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Tourism in Bangladesh- Unlocking the Door to Future Growth

Tourism is the commercial venture which has become a popular global leisure activity since the last few decades. In business context tourism and hospitality is the world’s largest and fastest growing industry now a days. In many countries in the world like the Maldives, Bhutan, Nepal, Malaysia, Thailand, France, Germany, Russia, Britain, tourism is the most money-spinning business and the pioneering foreign exchange earners of those countries. According to the World Tourism Organization in 2008, there were over 922 million international tourist arrivals, with a growth of 1.9% as compared to 2007. International tourism receipts grew to US$944 billion (euro 642 billion) in 2008, corresponding to an increase in real terms of 1.8%. Though there was a negative trend in global tourism in 2009 it was due to the outbreak of the H1N1 influenza virus which results a worldwide decline of 4% in 2009 to 880 million international tourists’ arrivals, and an estimated 6% decline in international tourism receipts.

Tourism industry in Bangladesh is emerging issue both for the public and private sector to establish eligibility for accomplishing successful business. Though the land of diverse attractions, bountiful nature and millions of friendly people with more than a millennium.

Location of Bangladesh

Bangladesh is situated on the north-eastern side of the South Asian subcontinent and is bordered by India in the east, west and north; by a small part of Myanmar in the south-east and by the Bay of Bengal in the south. Bangladesh is mainly a flat alluvial plain, criss-crossed by the world’s three mighty river systems, namely the Padma, the Jamuna and the Meghna and their innumerable tributaries.

The land mass of Bangladesh is home to 120 million people. The hill districts are situated in the eastern fringes of the country reaching an average elevation of 660 meters. The slopes and valleys are covered with virgin forests that are home to numerous flora and fauna. In the south are the Sundarbans, the world’s largest mangrove forest and the habitat of the Royal Bengal1iger. The climate of Bangladesh is sub-tropical with a hot and humid summer and a cool and dry winter. Annual rainfall ranges from 160 to 200 cm. The best period to visit Bangladesh is from November to March when temperatures range from 13.50 C to 26.50 C.

The four main tourist divisions

  • The Rajshahi Division is being as an agricultural region having no such large urbanization. In the northern part of this division the Himalayan Mountains can be seen on clear days. The region has a variety of historical monuments, including mosques, Hindu temples and British-era buildings. More proudly can describe that it was nominated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a ruins of the Buddhist Vihara at Paharpur. As per the UNESCO reports, this archaeological site is undoubtedly the most spectacular pre-Islamic monumental complex in the south of the Himalayan region. Three other historical sites on the Tentative list: Mahasthangarh, the oldest known city in Bangladesh, Halud Vihara, a Buddhist archaeological site, and Jaggadala Vihara, the archaeological remains of a Buddhist monastery.

  • The Sylhet Division, best known for its tree gardens, is covered with terraced tea estates, patches of tropical rainforest, pineapple plantations and orange groves. This division hold the reputation of the best climate in the country – temperate and cool air in the winter and moderately warm in the summer. Annual rainfall in Sylhet is the highest in the country. Clear water runs in the rivers and popular tourists attractions are the waterfall, Madhab Kunda, and Jaflong river delta, where pebbles to the national concrete industry are collected. Besides this large areas of forest and tree garden in the area of Srimongol remain as a major attraction for the tourists.

  • Chittagong Division, probably the best division of Bangladesh for Tourism, offers a large scale natural and cultural diversity. This part of Bangladesh hold one of the world’s longest natural sandy sea beaches (120 km), Cox’s Bazar, and the only coral island, Saint Martin’s Island. To the local travel market, this is the place which will came to the mind of our local turist first if anyone is planning to have tour inside the country. Far East the division is hilly; this part is referred to as the Chittagong Hills. Over ten different tribe populations live in this area, each tribe have a very distinctive cultural reflection such as rites, rituals, dialects and dress. The Mainimati Ruins represents a major religious and political centre without parallel in the subcontinent as it appears to have been the religious centre from which Buddhism was spread to South East. Besides theses beautiful tourist spots, two other hilly districts namely Rangmati and Bandorban offer the best tourist spots of the country such as, Megla, Nilachal, Chimbuk, Nilgiri, Boga lake, Keokradong, Tajindong etc.

  • The Khulna Division represents dense jungle and numerous rivers. The most sensational natural resource of the country Sundarbarns is a preserve cluster of islands with thousands of winding streams, creeks and rivers and the habitat for the famous Royal Bengal Tiger. The site is the only UNESCO heritage nature site in Bangladesh and one of the country’s major tourist attractions. It was not until the arrival of the British that this division started to develop, but today the city of Khulna it is the third-largest urban centre in the country.

The experts opine that tourism marketing is the systemic and coordinated efforts to optimize the satisfaction of tourism. The tourism marketing is also supposed to be a device to make a possible reorientation in the business policy and overhaul in the management concept. Generally speaking, tourism planning has been defined as a process based on research and evaluation, which seeks to optimize the potential contribution of tourism to human welfare and environmental quality (Tosun and Jenkins, 1998).

Moreover, it includes a decision-making process between the tourism industry and other sectors of the economy, between various sub-national areas and between types of tourism. It requires the integration of the tourism industry into other sectors such as agriculture, industry, transportation and social services (Timothy, 1999).

In view of the aforesaid facts, it is right to mention that tourism marketing is an integrated effort to satisfy tourists by making available to them the best possible services. It is a device to transform the potential tourists into actual tourists. It is the safest way to generate demand and expand market. Further, it is an effort to make harmony possible between the social interests and the interests of tourist organizations. It is an approach to promote business, which feeds the organizations necessary information for farming or revamping the marketing decisions. The tourisms marketing is thus promotion or sales based on research, which are to be sold on the market.

Bangladesh is a country having scarcity of her finance but they can increase their GDP through, by giving stress to the tourism industry. From overall point of view, Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation is an only one-government provider of tourism service in Bangladesh, which practices modern marketing concept. However, in some sector they are lagging behind. There have a lot of opportunities to earn foreign and local revenue from this sector but this sector is totally ignored. The researcher has put forward some recommendation. If BPC follows these recommendations, in the long run, BPC will become revenue-generating organization. Bangladesh has a lot of potential tourist spots but it should do find out the exposure. Otherwise, she cannot cash from this potential sector. In addition, private sector should encourage by the government to work together for the sake of the development of tourism industry in Bangladesh.

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About Md. Moulude Hossain

FinTech | AVP, Business Development KONA Software Lab Limited

Discussion

2 thoughts on “Tourism in Bangladesh- Unlocking the Door to Future Growth

  1. good overview of tourism in Bangladesh. Keep it up.

    Posted by Hassan Mahmud | August 26, 2013, 10:12 am
  2. Really good one.
    I appreciate it.

    Posted by Emdadul Haque | August 28, 2013, 4:27 pm

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