Problems and Prospects of Tourism Industry in Bangladesh
Subject: Modern Civilization | Topics:

Major purpose of this report is to analysis Problems and Prospects of Tourism Industry in Bangladesh, here focus on Allegro Tours Limited. Other objectives are identify the prospective spots that can attract the tourist of home and abroad and identify the facilities of tourism sector like accommodation, transportation, restaurant, recreation etc. Report briefly discuss on analyze the present position as well as performance of tourism industry of Bangladesh. Finally identify various constraints and challenges of tourism in Bangladesh.

 

Introduction

Allegro Tours a familiar name in the travel and tourism sector of Bangladesh is engaged in the healthy growth of travel trade in the country. It is run by a team of young and energetic professionals fully conversant with modern day’s travel trade and its practices, which have background with various reputed Airlines and travel Agencies. Allegro Tours an IATA accredited Travel Agency in Bangladesh. The office of Allegro Tours  is centrally located in the Uttara. The office is well appointed with the internal and external communications, being effectively maintained by telephone, fax, internet, computer networking and computer reservation systems (CRS) to meet up the demand of our Clientele. The company, one of the units in a group is based on a solid foundation with multi-discipline business experience, such as travel and tourism, hotel reservation, campaign organizer etc. Allegro Tours started its journey on 2005, with fifteen energetic people. First they do their business on event management and tour operator. But after some years they concentrate on travel related services. But with the grace of time it has become one of the most promising travel related company. The company does not have a specific Human Resource Department. However, the managing directors and mangers are responsible for hiring people. In recruitment and selection they follow some steps as per their company rules and regulation. Basically Allegro Tours very much concern about their promotional activities as it is a travel agency and tour organizer. They are very much concern about to catch up the national and international organization they take ALLEGRO TOURS(pineapple) as their company brand name to focus on standard of excellence and fulfill their valuable customers need.

Objective of the study

  • To identify the prospective spots that can attract the tourist of home and abroad.
  • To identify the facilities of tourism sector like accommodation, transportation, restaurant, recreation etc.
  • To analyze the present position as well as performance of tourism industry of Bangladesh in general;
  • To analyze the potentiality of various types of tourism in comparisons to country like Bangladesh;
  • To identify various constraints and challenges of tourism in Bangladesh.
  • To recommend some solutions to the problems of tourism industry in Bangladesh.

 

THE ORGANISATION

About Allegro Tours

Allegro Tours is a familiar name in the travel and tourism sector of Bangladesh is engaged in the healthy growth of travel trade in the country. It is run by a team of young and energetic professionals fully conversant with modern day’s travel trade and its practices, which have background with various reputed Airlines and travel Agencies. Allegro Tours an IATA accredited Travel Agency in Bangladesh. The office of Allegro Tours Ltd. is centrally located in the hub of Uttara, within close proximity of major Airline offices in Dhaka. The office is well appointed with the internal and external communications, being effectively maintained by telephone, fax, internet, computer networking and computer reservation systems (CRS) to meet up the demand of our Clientele. The company, one of the units in a group is based on a solid foundation with multi-discipline business experience, such as travel and tourism, IT sector, software developing, hotel reservation campaign organizers etc.

History

Allegro Tours adopted as the companies brand name that reflect the symbol of commitment and standard of excellence in travel area in Bangladesh. Allegro Tours started their journey on 1st January, 2005, with fifteen energetic people. First they do their business on event management and Package Tours. But after some years they concentrate on travel related management services.

 Vision

To be the market leader in terms of international standard service Air Ticket and recreation sector and ensure maximization of the potential customers to increase the sales volume.

Mission

To focus on the customers’ demand and ensuring quality through Good Servicing Practice (GSP) and by using extensive promotional activities to achieve the goal of monopolistic market leader in travel and tourism sector and recreation sector.

Goals

  • Incorporating latest technology and quality service to improve quality at all times.
  • Give adequate emphasis on public relation to build image.
  • .To add at least one additional service in each year.

Objective

  • To diversify market portfolio across the country according to the market demand and situation.
  • To increase market awareness as well as sales by persuasive promotion based strategies.
  • Maintain a constant growth rate.
  • To market the famous tourist destinations.
  • Maintaining the quality of the market through continuing monitoring and sound management

Product and services offering

Package Tour: All kind of packages in all over the Bangladesh,

Featuring

  1. Around the Capital
  2. Hill Tracks and Beach
  3. North Bengal,
  4. Tea Valley Sylhet
  5. Sundarban
  6. Revering Bangladesh.

Specially covering the entire region of South-East Asia

  1. India,
  2. Nepal
  3. Bhutan
  4. Thailand
  5. Malaysia
  6. Singapore

Tailor Made Tour: Comprehensive packages of group tours in all over Bangladesh and incentive to destinations around the world.

Special Interest Tour: Adventure Tour, Moon Festival, World Heritage Site, Rajpunnah, River Cruise, Family Holidays, Honeymoon Tour, Study Tour etc.

Hotel reservation

Being a unique travel house in Bangladesh, Allegro Tours boasts a wide variety and an abundance of accommodations both locally and internationally. Not only it can find over 4000 Hotels in over 100 cities around the world but also the pleasure of most competitive rates that are quite modest when compared with hotels of the same standards.

Air Ticket

A rendezvous of professionals with decade of airline background Allegro Tours boast in its ability to provide best possible travel consultancy what is ‐ until recently was unknown to the trade.

Visa Assistances

Allegro Tours provide a professional consultancy to ease visa application. Putting priority to provide accurate and necessary information for a successful visa application Allegro Tours  success rate has been over 95%.

Car Rental Allegro Tours for the first time have come forward with a distinct facility to make the ground transportation in Bangladesh. Working with the best Bangladesh car rental suppliers with the guaranteed services in Dhaka, Sylhet, and Chittagong that we believe to be unparallel and represents the international standard

Meeting Incentives Conference & Exhibition (M.I.C.E.) Management

Successful Meeting, Incentives, Conference and Exhibition. All the relevant logistics are arranged by Allegro Tours, a unique travel house in Bangladesh. From this they also give consultancy services.

Other related services are:

  • Airport Transfer
  • Excursion
  • Rail, bus ticket
  • Meet and assist service
  • Aircraft charter

 

Promotional strategy of Allegro Tours:

The promotional strategies of allegro Tours are reviewed each year in consultation with their advertising agents and media buyers. On their recommendations a themed campaign is devised and appropriate media selected. There is a limited budget available for such campaigns, and since television advertising is not usually possible within their budget, in past years the choice has been to use the following media:

  • Poster advertising
  • Press advertisements
  • Smaller posters for distribution
  • Their own web site.

Below-the-line

Secondary promotional activity is administered by their own marketing people and website. This involves:

  • Distributing printed leaflets and posters to tourist offices, libraries, language schools, hotels, coach operators, museums and galleries in different areas in Dhaka.
  • A selection of NMM leaflets, 1998-2000 Direct mail used extensively to encourage group visits to the travel trade bookings
  • Discount vouchers for joint promotion with other tourist attractions, tour companies, hotel groups and on consumer on-pack and magazine promotions
  • Paid advertising in trade journals and some local papers announcing special deals and featured events
  • Exhibition stands at trade shows for group organizers and travel operators

Press

Basically Allegro Tours give advertisement about their service through newspaper which also covers these areas:

  • Keeps national and international media informed of all developments at the Museum sites
  • Responds to media requests
  • Develops new media contacts by special invitation, press launches and hospitality. They also work in association with the press departments of Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation (BPC) and the national and regional tourist boards to host incoming foreigners as well.

 

SWOT Analysis

Strengths:

  • Group image: It can easily attract the job market.
  • Skilled manpower: Skilled manpower creates the job environment professional that leads a systemic and efficient organizational structure .
  • Latest technology: Latest technology makes organization more effective and systematic .So every task can be managed so smoothly.
  • Wider distribution network: Wider distribution network gives the employee better opportunity to explore their quality and knowledge and open the door to be more professional in the business community.
  • Foreign consultants: Foreign consultant solve of the problem of lack of expertise in different sector, which gives the organization a proper professional image.

Weaknesses

  • They have only two department financial department and marketing department.
  • They have lots of clients but some managerial problem they have the tendency to lose them
  • No employee training and development centre
  • Comparatively low investment in increasing different operations.

Opportunities

  • Allegro Tours has a scope of expansion their business in Chittagong and Cox’s Bazar, as it has become the tourist hub in Bangladesh
  • As this company is very much successful in tours and travels, it can easily joint venture with other local or international travel company to give better services.
  • The government of Bangladesh is giving immense support on developing tourism sector and offers various packages, loans, investment on this sector. So Allegro Tours has an opportunity to grab it.

Threats

  • The unstable situation of Bangladesh that greatly harm the tourism sector.
  • Sometimes less interest of foreigner to come in Bangladesh
  • Now-a-days many companies are doing good business in tourism sectors in Bangladesh.

 

Overview of Bangladesh Tourism Industry

Bangladesh is located conveniently on east-west air-corridor making it a gateway to the Far East .It is endowed with resources and the potential for a tourism industry. In the South-East the country has a 120km long  beach of soft silvery sand ,perhaps the world’s longest, in a Riviera-like setting with crescent-shaped low hills overlooking the Bay of Bengal. The range of the hills clad in lush green thickets are treasured locations for eco-tourism and wildlife watchers. At the head of the terrain is Cox’s Bazar nestle the Kaptai and Rangmati lakes, a 840sq.km body of crystal clear water lying in sylvan shadows not far from where a dozen hill tribes follow their traditional life styles. The tea District of Sylhet in the far north-east of the country has prospects of tourism, as does the Sundarbans, a large mangrove forest in the South which is home of the Royal Bengal Tiger , remain of places of old principalities and archaeological sites of Buddhist monasteries, Shrines and Holy places,Mosques and temples, particularlyin the northern part of the country, are among the tourist treasures of Bangladesh. In Bangladesh there are quite a few World Heritage sites and they remain especially vulnerable but with proper management of the places the threat can easily be averted. As for culture, vulnerability of Bangladesh is out of the question given the enormous strength of the nation’s cultural identity built over the course of hundreds of years. In fact, the benefits outweigh by a huge margin whatever curse there is of tourism, as far as Bangladesh is concerned. The country earned about $95 million in foreign exchange from travel & tourism in 2009 and with vigorous promotional activities it can hope to increase substantially its share of the multi-billion dollar international tourist receipts. Moreover, more tourists and travelers would most likely mean more trade and investment and therefore more growth of the economy.

Major Tourists Spots in Bangladesh:

We may consider the tourism prospects of Bangladesh from aspects

  • Beach tourism
  • Eco-tourism
  • Cultural tourism
  • Religious tourism

Prospects of Beach tourism

Bangladesh is the blessing of Bay-of-Bangle. The southern side of the country is fully surrounded by the blue sea beach. Bangladesh is situated on the lap of Bay-of-Bangle with 712km costal line. Along its 712km of coastline, Banglasesh boasts of a number of beautiful beaches. The tranquil environment with abundant greenery around is just perfect to relax and refresh the drained mind and body. Lie on the smooth sandy beaches and soak the warmth of the sun or simply take a quiet walk barefooted on those beaches. The calming effect will easily penetrate deep into your body. The vast stretches of sea water have unique ability to carry away all our worries and heartaches along with its waves. We can also watch the sun rise and set far in the horizon and appreciate the beauty that is reflected as a reflection in the water.

 

Major Beach Tourism Destination in Bangladesh

Cox’s Bazar

Cox’s Bazar is one of the most attractive tourist spots & the longest sea beach in the world (approx. 120 km long). Miles of golden sands, towering cliffs, surfing waves, rare conch shells, colorful pagodas, Buddhist temples and tribes, delightful seafood–this is Cox’s Bazar, the tourist capital of Bangladesh.

The warm shark free waters are good for bathing and swimming & while the sandy beaches offer opportunities for sun-bathing. The beauty of the setting-sun behind the waves of the sea is simply captivating. Locally made cigars and handloom products of the tribal Rakhyne families are good buys.

Every year lots of foreign & local tourist come here to spend their leisure in Cox’s Bazaar. Though the season is in winter but Cox’s Bazar sea beach is crowded almost through out the year. Especially in winter season, it is hard to get an accommodation in the hotels if booking is not made earlier.

Major Attraction

Himchori and Inani Beach

There are many attractions for the tourists around Cox’s Bazaar. From Cox’s Bazaar Sea shore, we can go to these places by jeep and it is really exotic to drive on the seashore. The area of HImchari and Inani is 32km and 33km respectively.

Himchori is famous for waterfall, though in the winter season it dwindles but during the rainy season it’s really a fabulous and full waterfall can be enjoyed. Inani beach is famous for the rock and coral boulders.

Moheshkhali Island

It is another attraction for the tourists who go to Cox’s Bazaar. An island off the coast of Cox’s Bazar. It has an area of 268 square kilometers. Through the center of the island and along the eastern coastline rises, a range of low hills, 300 feet high; but the coast to the west and north is a low-lying treat, fringed by mangrove jungle. In the hills on the coast is built the shrine of Adinath, dedicated to Siva. By its side on the same hill is Buddhist Pagoda. We can go to this Island by local motorboat called trawler or by speedboat. By trawler, it takes an hour and a half and by speedboat, it takes only half an hour to reach this Island. Here we find mangrove forests, hilly areas, salt field etc.

Sonadia Island

It is about seven kilometer of Cox’s Bazar and about nine square kilometer in area. The western side of the island is sandy and different kinds of shells are found on the beach. Off the northern part of the island, there are beds of windowpane oysters. During winter, fisherman set up temporary camps on the island and Dries Sea fishes, which they catch from Sea.

The Aggameda Khyang, Cox’s Bazar

Equally elaborate in plan, elevation and decoration is the Aggameda Khyang near the entrance to the Cox’s Bazar town, which nestles at the foot of a hill under heavy cover of a stand of large trees. The main sanctuary-cum-monastery is carried on a series of round timber columns, which apart from accommodating the prayer chamber and an assembly hall, also is the repository of a large of small bronze Buddha images-mostly of Burmese origin– and some old manuscripts. Beyond the main khyang to the south, there is an elevated wooden pavilion and a smaller brick temple with a timber and corrugated metal root. Apart from bearing an inscription in Burmese over its entrance, the temple contains some large stucco and bronze Buddha images.

Ramu

This is a typical Buddhist village, about 16 km. from Cox’s Bazar, on the main road to Chittagong. There are monasteries, khyangs and pagodas containing images of Buddha in gold, bronze and other metals inlaid with precious stones.

One of the most interesting of these temples is on the bank of the Baghkhali River. It houses not only interesting relics and Burmese handicrafts but also a large bronze statue of Buddha measuring thirteen feet high and rests on a six feet high pedestal. The wood carving of this khyang is very delicate and refined.

The village has a charm of its own. Weavers ply their trade in open workshops and craftsmen make handmade cigars in their pagoda like houses.

Kuakata

Kuakata, locally known as Sagar Kannya (Daughter of the Sea) is a rare scenic beauty spot on the southernmost tip of Bangladesh. Kuakata in Latachapli union under Kalapara Police Station of Patuakhali district is about 30 km in length and 6 km in breadth. It is 70 km from Patuakhali district headquarters and 320 km from Dhaka. At Kuakata excellent combination of the picturesque natural beauty, sandy beach, blue sky, huge expanse of water of the Bay and evergreen forest in really eye-catching. From its seashore you can watch both sunrise and sunset. The coconut trees increase the scenic beauty of this seashore.

The main tourist season is in winter but all over the year tourists visit this place. In Kuaka you can visit the life style of tribe Rakhains, who are very friendly to the tourist and visitors.

You can visit Buddhist Temple where you can see the statue of Goutom Buddha and two wells of 200 years old. Local name of the well is Kua and Kata is a local name of digging a well; so was the name Kuakata. Fisherman village is another place where you can visit and watch the lifestyle of the Fisherman.

If you are adventurous you may also go for fishing on the fishing boat if you can manage the local fishermen. That will give you pleasure and experience, which you won’t be able to gather from anywhere else. In the fishermen village you will find the fishermen coming back from the fishing and you can purchase some fresh Hilsha fish from them, and by the side of village there are some local restaurants from where you can get the Hilshas cooked and ready for eating. You will remember the wonderful taste of the fresh Hilshas of Kuakata for a long time. From Kuakata you can visit to a part of the great Sundarban forest, which is called Gangamoti Reserve Forest. Don’t forget to visit Fatra’s Chor another tourist place nearby Kuakata.

Kuakata is one of the rarest places, which has the unique beauty of offering the full view of the rising and setting of crimson sun in the water of the Bay of Bengal in a calm environment. That perhaps makes Kuakata one of the world’s unique beaches. The long and wide beach at Kuakata has a typical natural setting. This sandy beach has gentle slopes into the Bay of Bengal and bathing there is as pleasant as is walking or diving.

Means of Communication: There exists road communication between Dhaka and Patuakhali district headquarters. Accessible by road, water or air transport up to Barisal. Then one may travel by road or water to Kuakata or Patuakhali. From Dhaka you can go to Patuakhali by bus & from there by microbus to Kuakata. It is advisable to go Patuakhali by launch, which is an overnight journey, and you can enjoy the unique beauty of Bangladesh Rivers at nighttime during this journey. Instead of Potuakhali you can go to Khepupara by launch, which is also an overnight journey and from Khepupara you can go to Kuakata by microbus. A direct BRTC bus service is also available from Dhaka to Kuakata that leaves from Sayedabad Bus terminal at night takes 12 hours to reach Kuakata. But it might be a hectic bus journey as a number of ferries are there on the way to Kuakata by road. BRTC has introduced direct bus service from Dhaka to Kuakata via Barisal.

 

Others Island like

Parki beach

Parki beach might be the next tourist attraction of Bangladesh, which is situated in Anwara Thana under southern Chittagong region.

The beach lies 16-17 km away from Chittagong city. As the beach is situated at the Karnafuli river channel, visitors can view both the Karnafuli river and the sea together. Tourists enjoy the views of big ships anchored at the outer dock, fishermen catching fish in sea, sunset, various colored crabs at the beach and quiet environment.

Teknaf

The side of river Naf and the Bay of Bengal situate Teknaf Town, which is the southernmost tip of Bangladesh.  It’s a real natural beauty of hills, forest & Naf River. Lots of Salt fields are there by the side of River Naf. There are natural waterfalls in Teknaf, which increases the beauty of nature.

[Tecknaf – A Wanderfull View of Nuf River]

We can come to Teknaf from Cox’s bazaar by an exotic jeep drive besides the Seashore or we can go there by bus or Microbus by road. By road journey, it is 84 km from Cox’s Bazaar.

We can enjoy shopping in the local market called Burmese Market where we will find all the Burmese & tribal hand made materials. Do not forget to see the Well of Ma-Thin – which tells a sad story of love. Myanmar is on the opposite bank of Naf River. Wild animals and birds are available but the most interesting thing is a journey on the river.

 

Prospects eco-tourism in Bangladesh

Eco-tourism is a process where the elements of the process are self sufficient and their living and growing process is occurred in automatic system.Bangladesh enjoys aunique position, being easily accessible from many popular destinations in South Asia. This is a real advantages, and particularly true of the chittagong Hill tracs that provides a truly pristine and exciting destination for travelers. According to the lonely planet Bangladesh profile, three destinations worth visiting are the Govinda Shilva and Jagannath Templets at Puthia, Rajshahi, St. Martin’s Iland and Rangamati and Kaptai Lake in the Chittagong Hill Tracts. The country is home to Royal Bengal Tigers, Leopards Asiatic elephants, monkeys, langurs, gibbons (the only ape in the subcontinent), others and mongooses. Reptiles include the sea tortoise, mud turtle, river ttortoise, pythons, crocodiles, gharials and a variety of snakes. There are more than 600 species of birds, including the Paradise Flycatcher and the most spectacular  kingfishers and fishing eagles (IUCN,2000). The World Heritage Committee has include in the World Heritage List and the Sundarbans.

Sundarban

Sundarban is the world biggest mangrove forest. In Bangladesh tourism, Sundarban plays the most vital role. A large number of foreigners come to Bangladesh every year only to visit this unique mangrove forest. Besides, local tourists also go to visit Sundarban every year. The area of great Sundarban is approximately 6000 sq. km. The Sundarbans are the largest littoral mangrove belt in the world, stretching 80km (50mi) into the Bangladeshi hinterland from the coast. The forests aren’t just mangrove swamps though; they include some of the last remaining stands of the mighty jungles, which once covered the Gangetic plain.

The Sundarbans cover an area of 38,500 sq km, of which about one-third is covered in water. Since 1966 the Sundarbans have been a wildlife sanctuary, and it is estimated that there are now 400 Royal Bengal tigers and about 30,000 spotted deer in the area.

Sundarbans is home to many different species of birds, mammals, insects, reptiles and fishes. Over 120 species of fish and over 260 species of birds have been recorded in the Sundarbans. The Gangetic River Dolphin (Platanista gangeticus) is common in the rivers. No less than 50 species of reptiles and eight species of amphibians are known to occur. The Sundarbans now support the only population of the Estuarine, or Salt-Water Crocodile (Crocodiles paresis) in Bangladesh, and that population is estimated at less than two hundred individuals

Means of Communication: Water transport is the only means of communication for visiting the Sundarbans from Khulna or Mongla Port. Private motor launch, speedboats, country boats as well as mechanized vessel of Mongla Port Authority might be hired for the purpose. From Dhaka visitors may travel by air, road or rocket steamer to Khulna – the gateway to the Sundarbans. Most pleasant journey from Dhaka to Khulna is by Paddle Steamer, Rocket presenting a picturesque panorama of rural Bangladesh. Day and nightlong coach services by road are also available. The quickest mode is by air from Dhaka to Jessore and then to Khulna by road.

Journey time: It varies depending on tides against or in favor in the river. Usually it takes 6 to 10 hours journey by motor vessel from Mongla to Hiron Point or Katka.

Dublar Char (Island) for fishermen. It is a beautiful island where herds of spotted deer are often seen to graze.

Katka

Katka is one of Heritage sites in Sunderban. In Katka there is a wooden watching tower of 40 ft. high from where you can enjoy the scenic beauty of Sunderban. A beautiful sea beach is there is Katka; you will enjoy while you are walking to go the beach from the watching tower. Verities birds are visible in Katka.

Hiran point

This is another tourist spot in Sunderban. It is called the world heritage state. You can enjoy the beauty of wild nature and dotted dears walking and running in Hiron point.

There are also two other Heritage side in Sunderban; one is Kochikhali and the other is Mandarbaria where you will find dears and birds. If you are lucky you can see the Great Royal Bengal Tiger, but for sure you can at least see the stepping of Great Royal Bengal Tiger here and there in these spots.

Karamjol

Karamjol is a forest station for the Rangers. Here you can see a dear breeding center. To visit Sunderban you need to go there with a guide and it is even better if you go there with a group. You can stay two/three days in Sunderban depending on your desire and requirements. One-day tour is not enough for Sundarban as you will not be able to see the nature in haste. For one-day tour you can go up to Karamjol and at a glance visit the outer portion of Sunderban forest areas.

In your Sunderban tour you will be able to see a lots of verities birds (a heaven for the bird watchers), can watch the fishing in the river by the fishermen, if you wish you can ask your tour operator to give a stopover in the fishermen villages to watch their lifestyle, see lots of animals like monkeys, various types Dears, foxes, Crocodiles, Snakes and if you are lucky person you will be able to see the greatest mystery of Sunderban –The Royal Bengal Tiger. Sunderban is one of main sources to collect pure honey. You should not forget to buy some pure honey. Another inexpressible and unforgettable beauty you can enjoy if you can match your timing of tour in full moon. In the full moon the nights in Sunderban could be one of the most memorable nights for your whole life.

Flora and Fauna: The Sundarban is endowed by nature with rich flora and fauna. It is a wonderful place to see or to shoot a Royal Bengal Tiger with Camera if one has the time to wait in the forest. There are a good number of tigers in the Sundarban. Lovely spotted deer are easy to find. Besides there are a wide variety of wildlife for which the Sundarban is so famous.

Tourist season & Shooting: Best time to visit the Sundarban is from November to March. Exciting honey collection season is during April-May. Hunting is prohibited by law in the country for the preservation of wildlife. Certain species of birds, however, can be shot with prior permission of the Divisional Forest Officer, Khulna

 

Chittagong Hill Tracks

Decidedly untypical of Bangladesh in topography and culture, the Chittagong Hill Tracts have steep jungle hills, Buddhist tribal peoples and relatively low-density population. The tracts are about 60km (37mi) east of Chittagong. The region comprises a mass of hills, ravines and cliffs covered with dense jungle, bamboo, creepers and shrubs, and have four main valleys formed by the Karnapuli, Feni, Shangu and Matamuhur rivers.

Rangamati, a lush and verdant rural area belonging to the Chakma tribe, is open to visitors, as is Kaptai Lake. The lake, ringed by thick tropical and semi-evergreen forests, looks like nothing else in Bangladesh. While the lake itself is beautiful, the thatched fishing villages located on the lakeshore are what make a visit really special. Boats that visit the villages leave from Rangamati. Bring were swimming gear because we can take a plunge anywhere.

The Hills

The Hill Tract is divided into four valleys surrounded by the Feni, Karnaphuli, Sangu (Sankhu) and Matamuhuri rivers and their tributaries. The ranges or hills of the Hill Tracts rise steeply thus looking far more impressive than what their height would imply and extend in long narrow ridges. The highest peaks on the northern side are Thangnang, Langliang and Khantiang while those on the southern side are Ramu, Taung, Keekradang, Tahjindong (4632 ft, highest in Bangladesh), Mowdok Mual, Rang Tlang and Mowdok Tlang.

Hill Districts

The Hill Tracts is divided into three districts, namely Rangamati, Khagrachari and Bandarban.

N.B For visit of foreign tourists to the Hill Districts prior permission from the Government is required which can be arranged through Tour Operators & BPC.

Rangamati      

If we don’t visit Rangamati we will not discover a big portion of natural beauties of Bangladesh. From Chittagong a 77 km. road amidst green fields and winding hills will take we to Rangamati. It is also connected by waterway from Kaptai.  This is the only place to visit through out the year. Rangamati expresses her full beauty in rainy season. Trees becoming greener, waterfalls are in full tide, the river Karnaphuli in her full wave in this season.

Parjatan holiday complex is the best place to stay in Rangamati. There are other hotels in Rangamati where we can stay. Boating is the prime attraction in Rangamati. We can go to Kaptai and also by Karnaphuli River we can go deep in side the hill areas where on the way we will find lots of natural waterfalls. If we wish we can take shower in the waterfall or we can swim in the river. By boat we can visit the tribal villages, King Chakma’s (tribal) Palace that is called Chakma Rajbari, Rajbonbihar pagoda, Tribal museum etc. We can also enjoy the tribal handmaid crafts if we go for shopping in the local market.

Khagrachari

Khagrachhari is the natural wild beauty of Bangladesh. Here we can visit the tribal lifestyle of Chakmas’ in Khagrachari. We can also visit Alutila hill. Approximately 100 meters long a very dark Cave is the mysterious beauty of Alutila hill.

Bandarban

Lots of hills and hilly areas, waterfalls, River Sangu, Lakes and the tribal culture are the main attraction of Bandarban.

We can go to Bandarban from Chittagong by road. Chimbuk hill is one of the major attractions of Bandarban. We can enjoy the journey to Chimbuk Hill by jig jag hilly roads. It’s the third highest mountain in Bangladesh of approx. 3000 ft height. Reach Chimbuk by jeep or microbus from Rangamati. A beautiful Rest house is there on the top of Chimbuk hill.

Ruma is another hill town on the same rout of Chimbuk. If we wish to visit Ruma, then 01st go to Ruma spend some time there and then come back to Chimbuk Hill.

We can enjoy the Shailapropat a waterfall in Bandarban. Its also a tourist attraction of waterfall surrounded by hills & forest; be carefully while we go to Shailapropat – the rocky path way is very slippery, if we are not cautious there is a good chance to sleep & make an accident there.

Sitakundu

The famous Chandranath Temple & Buddhist temples are in Sitakundu, 37 km for from Chittagong city. Famous among the many temples in this place, the Chandranath Temple and the Buddhist Temple has a footprint of Lord Buddha. These places particularly the hilltops are regarded as very sacred by the Buddhists and the Hindus. Siva-chaturdashi festival is held every year in February when thousands of pilgrims assemble for the celebrations, which last about ten days. There is a salt-water spring 5 km. to the north of Sitakunda, known as Labanakhya. We can enjoy the steer ridings to go to Chandranath’s temple by walking. It is situated on the top of the hill from where we can enjoy the beauty of the sea & also the hill areas. Now in Sitakunda there’s made an eco park.

St. Martins Island

St. Martins Island is the most beautiful Coral Island where it has live corals. Its only 30 km from Teknaf and we can go there by local motorboat, tourist boats, or sea truck.

This small coral island about 10km (6mi) southwest of the southern tip of the mainland is a tropical cliché, with beaches fringed with coconut palms and bountiful marine life. There’s nothing more strenuous to do here than soak up the rays, but it’s a clean and peaceful place without even a mosquito to disrupt our serenity.

It’s possible to walk around the island in a day because it measures only 8 sq km (3 sq mi), shrinking to about 5 sq km (2 sq mi) during high tide. Most of island’s 5500 inhabitants live primarily from fishing, and between October and April fisher people from neighboring areas bring their catch to the island’s temporary wholesale market.

Cheera-dwip is a part of St. Martins Island but divided during tides. We can go to Cheera-dwip by walking. About two and a half hours walk from St. Martins Island or we can go there also by local motorboat or tourist boat. In that Island we will find the Corals – living and dead all over the Island. A small bush is there which in the only green part of Cheera-dwip, enhancing the beauty of this island. People do not live in this Island, so advisable for the tourists to go there early and come back by afternoon.

Nijhum Island

This Island could be the next prime tourist spot after St. Martins Island. It’s a natural beauty of mangrove forests where we find Dears of specific species and Monkeys. A huge numbers of migrated birds come in this Island in winter season, enhancing the beauty of this Island. The communication is not excellent but if some one wishes to bear the trouble to go to this Island, he will be enchanted to see the beauty of this Island. We can go to this Island either from Dhaka or from Chittagong.

From Chittagong first we have to go Hatia Island by Motor boat or Ship and from there we can go to Nijhum Island by local motor boat. From Dhaka we can go Tomzuddion by launch from Sadarghat launch terminal. From there we can go to Nijhum Island by local motorboat.

Accommodation is very limited for the tourists in this Island. We can take foods from local restaurants but be careful about the quality of foods. If we can take prior permission for forest department then we can stay in forest rest house in Nijhum Island. Another possibility for accommodation is in District Parishod Guest house. If we take the permission from Thana administration (TNO) of Hatia we can also stay in the District Parishod Guest house. For the adventure seekers Nijhum Island could be one of the greatest experience of journey and it will be a memorable enjoyment to stay and pass some days in this isolatedIsland.

Bhawal National Park

Bhawal National Park is in Gazipur district 45 km far from Dhaka in the north side. It is a vast (1,600 acres) national recreational forest with Picnic spots; jangles of Gajari trees surrounded by a beautiful lake .we can enjoy boats horse riding here. Especially in the winter, season lots of picnic party enjoy their day in this par

Jaflong

Jaflong is one of the most attractive tourist spots in Sylhet division. It’s about 60 km far from Sylhet town and takes two hours drive to reach there. Jaflong is also a scenic spot nearby amidst tea gardens and rate beauty of rolling stones from hills. It is situated besides the river Mari in the lap of Hill Khashia. The Mari river is coming from the great Himalayas of India, which bringing million tons of stone boulders with its tide. You can watch the stone collection from the river in Jaflong as well as you can enjoy the boating in the river Mari. Jaflong is totally a hilly area of real natural beauty where hills are greenish with the forests.

Lots of wild animal lives in this forest, so you need to be careful to enter in the forest alone. You can see the lifestyle of Tribe Khashia in Jaflong. If you intend to visit Jaflong it is advisable to start from Sylhet in the early morning so that you can comeback by evening covering the other tourists spots of nearby areas of Jaflong. The other tourist areas nearby Jaflong are Tamabil, Sripur and Jaintapur.

Srimongol

Srimongal is the place of tea gardens, hills and forest areas on the hills. Within your eyesight you will find green throughout. Its is famous for the largest tea gardens of world covered by lush green carpet. One can have a look into the spectacular tea processing at Tea Research Institute. Bangladesh produces and exports a large quantity of high quality tea every year. Most of the tea estates are in Sremongol. It is called “The land of two leaves and a bud”.

It is also called camellia, green carpet or Tea Mountain. There are a lot of tea estates including the largest one in the world. The terraced tea garden, pineapple, rubber and lemon plantations from a beautiful landscape. It is known as the tea capital in Bangladesh. Just offer entering into the tea estates the nice smells and green beauty will lead you many kilometers away. There are some hotels in Srimongol where you can stay, but if you can manage to stay in the Tea garden that will give you a different type of memorable experience. For that you will have to take the permission from the owner of any tea state.

Madhabkunda Waterfall

Madhabkunda waterfall is one of the most attractive tourist spots in Sylhet division. Lots of tourists and picnic parties come to Madhabkunda every day for their enjoyment. You can go to Madhabkunda either from Sylhet if you go by road or from Kulaura if you go by train.

From Kulaura rail station its about one hour journey by microbus to Madhabkunda. The journey to Madhabkunda itself is exotic. On the way you can see the greenish beauty of tea garden, the hills and the zigzag road through the hills will increase the joy of your journey. In Madhabkunda you will see the great waterfall – falls of million tons of water form 200ft. height. Big bolder of stones and the black stones in giving a shape of care in Madhabkundu. There is a Parjatan Motel with a good restaurant for accommodation and fooding.

There is also a district council Bunglow for night stay. Here you can enjoy adventurous feelings to stay in a jungle. All you need to have a prior booking for the bunglow from Moulvibazar Zilla Parishad office.

Lawacherra Rain Forest

Lawacherra Rain Forest is one of the important & well-reserved forests in Bangladesh. Here visitor may see gibbons swimming through the trees and birds like bee-eater owls parrot. It is a good habitant of Deer, leopard, wild chicken, squirrel, and python. Don’t miss it especially if you are bird watcher. The terrain is hilly and vegetation is fairly thick. Only one rare Chloroform tree of Asia is prime attraction.

Khasia & Manipuri is two important ethnic-tribe live here. Manipuri is famous for its rich culture especially for dancing, singing. They are also famous for their traditional weaving. You can buy their handicrafts exquisitely woven woolen. Shawls, Sharee, Napkin, bed-cover and some should a bags. It is known as colorful community. Khasia tribe is famous for their betel leaf cultivation. They make their villages high on hilltop in deep forest and so far from town. It is like “A Piece of Paradise”. Certainly it will please you.

 

Prospects of Cultural tourism in Bangladesh

Ahsan Manjil

Basially, it was the residence of the Nawab Abdul Gani who renovated this building in the year 1872 and named it after his son Khaza Ahasanullah. On the bank of river Buriganga in Dhaka the Pink majestic, Ahsan Manjil has been renovated and turned into a museum recently. It is an epitome of the nation’s rich cultural heritage. Open 9 am- 5 pm from Saturday to Wednesday and 3-5 pm on Friday. Thursday is close.

Lalbagh Fort

The fort of Aurangabad, popularly known as the Lalbagh Fort, was built in 1678 AD by the then Viceroy of Bengal Prince Mohammad Azam, son of the Mughal Emperor Aurangazeb. The fort has a three storied structure with slender minarets at the South Gate. It has many hidden passages and a mosque of massive structure. Outstanding among the monuments of the Lalbagh Fort are the Tomb of Pari Bibi (Fairy lady) and Audience room and Hummam Khana (bathing place) of Nawab Shaista Khan, now housing a museum.

Lalbagh fort is in the old town of Dhaka at Lalbagh. It is open 10 am-5 pm Sunday to Friday & Saturday is closed.

Central Shahid Minar

Symbol of Bengali Nationalism. This monument was built to commemorate the martyrs of the historic Language movement of 1952. Hundreds and thousands of people with floral wreaths and bouquet gather on 21 February every year to pay respect in a solemn atmosphere.

Sonargaon

On the Dhaka-Chittagong highway about 29 km from Dhaka, Sonargaon is one of the oldest capitals of Bengal. It was the seat of Deva Dynasty until the 13th century. From that century onward till the advent of the Mughals, Sonargaon was the subsidiary capital of the Sultanate of Bengal. Another name of Sonargaon was “The City of Panam”. Now, the relies of buildings of the old dynasties, Goaldia Mosque and the Folklore Museum that houses artifacts from every cultural trait of the country increase the attractions of this place.

At Jainal Abedin Museum in Sonargaon, we will find some historical and archeological things. Among the ancient monuments still intact are the Tomb of Sultan Ghiasuddin (1399-1409 A. D), the shrines of Panjpirs and Shah Abdul Alia and a beautiful mosque in Goaldi village.

National Martyrs Memorial

National Martyrs Memorial is situated in Nabinagar, Savar approximately 35 km from Dhaka. The memorial designed by architect Moinul Hossain is dedicated to the sacred memory of the millions of unknown martyrs of the war of liberation. This Martyrs Memorial is a symbol of Bengali nationalism. It is really a scenic beauty of 108 acre of land. The top of this monument is 150 ft. high, which consists other 07 triangular monuments. Its open 07 days a week besides this monument we can enjoy our foods in Parjatan restaurant opposite of memorial gate.

Lalmai Moinamoti and Shalbon Bihar

They are famous historical and archeological places around Comilla. These are a series of hillocks, where the Northern part is called Moinamoti and the Southern part is called Lalmai; and Shalbon Bihar is in the Middle of Lalmai and Moinamoti, which the was established in 8th century by King Buddadev. Salban Vihara, almost in the middle of the Mainarnati-Lalmai hill range consists of 115 cells, built around a spacious courtyard with cruciform temple in the centre facing its only gateway complex to the north resembling that of the Paharpur Monastery.

Kotila Mura situated on a flattened hillock, about 5 km north of Salban Vihara inside the Comilla Cantonment is a picturesque Buddhist establishment. Here three stupas are found side by side representing the Buddhist “Trinity” or three jewels i.e. the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha.

Charpatra Mura is an isolated small oblong shrine situated about 2.5 km. north-west of kotila Mura stupas. The only approach to the shrine is from the East through a gateway, which leads to a spacious hall.

If we are in Comilla and already visited Lalmai, Moinamoti then don’t miss to go Moinamoti museum – where we will find the historical things found in Lalmai & Moinamoti of 7th & 8th centuries. The Mainamati site Museum has a rich and varied collection of copper plates, gold and silver coins and 86 bronze objects. Over 150 bronze statues have been recovered mostly from the monastic cells, bronze stupas, stone sculptures and hundreds of terracotta plaques each measuring on an average of 9″ high and 8″ to 12″ wide. Mainamati is only 114 km. from Dhaka City and is just a day’s trip by road on way to Chittagong.

Mahasthangarh [Bogra]

Mohasthangarh is one of the main attractions in north Bengal. It was the capital of Kingdom of the Mourjo, the Gupta and the Sen Dynasty. This is the ancient archeological and historical which was, established in 2500 BC. It is the oldest archaeological site of Bangladesh is on the western bank of river Karatoa 18 km. north of Bogra town beside Bogra-Rangpur Road. The spectacular site is an imposing landmark in the area having a fortified, oblong enclosure measuring 5000 ft. by 4500 ft. with an average height of 15 ft. from the surrounding paddy fields. Beyond the fortified area, other ancient ruins fan out within a semicircle of about five miles radius. Several isolated mounds, the local names of which are Govinda Bhita Temple, Khodai Pathar Mound, Mankalir Kunda, Parasuramer Bedi, Jiyat Kunda etc. surround the fortified city. This 3rd century archaeological site is still held to be of great sanctity by the Hindus. Every year (mid-April) and once in every 12 years (December) thousands of Hindu devotees join the bathing ceremony on the bank of river Karatoa.

Paharpur Buddhist Monastery

Paharpur Buddhist Monastery is another tourist attraction of North Bengal. Paharpur is a small village 5 km. west of Jamalganj in the greater Rajshahi district. You can go to Paharpur from Jaipur district. Its only 10 km from Jaipur. King Dharma Pal established Paharpur Buddhist Monastery in 7th century, which is the most important and the largest known monastery south of the Himalayas, has been excavated. The main Mandir is in the center of this Monastery. This 7th century archaeological find covers approximately an area of 27 acres of land.

A small site-Museum built in 1956-57 houses the representative collection of objects recovered from the area, where you can see the statues of Buddha and Vishnu. The excavated findings have also been preserved at the Varendra Research Museum at Rajshahi. The antiquities of the museum include terracotta plaques, images of different gods and goddesses, potteries, coins, inscriptions, ornamental bricks and other minor clay objects.

 

Prospects of Religious tourism in Bangladesh

:: The Shrine of Hazrat Shah Jalal

Shrine of Saint Hazrat Shah Jalal is the most historical interest in Sylhet town. Today, more than six hundred years after his death, the shrine is visited by innumerable devotees of every caste and creed, who make the journey from far away places. Legend says, the great saint who came from Delhi to preach Islam and defeated the then Hindu Raja (king) Gour Gobinda, transformed the witchcraft followers of the Raja into catfishes which are still alive in the tank adjacent to the shrine Swords, the holy Quran and the robes of the holy saint are still preserved in the shrine.

  • Shrine of Hajrat Khan Jahan Ali

Besides the Shat Gambuj Mosque, shrine of Hajrat Khan Jahan Ali is only 3 km ahead. You can go there by rickshaw (a three wheeled peddler). A great number of tourist goes the shrine to pray for this great man Hajrat Khan Jahan Ali. From this shrine a steamer goes to the Thakur Dighi where you will find the ancient crocodiles in this Dighi. (Dighi is a local name of larger pond) Besides this Dighi a Nine Gambuj Mosque is an attraction also for the tourists.

 

Shrine of Hazrat Bayezead Bostami

The shrine of this famous saint is situated in Chittagong. This great priest came to Chittagong in 10th Century to spread the religion of Islam. We can also visit the ancient rare variety of Turtles in the Dighi in the Shrine premises. This shrine attracts a large number of visitors and pilgrims. At its base is a large tank with several hundred tortoises. Tradition has it that these animals are the descendants of the evil spirits (genii) who were cast into this shape because they incurred the wrath of the great saint who visited the place about 1100 years age.

Shrine of Shah Amanat

The Shrine of Shah Amanat is another place of religious attraction, located in the heart of the town; the shrine is visited by hundreds of people everyday who pay homage to the memory of the saint.

Shat Gambuj Mosque

In mid-15th century, a Muslim colony was founded in the inhospitable mangrove forest of the Sundarbans near the seacoast in the Bagerhat district by an obscure saint-General, named Ulugh Khan Jahan. He was the earliest torch bearer of Islam in the South who laid the nucleus of an affluent city during the reign of Sultan Nasiruddin Mahmud Shah (1442-59), then known as ‘Khalifalabad’ (present Bagerhat). Khan Jahan aborned his city with numerous mosques, tanks, roads and other public buildings, the spectacular ruins of which are focused around the most imposing and largest multidomed mosques in Bangladesh, known as the Shait-Gumbad Masjid (160’X108′). The stately fabric of the monument, serene and imposing, stands on the eastern bank of an unusually vast sweet-water tank, clustered around by the heavy foliage of a low-laying countryside, characteristic of a sea-coast landscape. So in the year 1459 the great Azam Ulugh Khan Jahan established this mosque, which called Shat Gambuj Mosjid. In Bengali Shat means the number 60. Though it is called Shat Gambuj Mosjid, actually the numbers of Gamboj in the mosque are 81. The mosque roofed over with 77 squat domes, including 7 chauchala or four-sided pitched Bengali domes in the middle row. The vast prayer hall, although provided with 11 arched doorways on east and 7 each on north and south for ventilation and light, presents a dark and somber appearance inside. It is divided into 7 longitudinal aisles and 11 deep bays by a forest of slender stone columns, from which springs rows of endless arches, supporting the domes. Six feet thick, slightly tapering walls and hollow and round, almost detached corner towers, resembling the bastions of fortress, each capped by small rounded cupolas, recall the Tughlaq architecture of Delhi.

The general appearance of this noble monument with its stark simplicity but massive character reflects the strength and simplicity of the builder. This mosque is 160 ft long and 108 ft. in its width. This is one of the most beautiful archeological and historical Mosque in Bangladesh made by red burn mud.

The archeological beauty of this Mosque enchants the tourist till now. Besides this Mosque an archeological museum is there where you can find that times archeological and historical materials.

Star Mosque

A very beautiful mosque of the city is situated at Mahuttuly on Abul Khairat Rd; just west of Armanitola Govt. High School. Architecturally faultless (Mughal style) is a five-dome mosque with hundreds of big and small twinkling stars as surface decorations.

The stars have been created by setting pieces of chinaware on white cement. Seen from the front and from far it looks as if shining above the surface of the earth. The inside of it is even more beautiful that the outside, lovely mosaic floor and excellent tiles with many floral patterns set on the walls, are all in complete harmony. The Sitara Masjid was built originally with three domes in early 18th century by Mirza Ghulam Pir, a highly respectable Zamindar of Dhaka.

Choto Sona Mosque

One of the most graceful monument of the Sultanate period is the Chhota Sona Masjid or Small Golden Mosque at Gaur in Rajshahi Built by one Wali Muhammad during the reign of Sultan Alauddin Husain Shah (1493-1519). Originally it was roofed over with 15 gold-gilded domes including the 3 Chauchala domes in the middle row, from which it derives its curious name.

Dhakeshwari Temple

Dhakeshwari Temple (11th Century) situated at the place where the old part of Dhaka meets the new part. This is the oldest Hindu temple in Dhaka City. The name Dhakeshwari is also associated with the origin of the name Dhaka.

Kantajees Temple [Dinajpur]

Kantajee’s Temple is in Dinajpur district. It is the most ornate among the late medieval temples of Bangladesh is the Kantajee’s temple near Dinajpur town, which was established in the year 1722 by Ram Nath, son of Maharaja Pran Nath. The temple, a 51′ square three storied edifice, rests on a slightly curved raised plinth of sandstone blocks, believed to have been quarried from the ruins of the ancient city of Bangarh near Gangharampur in West Bengal. It was originally a navaratna temple, crowned with four richly ornamental corner towers on two stores and a central one over the third stored.

Every inch of the temple surface is beautifully embellished with exquisite terracotta plaques, representing flora fauna, geometric motifs, mythological scenes and an astonishing array of contemporary social scenes and favorite pastimes. The beautiful wall paints of this temple tell us the story of Ramayan-Mohabharat, Krishna-Lila and Dev-Devies.

Puthia

Puthia has the largest number of historically important Hindu structures in Bangladesh. The most amazing of the village’s monuments is the Govinda Temple, which was erected between 1823 and 1895 by one of the maharanis of the Puthia estate. It’s a large square structure crowned by a set of miniature ornamental towers. It’s covered by incredibly intricate designs in terracotta depicting scenes from Hindu epics, which give it the appearance of having been draped by a huge red oriental carpet

The ornate Siva Temple is an imposing and excellent example of the five-spire Hindu style of temple architecture common in northern India. The ornate temple has three tapering tiers topped by four spires. It’s decorated with stone carvings and sculptural works, which unfortunately were disfigured during the War of Liberation. The village’s 16-century Jagannath Temple is one of the finest examples of a hut-shaped temple: measuring only 5m (16ft) on each side, it features a single tapering tower, which rises to a height of 10m (33ft). Its western facade is adorned with terracotta panels of geometric design.Puthia is 23km (14mi) east of Rajshahi and 16km (10mi) west of Natore

 

Other Attractive Spots

Bangladesh National Museum

Bangladesh national museum is situated in shahbag. Located at the central point of the city. The museum contains a large number of interesting collections including sculptures and paintings of the Hindu, Buddhist and Muslim periods as well as inscriptions of the Holy Quran in Arabic and Persian letters and Bengali works in the Arabic script.

The museum also has a rich collection of old coins, metal images, books on art, silver filigree works etc. Though established in 1913 it was refurbished and opened in the year 1983. It’s open from Friday to Wednesday, 9 am to 6 pm. Wer mind must be going to the old era when we visit this museum.

Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban:

Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban (Parliament House) located at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar has distinctive architectural features. Designed by the famous architect Louis I. Kahn, it may be called an architectural wonder of this region.

Curzon Hall

Beautiful architectural building named after Lord Curzon. It now houses the Science Faculty of Dhaka University.

National Zoo

National Zoo is in Mirpur, 20 km. from the center of Dhaka besides the river Turag. Its open 10 am – 5 pm, 7 days a week, where we can see the animals of Bangladesh and some animals from abroad. This Zoo is also popularly known as Mirpur Zoo. Colorful and attractive collections of different local and foreign species of animals and birds including the majestic Royal Bengal Tiger are available here.

Botanical Garden

Botanical Garden is also situated in Mirpur just besides the National Zoo, built on an area of 205 acres of land. Approximately 50,000 plants and trees are there of 1200 species. Main attraction of this garden is rose garden. Approximately 300 species of roses are there in this garden. It is open 7 days a week. If we go to this garden, it is advisable we visit National Zoo at a same time.

Baitul Mukarram Mosque

Baitul Mukarram Mosque is situated at Purana Paltan east of Bangladesh Secretariat and north of Dhaka Stadium. Largest Mosque in the city, three storied and built after the pattern of the Kaba Sharif. Very beautiful and costly decorations in the interior. Long lawn, garden and rows of fountains to the south and east. The mosque is on a very high platform. Lovely flights of stairs lead to it; from the south, east and north. On the east is a vast veranda, which is also used for prayer and Eid congregation. Below in the ground floor is a shopping center.

Dhaka is a city of mosques. Other Prominent Mosques are the seven Domed Mosque (17th century), Star Mosque (18th century), Chawkbazar Mosque and Huseni Dalan Mosque.

 

Data Analysis:

Case Study:

To preparing my report I faced difficult problem to collect authentic and complete data about tourism industry. Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics has no data about tourism industry. I found data from only Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation. They record data only foreigner tourists. They have local tourist data only their hotel/motels record around the country..

Backpackers Club is an organization that is licensed to provide tourism related services. But the uniqueness of its service category is that this organization is working on a pattern to provide INFORMATION SERVICE based on tourism sector of Bangladesh and has a wide vision to make it such large to provide world tourism information. There is no other company in Bangladesh which provides information service in tourism industry.

It had been clear that the main focus of the Tourism Industry of BD is pointed on a few spots like Cox’s Bazar, Sylhet or Sunderbans. Rest of the country has much potential but very few care about tourism. Netrokona, Bogra, Sunamganj, Bagerhat, Comilla, patuakhali  districts are some examples supporting the point. These districts receive a good number of local tourists and even foreigners every year who visited there by their own interest and own arrangements. But no pattern of professional tourism has been evolved there and the districts are not equally supported from the central authority of tourism of Bangladesh as Cox’s Bazar or Sylhet.

To organize the districts individually as a tourism potential Backpackers Club took an initiative to list all the tourism service providers of every district individually. And Backpackers Club considered the tourism industry as very wide by considering the industries which are indirectly related to the TI, (Community Centers is an example).

The main objectives of such a job are to list all the tourism related organizations of each district (city area for the first time), and complete the 64 districts; to make a communication standard among the organizations; to make them share their businesses with others (which plays the main frame of a TI); and finally to make the list available to all the tourists and TI nationwide or internationally.

The obstacles of the job could not be figured unless it was in the field. Surprisingly the main obstacle was the government itself in many cases. The DC in some districts did not want to cooperate to gather the listings. And to fulfill all the information it is necessary to get support from the local govt. authorities.

Secondly the obstacle was the business providers themselves. As they are less capable to understand the whole scenario of a National TI and as they are not supported by any national frame, they did not show their good intention to cooperate in many cases.

I went to Bogra with a member of Backpackers Club to collect primary data about tourism industry. There I found that no. of hotel 23 where only 1 is govt. owned and 11 with restaurant facilities. Among 23 good standard hotels are 11 while other 12 are below standard. Their tariff range between Tk70 to Tk8750. Standard tariff starts from Tk300. Conference hall available 10. Total occupancy in all those hotels is 720. They have no season/off season concept.

Restaurant only good standard is 29. Total seats are 1400. Price range is 100-450 taka. Thai/Chinese Cuisine available 15.

Transport company total 26 where govt. owned (BRTC) 1, North Bengal service 4 and Nationwide service 22. Final destinations are: Khulna, Sylhet, Mymensingh, Dhaka, Chittagong, Tetulia, Chapainawabganj.

Rent A Car Company has 5 and 1 association. No. of vehicles: private 51 and association 25 only.

Tour operator has 1 only who provides service for both home and abroad tour and visa Support. There is 1 consultant service and no Hajj support authority.

To analyze the above data I try to assume approximate yearly revenue from hotels. I got there an average occupancy rate 40%. So, out of 720 rooms total yearly revenue from hotel is;

720 X 40% X 365 days X Tk300= Tk3,15,36,000 only.

 

Foreign Earnings :

World Tourist Arrivals & Receipts: 2004-2009

YearArrivals

(Millions)

Change

(Percent)

Receipts

(US$ Billion)

Change

(Percent)

2004688463
20057093.054803.67
2006697-1.695249.17
20077669.962318.89
20088065.226807.40
20098424.47

             Source: UNWTO


 

Foreign Exchange Earnings from Tourism & Other Travels
(2001-2010)(Million Taka)

 

Month2001200220032004200520062007200820092010
Jan273.80297.50259.00457.00450.42653.71561.13749.28649.24495.98
Feb218.10260.60327.00393.70502.73554.11624.04585.06579.46496.98
Mar196.10336.20355.90425.90468.50538.94471.90527.79518.90565.97
Apr219.00312.50241.10309.40335.56411.62387.22459.35473.85427.37
May240.50282.70226.30305.00347.95452.02449.95423.06538.21342.11
Jun221.70313.00288.00279.70301.23394.96366.17509.52417.71473.03
Jul207.10267.50302.30303.60296.98398.14346.63461.98453.03320.97
Aug170.50251.50232.00285.90354.61424.16363.72417.30439.32431.37
Sep193.40245.90217.30293.10334.14362.29342.54464.46350.65368.06
Oct187.00205.00265.10247.90332.67327.95359.68415.67361.99525.26
Nov234.80277.70224.20250.42324.45444.50440.25519.39461.28477.14
Dec291.80262.50371.80415.94444.65568.25551.96591.66518.60638.46
Total2653.803312.603310.003967.564493.895530.655265.196124.525762.245562.70
% Change1.0224.82-0.0819.8713.2723.07-4.8016.32-5.92-3.46

Source: Bangladesh Bank

N.B: Foreign Exchange Earnings 2010 All Figurs are Provisional

 

Economic Aspects of Tourism Industry:

Tourism: The Next Driving Sector of Bangladesh Economy:

The last decade has seen Bangladesh go through some major revolutions in all aspects: economic, social, cultural are just some of the first few areas. Be it the modernization of our education system, the trend in the job market composition, the infrastructural development or whatnot — we, Bangladeshis, adapted to these changes with superb aplomb. And the end result has been most productive. The bad news is that we have a tendency of waiting for the next person to take the first step or for disaster to strike us before struggling through the repercussions. Even worse so, we tend to fall into a stagnant pattern when someone hands us a boon with a sigh of relief that we did not have to seek a better alternative. In other words, we are a society of languid people who make the pretence of being preoccupied with “more important” things.

This has to change. Forums, agencies, associations, the numerous talks and meetings and round tables, the large organizations and the ministry all profess their devotions to the change for a better future, but where is the proof of their work? With the turn of the new millennium, the nation saw the creation of the National Tourism Council (NTC) headed by the Prime Minister and advised by the Committee of Tourism under the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism, in cooperation with Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation (BPC). So many impressive organizational bodies after one goal. The group held its first meeting in May 2000 to plan the development process of implementing sustainable tourism in the country. What was the result of all this? In 1998, Cambodia received 96,000 tourists; that year Bangladesh received 150,000 tourists. In 2006, Cambodia received about 2,000,000 tourists and Bangladesh, 200,000. Cambodia earned a whopping US $1 billion that year in comparison to Bangladesh earning a mere US $89 million. It goes to show that we failed miserably to learn from our surrounding nations.

The problem is that no one is producing goal oriented implementations. Our nation has all the attractions to be a formidable competitor to other Asian countries who earn a high percentage of export revenue from tourism. We are no less “incredible” than India and no less “truly Asia” than Malaysia. Yet, whereas the tourism receipt as a percentage of export earning for India in 2005 was 7.1% and Malaysia 19.8%, for Bangladesh it was only 2.1%. The secret behind India and Malaysia’s much higher revenue is their active campaign in the past few years promoting their national wonders abroad. The fact that Bangladesh has been left behind in this aspect is that our nation’s lack of tourism campaign is no secret. But from the hill tracts of Rangamati to the long sandy beaches of Cox’s Bazaar, from the Royal Bengal Tiger of our piece of the Rain Forest Sundarban to the Terracotta Temples of Bogra, we have a nation that is rich in all its natural glory and social culture alike.

At the moment, our main focus towards foreign earning is the textile, RMG, and leather sector, whereby we are mostly dependent on FDI capital to support these industries. Yes, granted that these industries generate high employment and contribute 72% to our GNP, but is it not time for us to move out of the shell of being a developing country and become self sufficient for the well being of our nation as a whole and as individuals? And while the manufacturing industry has done a lot to benefit our economy in the last decade, if there is one sector that can generate economic growth from all facets, it is TOURISM.

There are 10 million Non-Residential Bangladeshis throughout the world, and yet their remittance can easily be arranged right here on our home ground. The Tourism & Hospitality industry involves many branches of operations under its umbrella, from the lodging and traveling of visitors to the manufacturing of local handicraft products and providing of communication facilities. It gives birth to making room for many foreign organizations that would not have previously bothered opening up shop in our country, such as the sudden surge of the airlines agencies in Bangladesh like Etihad and Best Air Aviation. In recent years, huge orders for aircraft have been placed internationally and now we may partake in the scoop as well.

Because tourism is such a vastly diverse industry linked to many other industries, it generates increase in the GDP without even batting an eye. It brings in foreign currency through the export of services in the forms of hospitality and travel, and through the selling of commodities when foreign visitors purchase local products to take back home as souvenirs. It generates employment for the local populace as it instigates the mushrooming of many new trades and their respective organizations. It puts the country in the international limelight when visitors take back the good word of mouth with them to their home nations. All this without sending out our labor force abroad to spend our national income there. And it is perfect for Bangladesh because ours is also a country of amiable folks and because labor force is a resource we have in abundance.

Now that we have discussed thoroughly the benefits tourism can reap for us, we should back our qualitative statements with some relevant statistics, though accurate statistics is rare in our culture. If we take the recent rise of hotels in the country into account, we have a potential hospitality turnover that can be estimated to be more than some US $450 million. Simply the outbound ticketing revenue in 2008 for Bangladesh was over US $356 million, and in an average scenario that makes only 25% of the travel industry revenue. If we take into Lodging and Conveyance, Food Consumption, Shopping, and Miscellaneous into revenue account, we have a potential industry of tourism and hospitality that is worth over US $1.5 billion. Last year, Bangladesh incurred its highest ever outbound travelers at 289,000 heads counted, and United Nations World Trade Organization estimated there to be over 8 billion travelers to be incurred in 2008. The potential GDP that this estimation can serve us if we are able to slice into this pie boggles the mind. With such potentials awaiting us, it is a crime simply to remain a poor nation.

The expectation from the neutral government when it showed an initial assertiveness to stamp out corruption and hurl the nation into an upsurge of economic activity was that perhaps this would be the time when growth of the nation would be instigated with renewed vigor. That hope was dashed when the neutral government became obsessed with bringing justice to political lawbreakers and let the economy tilt to woe. Yet, it would not have been hard to stimulate the economy out of deficit with some minor tinkering on behalf of our tourism sector. We do not need a big wish list to bring about changes and bring in foreign guests. Basic infrastructure to provide physical communication to all parts of the nation, hygienic rest stops and guest houses, transport and civil security should be there simply to support the growing trend of local travelers. And one other thing that might be needed is vocational institutes to provide educated unemployed youths with the technical knowledge to provide them occupancy and keep them out of hardship and more negative alternatives, such as done to organize hospitality support in the Middle East, Europe and Australia or simply in our neighboring India and Malaysia.

The fact of the matter is that Tourism can open up many doors for our nation. It is not about generating more employment or for bringing home more foreign currencies or for higher GDP; it is for the economy as a whole that we need to shift the lion share of our concentration to Tourism. It is simply because this is one avenue that allows us to make a pot load of money and feed a truck load of mouths on international income without reaching out for aid or even leaving our national premises.

 

Role of Government to Develop Tourism Industry:

Having realized the importance of tourism’s multidimensional effects such as the balance of payment situation, diversification of the economy, expansion of revenues & generation of employment opportunities directly &indirectly Bangladesh should give top most priority to the tourism industry.

Tourism development may be an important for economic advancement for Bangladesh if necessary initiatives are taken. For overall sustainable development of Bangladesh tourism comprises as one of the key development components. Moreover, the natural &cultural blessings of the country have prescribed numerous attractions & debenture  to offer the tourists of all kinds and at all seasons. A strategic master plan  has also been formulated by the world tourism organization with the assistance of UNDP for integrated development of tourism in the country.

Steps have been taken to develop tourism infrastructure in phases as per the recommendations of the master plan which include creation of tourist facilities at various places. Besides, this initiatives may be taken to include projects in the next ADP.

It is common knowledge that tourism can’t grow in isolation it is a multi – sector industry. Govt. are only just starter but effective and active participation between the public and private sectors, non – governmental organizations, institutional bodies and local communities should be ensured to get the fruitful effects of tourism industry. So, committed efforts are needed from both the public and private sectors for full development and utilization of the potentials of the tourism industry.

 

Findings and Problems identification:  

  • There is negative image about Bangladesh among the visitors.
  • Development planning of govt. does not give importance to proper infrastructure in this sector.
  • There are problems of security, accessibility and accommodation of tourist.
  • Tourists face problems in getting visas and travel formalities in Bangladesh missions.
  • There is lack of fund allocation in national budget.
  • There is lack of proper marketing plans for tourism products for the generation countries of the world.
  • There is lack of coordination among concerned ministries, departments, agencies &bodies of growth.
  • There is lack of institutional capacity of the ministry of civil aviation & tourism in general and the BPC in particular.

 

Recommendations:

  • The Government should develop infrastructure & road network connecting Dhaka will all attraction of Bangladesh.
  • The government should simplify the visa immigration formalities.
  • We should ensure safety & security for tourist, especially at the tourist spots.
  • We should use especially trained up police in tourism security or “tourist police”.
  • We should establish coordination among all the concerned ministries, department agencies.
  • We should allocate funds in the national budget and initiate immediate loan system for private sector tourism entrepreneurs & tour operators including BPC to create more facilities.
  • We should establish casino at hill district area.
  • We should exempt tourism industry from the purview tax & vat at least for 10 years.
  • We should run tourism business both by the govt. & private sector simultaneously to maintain the standardization of services.

 

Conclusion:

In recent years tourism has become a major element in the balance of payments of many countries. In this situation Bangladesh is not a good position to attract the international tourists. Bangladesh accounts for only 4.5% of all international tourists visiting South Asian countries, and almost two-thirds of foreign tourist arrivals in Bangladesh are from India, Pakistan, and South Asian countries. The majority of visitors from the UK and USA are ethnic Bangladeshis, who used to come to visit relatives and friends. Almost 60% of foreign tourist arrivals are for business or official purpose, and the number leisure tourists arrivals is insignificant. Among the reasons for this are the inadequate role of the National Tourist Organization (BPC) in developing the touristic image of Bangladesh, the absence of essential infrastructural systems and facilities needed by tourists, identify the target and potential markets, and unplanned development constructions projects.

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