Dhaka, Bangladesh
Robust tourism needs strategic action

Robust tourism needs strategic action

Winter in Bangladesh is a period very congenial to lure tourists. But we are failing to reap any significant benefit from the tourism sector for our flawed planning and nonchalant attitude. Tourism as a sector is experiencing a lazy growth despite the sector is recognised by the government as a lucrative one which has a potentiality to make an enormous contribution to the national economy. The potentiality has, however, been either bypassed or lost because of mishandling of the problems faced by tourism. Geographically and economically Bangladesh has good opportunities for attracting tourists from neighbouring countries like India, Nepal, China, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Cambodia. But we failed to seize or properly utilise the opportunities thanks to the lack of special programme development, country branding, strategic marketing and proper promotion exercise which are sine qua non for the development of tourism industry. Tourism sector here is lagging behind and it needs to address the issues like lack of appropriate product development, strategic marketing, tourist-friendly service development in airports, immigration centres, visa and foreign exchange issues, poor coordination among development agencies, licence to recognised tour operators by the government. In order to flourish the tourism industry more cooperative action plan must be implemented between industries, Tourism Board, Tour Operators Association of Bangladesh (TOAB) and other industry stakeholders of the country for tourism product development and selling the products to the global buyers. Our potentiality and capacity should, therefore, be upgraded through promotion to attract higher number of international tourists. We need to diversify tourism products to attract tourists and encourage them to make assurance of safety and security of the tourists, strategic focus on the sector, integrated action plan has been identified as the roadblock to the robust uplift of tourism industry. Proper orientation should be given to law enforcers so that tourists feel comfortable during their stay in the country. Besides, local communities have to be involved in planning and implementation process. When the locals will find benefits from tourist activities, they will voluntarily safeguard the tourists and the tourist attractions as well. And finally, we should pay heed to the words of caution uttered very recently by the Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister that tourism developers have to take responsibility of prompting responsible tourism, otherwise the expanding industry of the country may dissolve in the long run. Due to the absence of proper care and precaution the nature, environment and surroundings of the main tourists attractions like Saint Martin, Ratargul, Jaflong etc are experiencing threat of destruction. Both public and private sectors have to take initiative to preserve the panoramic beauty of these places.

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