Monday, February 18, 2019 | ePaper

Experts say

Many new tourist spots remain uncared

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UNB, Dhaka :
Beyond the popular ones, many new but potential tourist spots across the country remain unexplored mainly for lack of a proper plan for the development and promotion of tourism products, experts say.
Many new tourist spots are emerging in hills, less-known beach and forest areas and other remarkable places in different corners of Bangladesh by dint of social media platforms like Facebook, but these spots remain unexplored by local and foreign tourists, they observe.
Beside, the tourism sector experts said, the government does not have proper tourist guidelines and catalogues containing division-wise exploration-worthy places for the tourists.
Though the government apparently puts emphasis on the tourism sector, no national tourism master plan could be developed yet and the authorities cannot work coherently to improve the new tourism products having immense potential, they said.
"In Bangladesh, local tourists account for 98 percent and the key achievement in the tourism sector comes mostly from the group," Tour Operators Association of Bangladesh (TOAB) Director Taufiq Rahman told UNB. He said the domestic tourist groups, mainly youths and adventure-loving people, are getting more attracted to new adventurous places rather than the traditional tourist zones like Cox's Bazar, Sundarbans and Sylhet tea estates. "However, these new places are not properly identified, developed and promoted by the government," Taufiq deplored.
The TOAB director also said, "The government is supposed to provide necessary logistic
support like improving the connectivity, and ensuring food, residential and other facilities for the tourists but unfortunately no mentionable initiative has come from it."
Mentioning the names of some tourist spots like Ratargul and Bichhnakandi of Sylhet, Thanchi, Paddamukh, Amiakhum, Nafakhum and Remakri of Bandarbans and some other places which have become popular recently, he said these places are non-traditional and the government should develop and promote those to attract more tourists. He also emphasised on coordination among the ministries concerned and government's positive mentality to work with the private sector for better development of the sector.
Targeting the fresh portion of domestic tourists, many private tourist agencies and social media groups are working both for making domestic tourism vibrant and popularising the uncommon and new places of the country, tourist experts observed.
However, the government has very few visible activities and planning regarding the new places and new young domestic tourists, they said. Talking to UNB, Editor of tourist magazine Bangladesh Monitor Kazi Wahidul Alam said the government has no master plan for the development of the tourist sector and no tourist guidelines have been developed yet as well as there are no concrete plan and target to encourage domestic and foreign tourists. Terming the sector a 'neglected one', he saidusing social media platforms, some private tourist agencies are currently promoting adventurous tourism as well as exploring new places in the country but the government has no noteworthy contributions here.
Bangladesh Tourism Board (BTB) and Civil Aviation and Tourism Ministry can work jointly to identify new potential tourist sports, develop and promote those with logistic support which will attract both domestic and overseas tourists as well as enrich the sector, Wahid said.
Bangladesh Tourism Board (BTB) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) M Jahangir Hossain told UNB that the government has formed the board to make the sector economically vibrant and they are also working to that end. He said the government sincerely wants to provide all necessary support to help the tourism sector and gradually they are trying to develop all the potential products of the tourism sector.

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