Thursday, July 18, 2019 | ePaper

Development of Eco Tourism in CHT : Problems & Prospects -1

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Chattogram Focus Desk  :
Eco-tourism means enjoying the nature without any harming it in any way. Ours Rivers, Sundarbans, Chittagong Hill-tracts, Bandarban, Khagrachari, Rangamati, Kaptai, tea gardens and other some places have been included in eco-tourism. Eco-tourism is in its infancy in our country. Few years ago, govt. agencies and private sector have shown their interest and attention about eco-tourism. Bangladesh is called most advantage playground and darling child of nature. It has a vast budding to develop and promote nature tourism in our country. However, in the context of present global trend, nature and wild life oriented travel represents a major trend in tourism today.
Bangladesh contains greater biodiversity than that of many countries taken together. Indeed few countries in the world can match its rich and varied flora and fauna - a biological phenomenon, which simply can be described as unique. This flat alluvial plain criss-crossed by the three mighty river systems in the world- the Padma, the Jamuna and the Meghna and their innumerable tributaries and distributaries - is surely fascinating. Bangladesh is blessed with two of the worlds splendid and enchanting eco-tourism spots of diverse nature - the Sunarbans and the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT).In the situation, the old fashioned life style in rural Bangladesh, the rivers, the forested hills, the largest mangrove forest and pollution free sea beaches are awaiting to be converted into highly attractive eco-tourism products. Bangladesh has a fairly large number of virgin eco-tourism spots to offer.  Some of these are:
Cox's Bazar
It is a tourist capital of our country. Ancient name of Cox's Bazar was Bakolia. Mid - seventeenths name was "PENGWA. The Rakhaine word "PENGWA means yellow flower. Miles of golden sands, towering cliffs, surfing wares, rare shells, colourful pagodas, Buddhist Temples and tribes, delightful seafood - is Cox's Bazar. Cox's Bazar town founded in 1878 A. D. by Captain Hiram Cox of the East India Company is well protected by green clad, jungle slopes on the one side and the seashore on the other side. The total land area of Cox's Bazar is 2260 square km. It has a mixed population speaking Bangla, local Chittagram language and Burmese. The setters from Arakan have established flourishing cortage industries where they weave colourful silk and cotton materials and make cigars.  Its main attraction is its clean sea beach; about 120km unbroken stretch of silvery sand the longest in the world. The beach is overlooked by crescent shaped low green hill range, wild elephants, deer, shambar, birds and jungle fowls abound in the nearly forests. Rakhayne tribe, tribal life and culture, old Buddhist temples, salt production and shrimp cultivation, typical handicrafts and couch shell products, Himchari waterfalls, the Naf River at Teknaf, offshore islands close by viz. Moheshkhali, Ramu, St. Martin, Sonadia, etc. make Cox's Bazar a unique and exotic spot of Bangladesh. It is one of the most attractive eco-tourism spot in the world. Special attractions for eco- tourism around Cox's Bazar are mentioned in the following areas:
Moheshkhali ( Cox's Bazar )
Moheshkhali is an island in the Bay in the northwestern direction off Cox's Bazar. It is dotted here and there with forested hills with the ancient Adinath Temple in its midst. Fishermens villages and the Rakhaine villages are great attractions of the island.
It is a small Buddhist village, 15 km away from Cox's Bazar. Attractions include ancient Buddhist temple and khyang, Ramkot Boansharam, Tirthdham, rubber gardens, Buddhist locality Red Chin khyang, white Chin khyang, Jhorkhyang.
St. Martin Island Only Coral island is Saint Martin in our country. Its local name is Narikel Jinjira. The main attractions include beaches around the island, coral stones, coconut groves, sea crabs, turtle shells and pearls.
Sonadia is a maiden island off Coxs Bazar across the Bay. Attractions include fishing community, dry fish processing and colonies of the red sea crabs etc.
Teknaf is a romantic old-world border township in the southern tip of Bangladesh territory looking up to the Myanmar high hill ranges across the river Naf. Teknaf is 85km. from Coxs Bazar by road and 120km. by the beach along the sea.
A picture save hinterland of large hill forests and lakes of Chattogram
are wonderful holiday spots. Chattogram is the second largest city of Bangladesh and a busy international seaport and airport. Its lush green hills and forests, broad sandy beaches and fine cool climate ideal for holiday seekers. Other attractive include Sultan Bayazid Bostami, Shrine of Hazrat Shah Amanat (R.A.), and Goribullah Shah (R.A.) etc. Moreover Fairy hill, Foys lake, river Karnaphuli, Patenga beach, Fouzdarhat sea beach, Ethnological Museum, and Sitakunda pilgrim of the Hindus etc important cites.
Eco-Tourism spots of Chattogram Hill Tracts
The hill tracts are divided into three districts, namely Rangamati, Khagrachhari and Bandarban. There are many eco-tourism spot in the hill districts. This are-
The picturesque headquarters of Rangamati Hill District, known for its rare scenic beauty and unspoiled tribal life, is just 77 km from Chittagong by road. It is perched on the banks of 680 sq. km man-made Kaptai Lake. The town ship is located on the western banks of Kaptai Lake.
Rangamati is a favourite resort because of its beautiful landscape, sweet water lake, colourful bribes, tribal museum, hanging bridge, homespun textile products, ivory jewellery and the tribal men and women who fashion them. For tourists the attraction of Rangamati are numerous tribal life fishing, hiking, bathing or merely enjoying nature as it is Rangamati is connected with Chittagong by high standard road network.
Different ethnic groups inhabited in the forest created the harmony of the nature. Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation provides good hotel and cottage accommodation, auditorium and meeting room for corporate events, catering, speed boat and other facilities at Rangamati. Hanging bridge of RangamatiPedatinting Restaurant and Hotel 1Pedatinting Restaurant and Hotel 2Shubolong FountainKaptai Lake
 (To be continued)
Bandarban is definitely one of the more beautiful places to visit in Bangladesh. The best time to visit the area is during the winter, and it is definitely the season now. Bandarban is a mountainous area and the hills are quite steep. Bandarban town is a small place, but does have its own accommodation as well as shops. The resort at Bandarban is simply wonderfully maintained and is really affordable. The resort is situated on a hilltop and has a spectacular view. For the more adventurous traveller, leaving the resort for Ruma Bazaar by a Chaader Gari (Moon car) may be a better idea.Jadi KiangChimbuk HillMeghla hanging bridgeNilachal Rest House
Khagrachari is the district headquarters of Khagrachari hill district. Connected to Chittagong by a 92 km all-weather metalled road, Khagrachari is ringed by thick rain forests that shelter a wide variety of birds and animals. Here you can visit the tribal lifestyle of Chakmas' in Khagrachari. You can also visit Alutila hill.Approximately 100 meters long a very dark Cave is the mysterious beauty of Alutila hill. For people seeking nature in a restful mood, Khagrachari is the place.
Richang FountainAlutila Cave
Problems of Eco-Tourism in Chittagong Hill Tract
In Bangladesh there are many problems that affect eco-tourism development in Chattogram  Hill Tract.  The major problems of eco-tourism are summarized below:
Lack of primary knowledge about eco-tourism
Most of the visitors do not have any sound knowledge about eco-tourism. Tourist actions frequently harm the environment in many different ways. One of them is sound pollution. Different visitors like to enjoy music loudly, which can be greatly upsetting to the guest and serene forest environment.
Inadequate psychological knowledge
Inadequate knowledge about the psychological condition of the human beings involved in tourism industry due to insensibility of the tourism corporation. Its characteristics deserve due consideration.
Lack of analysis existing miserable situations
Govt. neither adequately analyze the existing miserable situation and nor take proper steps for its rectification.
Conflict between the tribal and other people
Mainly psychological conflict is another problem of the eco-tourism. Tribal and the aborigines specially living in the main tourist spot. But they are sufferings from psychological problem, due to underdevelopment eco-tourism.
Lack of sense of responsibility of people
It is a major problem to promote eco-system in Bangladesh. Local people do not have sense of responsibility about the eco-tourism.
Lack of public awareness
Eco-tourism can lead to the formation of tourism manners. But due to lack of public awareness about environment it has failed.
Lack of basic facilities
Eco-tourism has not yet developed due to lack of basic facilities like accommodation, transportation and safety, which are key factors in maintaining the eco-tourism industry in Chittagong hill tract.
Lack of publications on eco-tourism
There are no enough published materials and publications on eco-tourism in Chittagong hill tract like handbook, poster, leaflet etc.
Harmful impacts
Eco-tourism is enhancement friendly. But we do not consider the harmful impact of this enterprise. We only give importance of the gain and loss in the business but do not establish good relationship with them for better impact.
Threatened biodiversity
Biodiversity is threatened in Chittagong hill tract due to a shift from subsistence to a cash economy and increasing population. The threat to Chittagong hill tract biodiversity is serious but not irreparable.
Deforestation is the most important problem of eco-tourism. Cash-crop development, urbanization and small- holder farming sometimes led to deforestation in our country adversely affective eco-tourism.
Insufficient attention
For development of eco-tourism industry and its marketing has found to give insufficient attention to the possible significance of cultural and natural heritage in Bangladesh. Many rainforests, mangrove forests and other eco-systems are not utilized as tourist attraction in Bangladesh.
Policy problem
Bangladesh lacks a national policy on eco-tourism. Thus adversely affect the govt. and privet sector eco-tourism activities.
Destruction by tourists
Unaware and careless tourists can be the cause of destruction. Tourists, who unmindfully or without caring anything throw away their left-over food scraps and drinks, leave behind synthetic articles or tin or plastic containers cause damage to the local environment in our country.
Negative image about Biman
The role of our national airlines is very important to develop tourism sector. But Biman Bangladesh has failed due to the poor capacities in marketing, bookings, onboard, service, image, maintenance, entertainment on board, poor quality of its in flight magazine etc. Therefore, Biman Bangladesh is not only losing its foreign tour operators but also providing to its passengers .

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