State Minister for Civil Aviation and Tourism Md Mahbub Ali said the tourism masterplan which is being prepared by the tourism board would be partially implemented within the next one and a half years. “As per the plan, our tourism development works will be conducted in short, medium and long-term phases. In the next 18 months, the masterplan would be partially implemented,” he said.
He made the comments while speaking as chief guest at a function organised by the Department of Tourism and Hospitality of Dhaka University at Hotel Pan Pacific Sonargaon on Tuesday. The state minister said during the last ten years, the government has taken several projects to promote the tourism industry. Under one of those breakthrough projects, the Bangladesh Tourism Board (BTB) is preparing a tourism masterplan under the supervision of the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism.
“Once the masterplan is fully implemented, the tourism sector would become one of the largest industries in the country. The present government is very sincere in making good use of the huge potential of the sector,” he added.
Observing that skilled manpower is needed to promote the country’s tourism industry, he said, “To create a profitable platform for this sector, more skilled tourism manpower will have to be created. There is still a lot of foreign workers in our tourism industry, where we have the opportunity to work with our local manpower.”
“Bangladesh Tourism Corporation, founded by the father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, is working to create manpower through their training center. Two new centers of the National Hotel and Tourism Training Institute are being set up in Barisal and Cox's Bazar to build skilled tourist staff.”
“At present, one in every 10 people on the globe is directly or indirectly involved in the tourism profession. The rapid development of the tourism industry has created huge employment opportunities for the people of the country. This will play an important role in eliminating unemployment.”
About the employment opportunities in this sector, the minister quoted, “According to the World Travel and Tourism Council's annual report of 2018, the tourism industry has directly employed 1178500 people in 2017, which will rise to 1648000 lakh in 2028”.
“Tourism is a sustainable development tool for any country. Under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the present government has emphasized integrated and planned strategies for the development of the tourism sector. We are encouraging the private sector to come forward with innovative work plans for investment in the tourism sector.”
He continued, “Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's government has already ensured investment-friendly environment in the country. According to a report by the World Travel and Tourism Council, investment in the tourism sector in the country will reach Tk 161.8 billion by 2028.”