3-day Asian tourism fair begins in capital | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, September 22, 2012 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, September 22, 2012

3-day Asian tourism fair begins in capital

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Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister Faruk Khan speaks at the inaugural ceremony of Asian Tourism Fair 2012 at Bangabanhdu International Conference Centre in the capital yesterday.Photo: STAR

Aiming to showcase promotional packages to attract travelers to exciting tourist destinations of Asia, a three-day, “Second Asian Tourism Fair”, kicked off in the capital's Bangabandhu International Conference Centre yesterday.
For a Tk 20 entry fee, the offers at 120 stalls of tour operators, travel agents, airlines, hotels and other service providers from private and public sectors of over 10 Asian countries are available from 11:00am to 7:00pm.
The countries include Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Japan, China and Nepal.
Parjatan Bichitra, a monthly magazine, organised the fair in association with Bangladesh Tourism Board, Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation and the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Reform Project of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), Dhaka.
Inaugurating the fair, Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister Faruk Khan said, “Tourism is one of the country's thrust sectors as it can generate the highest number of jobs. So, we need to work together to promote tourism globally.”
He said the combined effort of all in promoting tourism would increase people-to-people contact and help establish world peace.
The fair's chief organiser, Mohiuddin Helal, said, “We want to promote Bangladesh as the tourism hub of Asia by arranging combined promotional activities.”
He said the fair would help the country's tourism industry, strengthening networking mechanisms with the industry partners of other Asian countries.
ILO released a comprehensive training manual at the fair to promote decent work in the tourism industry and contribute to poverty reduction via the promotion of jobs in rural areas.
“The toolkit is designed to strengthen the capacities of stakeholders for poverty reduction and sustainable tourism,” said Arthur E Shears, chief technical adviser to the TVET Reform Project of the ILO, Dhaka.
Welcoming the initiative, Sri Lankan High Commissioner Sarath K Weragoda said Sri Lanka drew around one million foreign tourists last year and aims to make it 2.3 million by 2016.
He said South Asian countries have all the elements that can attract global tourists such as sea beaches, mountains, mangrove forests, archeological sites and scenic natural beauty.
Stating that Indonesia drew eight million foreign tourists last year, alongside millions of local ones, outgoing Indonesian Ambassador Zet Mirzal Zainuddin said the fair will facilitate networking among Asia's tourism industry partners.
“Tourism is one of the biggest and fastest growing sectors in Asia,” said the Philippines Ambassador Bahnarim Abu Guinomla.
Vietnamese Ambassador Nguyen Quang Thuc said Vietnam expected 6.5 million foreign tourists and 32 million local ones this year and an estimated turnover of around US $ 7.1 billion.
Over 900 million tourists travel globally in a year but only a small number from the total arrive in Asian countries, said Krishna C Aryal, deputy head of mission in Nepal Embassy.

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