Tourism needs proper planning
Businesspeople called for issuing licences to tour operators recognising them as exporters
Proper planning for the tourism sector's development has become imperative as Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) cannot be achieved by 2030 if tourism does not flourish in Bangladesh, said speakers at a meeting yesterday.
At least 6 SDGs are directly and the rest indirectly related to tourism, they told the first meeting of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry's (FBCCI) standing committee on tourism development at the FBCCI office.
Moreover, there 109 sectors directly and 1,100 sub-sectors indirectly linked with the tourism industry. Every tourist creates 10 direct and 35 indirect employment opportunities, they said.
Tour operators at the meeting urged the government to officially announce that the country was open to foreign tourists as it had for businesspeople, which would attract tourists from across the globe.
At the same time, they demanded a resumption of "on-arrival visa" facilities.
During the meeting, businesspeople called for issuing licences to tour operators recognising them as exporters, easing the process of remitting money overseas, bringing tourist destinations under the tourism ministry and ensuring security.
The tourism industry lacks skilled manpower and it could hire experienced managers and other staff from Sri Lanka to deal with the problem, said FBCCI Senior Vice President Mostofa Azad Chowdhury Babu.
VBCCI Vice President MA Momen emphasised on ensuring security at tourist spots and enhancing coordination among public and private efforts.
FBCCI Vice President Md Amin Helaly called for developing the standard of hospitality services by undertaking skills development programmes.
The sector must work on compliance, identify tourism products and country branding and rationalise hotel, motel and resort fares, said FBCCI Director Syed Moazzem Hossain.
At present, the tourism sector accounts for 3.5 per cent to 4 per cent of the GDP. This contribution has to be raised to 10 per cent. Therefore, a coordinated course of action has to be formulated and implemented, speakers added.