Bangladesh Prajatan Corporation (BPC) is working towards drawing more foreign tourists to realise its tourism potential. Although the inbound arrival is not so significant at present but it expects the arrival numbers to grow. “We are expecting more foreign tourists and that’s why we are participating in different international tourism fairs. Also, different tour operators association and private companies have been regularly participating in fairs and organizing travel and tourism fairs in Bangladesh. It definitely brings some success in inbound,” Akhtaruz Zaman Khan Kabir, Chairman (Addl Secretary), Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation, Ministry of Civil Aviation &Tourism said.
Agreeing to the fact that the tourism promotional strategy of the Bangladesh is not at par with other countries, Kabir opined that the work is on. “We are lagging behind in publicity, marketing and campaign. We need Experts support as well as Budget. This responsibility comes under the purview of Bangladesh Tourism Board. I know they have a master plan and they will be promoting Bangladesh. Hopefully, we will find more visuals and content in social media, print and other formats also,” he added.
He informed that the main source markets for Bangladesh is UK, North America, Japan, Germany, India, Italy and Netherlands. “Earlier, Indians used to visit Bangladesh as VFR. Chinese also visit to Bangldesh due to a lot of investments by Chinese in Bangladesh. Korean also visit as South Korea is the single largest investor in Bangladesh in private sector,” he informed.
He said that Bangladesh offers a lucrative investment proposition to foreign investors. “A good number of international chains are coming up. We believe that this industry is fully untapped as there are a lot of things to do in this sector. So, if any company from overseas wish to invest in Bangladesh in tourism sector, he will get back more compared to the investment in other countries. It’s a goldmine for investors. Because, our per capita income is growing; Bangladesh has spending power. Middle income Group is widening and they have excess money to travel. So, investment is a good opportunity for them,” he opined.
Replying to a question over Bangladesh becoming the main source market for Indian inbound and his expectation from India, Kabir emphasized on the need of support from Indian tour operator. “We want a win-win situation for both Indian and Bangladesh tour operators. We have the largest mangrove forest, the Sundarbans in Bangladesh. There is only one Sundabans which jointly belongs to West Bengal and Bangladesh. If we promote one Sundarban campaign and if the Indian tour operators send some foreign tourists who visit India to Bangladesh, it will bring more business and Bangladesh will benefit,” he said and invited Indian tour operators to visit Bangladesh. He urged Indian and Bangladesh tour operators to create a joint package for India and Bangladesh. He also extended all support to Indian operators.
While promoting tourism, BPC is also keeping sustainable tourism in the focus. “We are looking at high value tourism to follow responsible tourism. We are expecting backpackers also to visit Bangladesh so that they can go back and promote,” he said adding that BPC is not looking at mass tourism.