Meghla area of Bandarban sees lively presence of tourists as people seeking a temporary relief from the din and bustle of daily life have started thronging the picturesque hill district. PHOTO: STAR
The hill district buzzes with tourists again, much to the relief of the people concerned after months-long setback amid countrywide political turmoil during the second half of last year and early this year.
Tourism business in the district badly suffered during the time, forcing many hotels and other tourism-based businesses to temporarily shut.
However, the situation saw gradual improvement during the last couple of months.
During the last couple of days, around 2,000 visitors daily arrived in the district town that sees tourists from Dhaka, Chittagong and other parts of the country, even abroad, Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation sources said.
During a visit to three tourist spots -- Meghla, Nilachal and Golden Temple, this correspondent found a large number of visitors and tourists roaming there.
Sharmin Sultana, who came here with her husband, six-year-old son and a few other family members from Dhaka, expressed her satisfaction over the arrangements of the tourist spots in the district.
"The ethnic and cultural diversity of the district makes it a unique attraction for tourists. The lifestyle of 11 indigenous communities is a matter of wonder and charm to the tourists," she said.
Admiring the panoramic beauty of Bandarban, Mark Swadesh, a tourist from Chittagong, said authorities should take initiatives for eco-tourism development in the country, especially in the naturally and culturally rich areas like Bandarban.
“Tourists have started coming again during the last couple of weeks,” said Humayun Ahmed, managing director of the Parjatan Motel, also president of residential hotel owners association in the district.
“Due to stalemate in business for about five months, I failed to pay staff salary and utility bills. Now I am feeling relieved to see the tourists' presence in the town,” said Sirajul Islam, proprietor of Hotel Green Hill, also general secretary of the District Hotel Owners Association.
Md Shamim Hossain, an official of Meghla Parjatan Complex, said, “We spent a tough time in the peak tourism season as we could not manage to sell more than 100-150 tickets for a few months. Now a good number of tourists are coming and we can sell around 1000-1500 tickets daily.”
“Sales are good as tourists are coming here in large numbers during the last few days,” said U Mya Ching Marma, a salesperson at a 'Burmese market' in the district.
Bandarban Superintendent of Police Devdas Bhattacharya said special measures have been taken for security of the tourists from home and abroad.