২৫শে ফেব্রুয়ারি ২০২১ ইং | ১২ই ফাল্গুন ১৪২৭ বঙ্গাব্দ
প্রকাশিত: ১১:৩৩ পূর্বাহ্ণ, মে ৭, ২০১৯
Mahbubur Rahman Tuhin
Bangladesh, a land of exhilarating mix with fascinating ancient history, vibrant cultures and people, numerous panoramic beauties, historical ruins, flora and fauna, sandy sea beaches, hills and forests and wildlife, always attracts tourists from any corner of the globe from time immemorial. Here, breathtaking scenery and rivers surrounding us are always charming. One can easily be impressed with so much variety of attractiveness within such a small geographic boundary; the world’s longest sandy beach Cox’s Bazar, the world’s largest mangrove forest and the home of Royal Bengal Tiger- the Sundarbans, coral Island- Saint Martin’s, the green roof of the country- Bandarban, land of colorful indigenous groups and lake city- Rangamati, land of ancient Buddhist civilization- Paharpur, Temple city- Puthia which are of lifetime experience for any traveler. It is a pleasure to anyone to visit rich cultural heritages and very old history of civilization of Bangladesh. One may get the opportunity to enjoy the company of smiling and hospitable people of Bangladesh. The taste of typical delicious Bangladeshi foods especially the sumptuous Hilsha of Bangladesh is ever enjoyable to all. This is a land of tourists, researchers and wildlife and nature lovers. Ministry of Civil Aviation & Tourism and its organizations are working hard to attract more tourists from home and abroad with the promotion of the tourism potentials. For increasing the positive image of the country in the international arena Bangladesh is frequently organizing several international tourism related events in coordination with United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) and Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and others. International Conference on Buddhist Circuit Tourism Development (2015), PATA New Tourism Frontiers forum (2016), 29th Joint Commission Meeting of UNWTO Commission for East Asia-Pacific and Commission for South Asia (2017) were successfully held in Bangladesh. In the month of February 2018, Bangladesh has successfully host the 10th Session of OIC Islamic Conference of Tourism Ministers (ICTM) in Dhaka. Bangladesh is now playing a leading role for developing regional and international tourism. Bangladesh has unanimously elected Chairman of the UNWTO Commission for South Asia (CSA) for the tenure of 2018-2019 which is very significant for Bangladesh Tourism. For developing the integration in tourism sector among the OIC, as a member state Bangladesh is playing a vital role accordingly. In recognition to the important role among the OIC countries, Bangladesh has been elected the chairman of the 10th Islamic Conference of Tourism Minister’s for 2017-2018. Bangladesh is participating in various local and international tourism fairs, road shows, seminars and conferences along with public and private stakeholders regularly for the promotion of Bangladesh tourism. The Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism is organizing familiarization tours inviting tour operators, journalists from the source countries for presenting various tourism potentials of Bangladesh to attract foreign tourists. The ministry is taking preparation for launching international TV, print and social media campaign for tourism promotion and marketing. With the implementation of such tremendous activities, Bangladesh is gradually being established as a tourist destination of South Asia.
For safety and security of the tourists, government has introduced Tourist Police. A Tourism Master Plan is under preparation for the development of the tourism industry of the country. In 2017, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the 80 km Cox's Bazar-Teknaf marine drive. It unlock the potentials of the region enabling people to improve their socio-economic condition and enjoy the beauty of the world longest unbroken Sea-beach. The government is developing the airport to an international standard as part of modernization of Cox's Bazar as a tourism city and Moheshkhali as an investment hub. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina also inaugurated the extended runway for wide-body Boeing aircraft at Cox's Bazar airport. The government decided to turn the two-lane Chattogram-Cox's Bazar road into a four-lane one to make road trips more comfortable for tourists. Bangladesh government declared the year-2016 as 'Tourism Year' up to extended 2019. Under this campaign tourism promotional activities are going on for attracting more tourists and earning more revenues. In 2017, the direct contribution of tourism industry to the national GDP was $5.3 billion. Bangladesh is very much concerned about the sustainable development of tourism. Country has already started activities for achieving Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 as well as to celebrate the International Year of Sustainable Tourism (IYST) by UNWTO. Recognizing the importance of tourism as tool for economic growth, the government has taken some remarkable policy decisions. Tourism was declared as one of the thrust sector in the industrial policy in 2009, National Tourism Policy was adopted in 2010 and Bangladesh Tourism Board was established for the entire development of Tourism in Bangladesh. Preparing Master plan having short, mid and long-term planning for overall tourism development and promotion of archaeological sites, building infrastructure, developing connectivity, introducing Adventure Tourism, facilitating Community based Tourism (CBT), Responsible Tourism and Eco Tourism, signing river protocol agreement with India, and compliance of BBIN and BIMSTEC, ACD as signatory, introducing ocean cruise were the major initiatives taken by the government for the sustainable tourism development of the country. Tourism can bring many economic, social and environmental benefits. In addition to the revenue, tourism can bring about a real sense of pride and identity to communities.