State Minister for Civil Aviation and Tourism Md Mahbub Ali today called upon local administration to keep tourism prospects in mind while taking up any development project at the local level.
The junior minister made the call while addressing a virtual workshop organised by Bangladesh Tourism Board with the aim of involving tourism in local development plans and creating public awareness about tourism.
"Local administration will formulate and implement tourism related projects on a priority basis. Development, conservation, construction and renovation of tourist destinations should be done on priority basis," Mahbub Ali said.
He also said necessary steps need to be taken immediately to widen all the narrow roads associated with the tourist destinations.
The state minister stressed that the local administration should work to preserve all the tourist attractions -- including historical and archeological antiquities and memorials of the great Liberation War -- located in different parts of the country.
He said local administration should take action to protect important places and installations from damage and land grabbers.
"Strict action must be taken against those who damage historical installations and tourist attractions," the state minister said.
Mentioning that a significant number of the tourists visiting Bangladesh are from neighboring countries, Mahbub Ali said measures will be taken in consultation with the Ministry of Home Affairs to make the process easier for tourist visas for citizens of neighboring India, Nepal and Bhutan in a bid to attract tourists from those countries.
With people staying at home for a long time because of Covid-19, holidaymakers will throng the country's tourist destinations once the pandemic is over, Mahbub Ali said.
"We must be prepared for that time. The local administration has to ensure that the tourists get proper and suitable environment at all the tourist destinations."
The workshop was conducted by Abu Taher Muhammad Jaber, director of Bangladesh Tourism Board, and presided over by Md Shahriaz, deputy commissioner of Natore district.
Lawmakers Abdul Kuddus, Safikul Islam Shimul, Shahidul Islam Bokul, and Ratna Ahmed, and Bangladesh Tourism Board's Chief Executive Officer Jabed Ahmed also spoke at the workshop, among others.