The government has taken an initiative to set up an institute on tourism and hospitality management named after Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
The Bangladesh Tourism Board (BTB) is implementing the initiative. The BTB has completed the necessary preparations to launch the institute from January 2022, said Abu Tahir Muhammad Zaber, director (marketing, planning & public relation) of the BTB.
Talking to the Bangladesh Post on Sunday (December 5), he said, “The name of the institute has already been finalized. The permanent campus of the institute will be set up in the capital. However, its activities now will run on a temporary campus at Hotel Intercontinental.”
The name of the institute is ‘Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman International Institute of Tourism and Hospitality (BSMRIITH)’. It will run under the supervision of the Bangladesh Tourism Board. However, the certificate will be provided by the National Skills Development Authority.
The authorities concerned want to establish the institute with international standards. “We have also plan to run the institute with the accreditation of an international university to ensure international standard at the BSMRIITH,” said Abu Tahir Muhammad Zaber.
It was known that after the approval and consent of the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism has already acquired about 2.8 acres of land for the establishment of the institute at Dakshinkahn in the capital.
However, temporary activities of the institute will run at some rented rooms in the Hotel InterContinental in the capital. Later, the academic activities will be shifted to the permanent campus at Dakshinkahn. The permanent campus of BSMRIITH, residential hostel, and other necessary establishments will be set up there.
He said, “Initially, a six-month course will be introduced. An HSC degree holder can take admission for the course. “Later we will introduce Diploma Course and several other courses to create skilled manpower on tourism and hospital management.”
“Many of our manpower provide better service in this sector abroad, but they get poor salary in absence of an academic certificate. So, we have the plan to run online courses and give a certificate to those who take part in the online courses from abroad. This will enable our workers to earn better income there,” said the BTB official Abu Tahir Muhammad Zaber.
Jabed Ahmed, chief executive officer (CEO) of the BTB, said that about four lakh foreign tourists visit Bangladesh every year. The tourism sector can play a vital role in the socio-economic development of the country. For this reason, the people involved in tourism activities should be trained up for building sustainable tourism.
He said that however, the tourism potential of the country should be placed before the world. Against this backdrop, the establishment of the BSMRIITH is a time-befitting decision. The institute will play a vital role to flourish the tourism sector, he hoped.
Experts said that Bangladesh has huge potential in the tourism sector. The country can earn millions of revenues through tourism if the sector is promoted properly. Skill manpower and development on other sides of the sector are needed to flourish the sector.
Experts also said that in the neighbouring countries like Maldives, Nepal, India and Srilanka they have international quality training institutes for tourism and hotel management. It is for this reason those countries earn a much higher amount of revenue due to quality services.
They also said that the establishment of an institute on tourism and hospitality management would promote eco-friendly tourist activities to save the ecology, biodiversity and local heritage.
Muhammad Anowarul Hoque, secretary-general of Save Our Sea (SOS), said that the move of the Bangladesh Tourism Board (BTB) would help to boost the tourism sector and save the ecology, while it will also help to control irresponsible tourism. The move would also help to increase the revenue income from the sector.
“We welcome the BTB’s initiative. Alongside the other tourist destinations, the Bay of Bengal, many rivers and water bodies in the country can be used properly for the purpose of underwater tourism. The authorities concerned should take integrated initiative in this regard. We hope that the issue will also be covered by the BSMRIITH,” said Muhammad Anowarul Hoque.