Tourism is not a mere hobby or pastime nowadays. Rather it has flourished and is known as an industry worldwide. Bangladesh is not an exception in this respect, but this industry is not a successful one or a good contributor to our national economy. Every country of the World has some attractive sights and sounds to draw overseas visitors, and thus she can earn a lot of foreign currency. Thus it has become a profitable source of income in many developing and even in developed countries.
The tourism industry produces a lot for the economy of Nepal, India, Maldives, etc. neighboring, countries of Bangladesh. This has the lion’s share at the GDP of Nepal and Maldives. The little country, Maldives is known to the whole world only for its tourism industry.
Problems of tourism in Bangladesh
Despite having huge potentials or sources, Bangladesh could not rise as an attractive tourist center for world tourists. Even she has failed to intensify the enthusiasm among the local tourists. The country has some major problems in this regard. Those are as follows:
- Wrong attitude: For want of positive approach, there are not many private companies relevant to the tourism industry here. The only Govt. agency is Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation. This organization can’t be a profitable one for its lacking in the case of administration, infrastructure, propaganda, and management. Parjatan’ has not been dynamic so that it can draw the attention of foreign tourists.
- Infrastructural lacking: The Modern age demands quick communication and comfortable journeys. We don’t have a good network of roads and highways & Telecommunications to meet the need. Our transport system also suffers from various difficulties. AC buses, Luxurious Coaches are not available to every spot. So, how can tourism be flourished here?
- Unstable political situation: When a country like Bangladesh needs to march forward, it suffers seriously from political unrest and agitations. Lack of compromise, respect for the opponents and patience cause the instability politically and spread the bad name of the country worldwide. Goodwill is necessary for building up the image and its importance for having a potential tourism industry when it is about to face the question of even existence let alone flourishment.
- Lack of hospitality: A tourist is a guest. So it is expectable that he or she faces hospitality, not hostility. When the Govt. Offices or airport officials make the tourists suffered from unreasonable lengthy procedures every time, and they will be discouraged. Sometimes illogical higher prices are demanded. Always it’s great to blame and causes to stop the growing up tourism.
- Unattractive package: Offering a good package draws the attention of the tourists. Simultaneously, a monotonous and costly package along with an inefficient guide and inadequate facilities might kill the eagerness of some body’s being a tourist. BPC (Bangladesh Parjatan Corp.) always offers the same packages with no variety or experiment so that the tourists can be interested.
- Want new and modern spots: Tourists always search for new or enjoyable spots to explore. But Bangladesh has shown ultimate failure in this respect. The tourist spots should be facilitated with all kinds of arrangements or equipment to enjoy.
Prospects of tourism in Bangladesh: Though not rich in this industry, Bangladesh has significant and rich resources for this industry. She has got huge possibilities to flourish in the industry. She possesses a lot of attractive spots or places or centers to reform and represent. If those are maintained, reconstructed and utilized in a proper way to get the visitors worldwide through the propaganda and advertisements, the tourism industry could be the highest incoming source for the national economy. The modifiable and presentable attractive spots and packages are as follows:
- The Sundarbans: We have got the largest mangrove forest in the World. It is about 5,725 square kilometers. Our national animal The Royal Bengal Tiger is available here. According to World Wild Fund, the forest contains about 400 tigers and 20 million spotted deer. Hundreds of canals pass through this mysterious jungle like a Web. During high tide, it is possible for the tourists to travel inside the forest. The exciting scene of a tiger swimming across the river at night could be immemorable for any tour of the world.
- Cox’s Bazar: This is the longest sea beach in the world. It is about 116 km. Sunbath, surfing, fishing, diving, etc. entertainment along with boating and camping may attract a lot of visitors every year. Driving beside the sea can also be a bonus for the tourists. Five-star hotels, international golf ground, food court, swimming pool, shooting club, etc. will be the magnetic sectors to visit the place.
- The daughter of the Sea: Kua-kata is called the daughter of the Sea. It is the unique place from where a visitor can enjoy both the Sun-rise and Sunset.
- Pundra: The historical place of Bogra, named “Pundra’ is known and famous as an old city of 2500 years. It has a museum and attractive locations to explore.
- Other historical places: “Paharpur of Rajshahi, “Maynamoti of Comilla, ‘Shat Gambuj Masjid’ of Khulna, etc. are the other speculative places for historical importance and archeological exploration.
- Dhaka city package: By ‘rickshaw (human engined hauler) or “Ekka’ (horse-cart) a visitor can enjoy the beauty of Dhaka-the capital of the country. National Parliament Building or ‘Jatiya Sangshad Bhaban’ designed by Louis I Kahn of USA is the pride of the country. A nice river cruise on the Buriganga and visiting Karjan Hall, SM Hall, Lalbagh Fort, Ahsan Manjil can bring the tourists to the romantic atmosphere where modern architecture intermingles with pre-modernism and middle age. Rickshaw is a rare human hauler in the world and riding on it is enjoyable.
- Experiencing tribal heritage: We have almost 33 tribes and their rich cultures. Most of them live in South-East of the country. Visiting their resorts and experiencing their festivals are quite interesting. An attractive package can be made of the tribes and visitors gladly will pay for this.
- Some other attractive sites: The longest bridge in the country is the Jamuna bridge which is 4.8 km long, and this is the 11th longest bridge in the world. ‘Baniachong’ is the largest village in Asia. “Chalan Bil’ is the largest marshy land of this low country. “Bhola’ is the largest island in the Bay of Bengal. All these objects and places can be visited through different attractive packages by the tourists. They will enjoy the sights and sounds everywhere.
Suggested measures: Having a lot of problems, we have a brighter future in tourism. If the problems can be tackled with efficiency & fore-sightedness, Bangladesh will be the heaven of all types of local and foreign tourists. According to UNDP, the contribution of tourism to the world economy is growing up day by day. This industry has the main role to drive the economy of many developing countries of the world. Bangladesh has to take the following initiatives to flourish in this industry in the near future.
- Construction of modern communication;
- Potential infrastructures;
- Effective propaganda;
- Security of the tourists;
- Standard facilities;
- Research and training.
Today’s world is a competitive one. Every kind of talents and treasures must have to be utilized properly to materialize the path of prosperity and success of a developing nation like ours. We have the resources to build up an image of tourist heaven. Why not we take the options to climb the ladder of development and be an emerging nation? We should do this, and so we must proceed regarding our tourism industry right at this moment when no ‘Aladin’s lamp‘ is at our hand for progress.