Orion Development Consortium is set to develop a tourism resort and entertainment village in Cox's Bazar -- billed as the largest in the country -- with an estimated investment of about $119 million (around Tk 960 crore) under the public-private partnership framework.
The development comes after the government in 2013 decided to set up a tourism village at the site of Parjatan Holiday Complex in Cox's Bazar with a view to transforming the beach town into a world-class tourist destination, said an official of the Civil Aviation and Tourism ministry.
Subsequently, a consulting firm was given the task of conducting a feasibility study, which has already been completed.
Cox's Bazar saw 1.58 million visitors in 2013, and the number is expected to grow to 7 million in 2024, according to the feasibility study.
“The project may account for 20-30 percent of the tourism market of Cox's Bazar, meaning footfalls of 1-1.5 million per annum.”
A cultural centre, an amusement park, a convention centre, a golf club and a luxury hotel can be built on the 98 acres of land, the study found.
The study recommended a luxury seaside resort with 400-500 guestrooms spread over an area of 17 acres. The guestrooms would be situated in a multi-storied building as well as water villas, garden villas, long-stay villas. The project cost has been estimated at $80 million.
The amusement park consisting of 22 rides can be set up on 15 acres of land. About $12 million will have to be put in to the park over a period of three years.
A cultural centre, which is an untested product in Bangladesh, can be developed at the tourism village.
It would have an amphitheatre for cultural shows, a wax museum, an ethnic resort and a cultural village, spanning an area of 15 acres. The project cost has been estimated to be about $10 million.
“With few resorts offering golf services, golf can be a differentiator for commanding premium.”
Opportunity exists for an indoor marine park and aquarium, which can be clubbed with any medium to high density tourism driver and any luxury hospitality concept. However, the concept is highly capital-intensive and the decision on integration of the product with the project is left to the private developer, the study said.
Last month, the cabinet committee on economic affairs approved the draft contract agreement with Orion, which will be signed soon, said an official of the civil aviation and tourism ministry.
Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation invited proposals and got response from a total of six firms.
Of them, four have been identified as eligible firms.
They are: Orion Development Consortium with operating partners Pan Pacific Hotels Group; Premier Group of Companies with operating partner Hilton Hotels and Marriot Hotels; Siam Siam International Group with operating partner Pattaya Park Beach Hotel Co; and Inter Asia-CGGC JV with operating partner Centara Grand and Movenpick Hotel.