July 18, 2024, 1:56 pm

FT Online

2019-04-23 21:33:22 BdST

Develop infrastructure to tap tourism potential

A group of foreign tourists have suggested the authority concerned develop infrastructure, improve the road conditions and disseminate more information about the country to reap the benefits of its tourism potential.

They have noted that Bangladesh has yet to explore its tourism potential due to lack of marketing promotion and branding in the global tourism platform.

The tourists also emphasised the importance of promoting eco and community-based tourism, improved infrastructure including sanitation facilities for tourists, and creating more recreational facilities to grow the tourism industry.

The observations came at the closing ceremony of a 10-day familiarisation tour organised by Bangladesh Tourism Board (BTB). As many as 26 foreigners including journalists, producers, bloggers and other tourism related professionals were present.

BTB organised a 10-day trip for a group of foreigners from 10 countries who visited different parts of the country and shared their experience about the culture, food and natural beauty of the country.

In the closing programme, state minister for civil aviation and tourism Mahbub Ali was present as the chief guest. BTB chief executive officer Bhuvan Chandra Biswas chaired the programme while Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation (BPC) chairman Akhteruzzaman Khan Kabir also spoke.

The members of fam trip shared their experience and views at the programme with local media, government agencies and tour operators.

Fam trip participants said although Bangladesh has a huge potential in the tourism sector, very few people know about it. It is an undiscovered tourist destination which needs to be explored, they added.

They identified Bangladeshi people as most valuable product that the country can be proud of.

They also appreciated Pahela Baishakh terming it a sea of smiling face.

They said Bangladesh is known for its poverty, natural disasters and security problems which are mostly negative news. But it's not true all the time. It happens because there is not much promotion from the Bangladesh side.

They laid emphasis on continued improvement of infrastructure and roads to attract more foreign tourists. They also put stress especially on improved sanitation and toilet facilities, and producing more communication materials describing various historical and archaeological places so that foreign travellers can learn about those things easily.

A tourist told this correspondent that Bangladesh does not need luxury hotels for the foreigners who will come from the US, UK and Europe as there are plenty of those in tourist heavens like Dubai, Spain and Singapore.

Bangladesh needs to have more ecotourism and eco resorts, invest more consciously and wisely in improved toilets and road networks and allow wine.

He said most of the time the roads were bumpy and they had to stay in the vehicle in the middle of the road due to traffic jam which kept them away from seeing the beauty of the country.

A 60-kilometre journey took at least three hours which should be hardly a one-hour journey, he added.

Another tourist said they did not know about the tourist attractions while travelling to northern parts of Bangladesh because of the language barrier. They did not have anything that they could have read. Besides, there was scarcity of good hotels, resorts and restaurants, he added.

State Minister Mahbub Ali said the present government has attached importance to more concentrated and strategic intervention and has put emphasis on tourism as a prioritised sector of the country to enter the global competitive arena.

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