The government is working to prepare a detailed master plan to ensure sustainable development of the local tourism industry.
“If properly implemented, the master plan will help increase the sector’s contribution to the gross domestic product to 10 per cent, from just over 2 percent now,” said Md Mohibul Haque, senior civil aviation and tourism secretary.
He spoke at an event in the capital’s Cirdap Auditorium yesterday when the Bangladesh Tourism Board announced the official kick-off of the process to prepare the master plan.
IPE Global, an India-based international development consulting firm, has already been awarded the work and it would be supported by Horwath HTL, an international hotel, tourism and leisure consultant and two Bangladeshi consultancy companies BETS Consulting Services and At Earth Bangladesh.
Short-, mid- and long-term strategies have already been taken to materialise the plan by June 30, 2021, said Md Mahbub Ali, state minister for civil aviation and tourism.
The move will brighten the image of the numerous natural and cultural heritage sites, which Bangladesh has failed to develop as global brands, he added. At the event, Benjamin Carey, team leader of the project, shed light on how the plan will be executed in three phases.
In the first phase, there will be a situation analysis of the tourism sector and evaluate the potential of tourism products in all 64 districts of the country, he said.
“We will hold meetings, focus group discussions, invitation workshops and online surveys with public and private sectors stakeholders at national, divisional and districts levels to study the existing state of tourism.”
The next phase will identify different areas or products which need special focus to boost destination planning and ensure overall development of the sector, he said.
Identification of suitable areas for various tourism development activities and intervention will be completed in the last phase.
“Once implemented, the master plan will help tourism become the third largest foreign currency earner of Bangladesh after apparel and remittance.”
Bhubon Chandra Biswas, CEO of the board, also spoke.