Politics scaring away prospective tourists? | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 29, 2012 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, December 29, 2012

Editorial

Politics scaring away prospective tourists?

The current impasse should end

Share this with

Copy this link

Tourism is a growing business in the country these days. Apart from a healthy growth of local tourism, 2012 witnessed a marked increase in inbound traffic of foreign tourists. Indeed, going by newspaper reports and industry data, the market grew by up to 15 percent in 2012. That growth is now threatened as the political scene in the country gears up for a regenerated opposition movement. Political agitation means hartals and blockades, which have already affected the numbers of foreigners visiting the country for the purposes of tourism.
Significant investments have been made in infrastructure in terms of resorts and hotels in popular tourist destinations, both by the government and private sector. But the industry fears the worst in 2013. Hopefully the clouds will pass. As with everything else, the tourism virtually shuts down during hartal or when any massive opposition demonstrations are staged. With no guarantee on travel times and personal physical safety, which tourist -- local or foreign -- is going to take the risk of travel? While local tourism is important, foreign tourists bring in precious foreign exchange to the country.
There are enough examples elsewhere to illustrate how difficult it is to recover from a slump. The Arab Spring may have liberated Egyptians politically, but it also devastated the tourism industry, which is yet to recover. Bangladesh has a long way to go to attain the status of a favourite global getaway destination. Over the decade 2000 2010, foreign tourist arrivals in the country jumped from 199,000 to 303,000. With improvement of physical facilities and connectivity coupled with a 10 15 percent annual growth currently, this sector's future looks promising. The rising incomes of the middle-class and changes in attitudes towards leisure and quality time with families and friends have all contributed to this growth. Increased connectivity, better infrastructure, etc. all help attract more and more foreigners to the country's unique spots like Cox's Bazaar sea beach. Outbound traffic has also been on the rise without matching inbound travelling.

Stay updated on the go with The Daily Star News App. Click here to download it for your device.

Grameenphone and Robi:
Type START <space> BR and send SMS it to 2222

Banglalink:
Type START <space> BR and send SMS it to 2225

Leave your comments

Top News

Share this with

Copy this link

Top News

Top