contrast, 13,700,000 domestic tourists visit the same spots annually.
MGR Nasir Majumder, a director of the Travel Operators Association of Bangladesh, said country’s tourism sector almost depend on domestic tourist. As the foreign tourists are not showing their interest to come here due to absence of proper logistic supports.
He said domestic tourism has been increasing in Bangladesh riding on young visitors as they are keen to explore new areas.
The market size of domestic tourism reached Tk 50 billion in 2018 while it was not more than Tk 5 billion 10 years earlier, said Majumder, also the managing director of Century Travels Services.
About 70 percent of tourists prefer to visit Cox’s Bazar and Chittagong Hill Tracts, followed by Sundarban and Sylhet.
State Minister for Civil Aviation and Tourism Md Mahbub Ali has urged all people including students and young generation to positively represent the tourism sector of Bangladesh across the world through social media like Facebook and Twitter.
He said in many countries tourism is considered as a major source of economy. “If we want to develop our tourism industry, we must use digital platforms for promoting our tourism industry as well as to attracting foreign tourists.”
Civil Aviation and Tourism Secretary Md Mohibul Haque said the government is dedicated to flourish tourism industry.
He laid emphasis on coordinated efforts for branding Bangladeshi tourism products abroad.
He said “The government intends to work throughout the year to develop the tourism industry.”
He has underscored the need for presenting positive image of tourism spots which would help attracting more tourists from abroad.
One of the world’s largest economic sectors, the tourism industry creates jobs, drives exports, and generates revenue across the world.
In WTTC’s annual analysis of the impact of travel and tourism on the global economy, the sector is said to account for 10.4 percent of global GDP, along with the employment of 313 million people, or 9.9 percent of total employment in 2018.