Beach area at Cox’s Bazar
Bangladesh is making aggressive plans to bolster the tourism sector, including drawing up its first investment-focused tourism master plan and developing the beach destination of Cox’s Bazar.
“We expect a full comprehensive master plan for tourism will be ready by end next year. If will focus on investment opportunities available to develop various tourism spots across the country,” said Akhtaruz Zaman Khan Kabir, CEO, Bangladesh Tourism Board (BTB), during the PATA New Tourism Frontiers Forum 2016 in Cox’s Bazar last week.
The master plan will also advise the tourism ministry on potential new destinations and attractions in the country, help frame policy guidelines and human resources training, elaborated Kabir. The BTB has already floated a tender inviting expression of interest from firms.
Meanwhile, tourism investment opportunities are being planned for Cox’s Bazar, including an exclusive 445ha tourist zone that will house hotels, restaurants, amusement parks and other facilities.
The existing airport will undergo expansion to meet the growing number of flights, as international airlines like China Eastern have expressed interest to operate flights to the city.
“China is one of our main international source markets. Direct connectivity from China to Cox’s Bazar will help to attract Chinese tourists to the region,” said Taufiq Rahman, chief executive, Journey Plus.
Bangladesh registered 0.6 million international tourist arrivals in 2015.