A master plan has been drawn up to find new tourist destinations in the country and attract domestic and foreign tourists.
State Minister for Civil Aviation and Tourism Md Mahbub Ali said this while was addressing a press conference at the Secretariat on Sunday on the occasion of World Tourism Day on September 27 (Monday).
Mentioning that the master plan will identify tourism development and new tourist destinations by searching the country’s heritage, culture, civilisation and historical sites, the state minister said adding that steps have been taken to facilitate on-arrival visa for the tourists.
“It will be done very soon. We are trying to attract domestic and foreign tourists. Attempts are being made to maintain regional cooperation on visas,” he said.
Tourism Secretary Md Mokammel Hossain at the press conference said that the master plan would be implemented in three phases by December, 2022.
When asked about the loan programmes of tourism entrepreneurs, the secretary said that the prime minister has announced an incentive of Tk 1,500 crore for this industry. Work is underway to disburse the incentives quickly. Initiatives have also been taken to provide SME loans to small entrepreneurs.
At the same time, he said that work is underway to provide modern facilities to the hotels and motels of Bangladesh Tourism Corporation (BPC).
BPC Chairman Md Hannan Mia said that 50 percent seats of the total capacity are kept vacant in hotels and motels in compliance with hygiene rules and some seats are kept vacant for renovation work.
“We are creating business opportunities. We will give access to Nijhum Island for business,” he said.
Mentioning the huge loss of tourism industry during corona, the state minister said that after the launch of the tourist centres, all concerned have been vaccinated on priority basis. Various measures have been taken to prevent the spread of corona infection.
Mahbub Ali said that the World Tourism Day will be celebrated on September 27 (Monday) amid the pandemic and the goal of Tourism Day is to make the world aware of the social, cultural, political and economic importance of tourism, to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and to inform about the contribution of tourism to the national economy. This year the day will be observed under the theme “Tourism for Inclusive Growth.”
He said the tourism industry around the world has gone through a special situation during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The tourism industry is one of the sectors that has been affected the most by Covid-19; Bangladesh is no different. Due to this pandemic, we had to close down our tourist centres and businesses related to this industry for a long time,” he added.
The state minister said that the tourist centers have been reopened in compliance with the hygiene rules due to the decline to Covid-19 infection in the country at present and the tourism industries are recovering gradually.
On the occasion of World Tourism Day, Bangladesh Tourism Board and Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation under the leadership of the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism have undertaken various programmes.
A discussion programme on the importance and significance of the day will be held at the Parjatan Bhaban in Agargaon under the supervision of the Ministry. A procession of horse-drawn carriages will start from in front of the tourist building and travel to various tourist centres in the capital as well as inspire people to follow the hygiene rules.
Besides, a procession of 20 well-equipped rickshaws with musical instruments will run the World Tourism Day campaign in the Gulshan-Baridhara diplomatic area.
Other tourism partners of the country including the Department of Tourism and Hospitality Management of Dhaka University (DU) will organise various events on the occasion.
Apart from the tourist cities of Cox's Bazar and Kuakata, discussion and children's drawing and composition competitions will be organised in every district of the country under the supervision of the district administration.
On World Tourism Day, Biman Bangladesh Airlines will broadcast recorded speeches for the passengers on each of its domestic and international flights. The Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) and the Bangladesh Tourism Board will distribute masks to make the passengers aware.