Tourism is often synonymous to traveling for pleasure and education. It is also a business of attracting tourists and providing for their accommodation and entertainment. In many countries, tourism is an industry for earning Inland Revenue and foreign exchange. The many businesses that grow along with development of tourism include airlines, shipping, hotels and restaurants, finance companies, tour operations, travel agents, car rental firms, caterers and retail establishments and together, they contribute significantly to jthe overall development of a country’s economy and to its cultural diversification and assimilation. Bangladesh had always attracted tourists. Travelers from different parts of the world had interest in this part of the world since very ancient times. They visited Bengal with varied purposes. Some came with missionary objectives, somej with motives of exploring business opportunities, some came to attend seats of learning and some for meeting curiosity.
Bangladesh is one of the few countries in south Asia, which remains to be explored. Bangladesh has a delicate and distinctive attraction of its own to offer. The traditional emphasis of the tourist trade has always been on the material facilities offered by a country rather than on its actual charms. It’s land of enormous beauty, hundreds of serpentine rivers, crystal clear water lakes surrounded by ever green hills, luxuriant tropical rain forests, world’s largest mangrove forest preserved as world heritage, home of the royal bangle tiger and the wild lives, wind in the paddy fields, abundance of sunshine, world’s longest natural sea beach etc.
Country branding means the earning of reputation for a country by utilizing its inner resources and opportunities, which are original and inspiring to the outer world. The official brand name of our beloved country is “beautiful Bangladesh”. The goal is to establish a positive image of our country and attract foreign tourists to visit its panoramic landscapes, seascapes and the natural beauties. there is a great opportunity to brand this country, which can be done through attracting foreigners to the tourist spots- cox’s Bazar, the Sundarbans,Jaflong Kuakata, and historical sites like Bagerhat, Sonargaon, Moynamoti, Mahasthangar etc.
Tourism in Bangladesh is a slowly developing foreign currency earner. Since the wear 2000 tourists arriving in Bangladesh have been swelling in numbers. Not only is it international visitors but locals are also taking their holidays. All these travelers require appropriate accommodation and the demand in hotel beds and restaurants are now being met for every taste and every budget. Many of the visitors are expatriate Bangladeshi coming to Bangladesh not only to visit their families, but tor a holiday and to experience the vibrant and culturally rich country of their forbearers. Catering for all these people has seen an increase in the demand for new hotels and restaurants in Dhaka and ther tourist locations.
The tourist spots of Bangladesh that the native people and intenational visitors have visited or want to vesit in future:
In terms of the TOM(Top of Mind), cox’s bazaar is found to take the first position by 11(73.3%) native people that they have visited or want to visit in future. It is followed by saint Martin (13.3%), Bandarban (6.7%) and Kaptai (6.7%). (Appendix: Table.6). however, whin all the tourist spots are ranked based on first three recognitions, it is also found that cox’s bazaar is observed in first position by 34.1% of the native people followed by Saint Martin (19.5%), Sundarbands (9.8%), Kuakata (9.8%), Rangamati (7.3%) Bandarban (4.9%) and Mahasthangarh (4.9%)
In terms of the TOM ( Top of Mind), cox’s bazaar is found to take the first position by 12(80.0%) foreigners that they have visited or want to visit in future. It is followed by sundarbans (6.7%), sonargoan (6.7%) and Chittagong Hill Tracks (6.7%)
However, when all the tourist spots are ranked based on first four recognitions, it is also found that Cox’s Bazar is observed in first position by 46.9% of the foreigners that is followed by Sundarban (21.9%) , Sonargoan (6.3%) , old Dhaka (6.3%) Chittagong iill Tracks (6.3%), Rangamati (3.1%), Kuakata (3.1%), Sylhet (3.1%), and Bandarban (3.1%).
The important tourist spots of Bangladesh:
When it is asked which of the tourist spots can be the face of Bangladesh, it is found that 60%of the native respondents said that Cox’s Bazar could be the face of Bangladesh followrd by Sundarbans (33.3%) and Bandarbans(6.7%).
The findings are almost same in the case of foreigners. When the wuestio ios asked to them they said that Cox’s Bazar (81%) coulk be the face of Bangladesh followed by Sundarban (13%) and Bagerhat (6%) .
7.3.1 cox’s Bazaraaaa;
Total Area: 2491.86 sq. km
Population : About 2.2 million
Cox’s Bazar is Located at a distance of 152 km. to the south of Chittagong, Cox’s Bazar is the tourist capital of Bangladesh. Having the world’s longest unbroken (120km.) beach sloping gently down to the blue waters of the Bay of Bengal against the picturesque background of a chain of hill covered with deep green forests, cox’s Bazar is one of the most attractive tourist spots in the world. Miles of golden sands, towering cliffs surfing waves, rare conch shells, colorful pagodas, Buddhist temples and tribes, delightful seafood – these are specialties of Cox’s Bazar.
The beach is good for bathing, sunbathing and swimming. The breath –taking beauty of the sun –setting behind the waves of the sea is captivating. Attractive local variety of cigars and handloom products of the Rakhyne tribal families are good buys. Their unique customs and costumes attract visitors.
the sundarban is the largest single block of tidal mangrove forest in the world. The name Sundarban can be literally translated as “beautiful jungle” or “beautiful forest” in the Bengali language (Sundar, “beautiful” and ban, “forest”). The name may have been derived from the Sundari trees that are found in Sundarbans I large numbers. Alternatively, it has been proposed that the name is a corruption of Samudraban (Bengali: Shomudrobon “sea forest”) or Chandra-bandhe (name of a primitive tribe). Buat the generally accepted view is the one associated with sundari trees.
The forest lies in the vast delta on the Bay of Bengal formed by the confluence of the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghan rivers across southern Bangladesh and west Bengal, india. The seasonally-flooded Sundarbans freshwater swamp forests lie inland from the mangrove forests on the coastal fringe. The forest covers 10000 sq.km . of which about 6000 are in Bangladesh. It became inscribed as a UNESCO world heritage site in 1997, but while the Bangladeshi and Indian portions constitute the same continuous ecotope, these are separately listed in the UNESSCO worle heritage list as the Sundarband and sundarbans National Park, respectively. The sundarbans is intersected by a complex network of tidal waterways, mudflats and small islands of salt-tolerant mangrove forests. The area is known for eponymous Royal Bengal Tiger ( panther tigris tigris), as well as numerous fauna including species of birds, spotted deer crocodiles and snakes. The fertile soils of the delta have been subjent to intensive human use for centuries, and the eno region has been mostly converted to intensive agriculture, with few enclaves of forest remaining. Theremaining forests, together with the Sundarbans mangroves, are important habitat for the endangered tiger.
Saint Martin’s island is situated in the southeast of Bangladesh on the bay of Bengal. From the main land it is 9-10 km far. It is almost 7 km long including “Chera Dweep” Chera Dweep is another attraction of this island. This a torn part of this island but exclusively beautiful. “Chera” means Tom and Eweep means island. Athe underwater colorful fishes and leves corals intertain the touristin Chera Dweep.
Local name of this island is “Narikel Gingira” means Coconut island. The totaaaal island is surrounded by thousands of coconut trees. The northern part of the island is the mostly populated area and all the hotels, motels and restaurants are there in the northern part. On the other hand southem of the island is almost blank.
It has become one of the most popular tokurist places in Bangladesh. October to March is considered as tourists ,season. Tourists are being attracted for its natural beauty.
Black dead corals are all around the island in the beach. When the water level get down then the corals come okut and show its beauty. The coconut trees of thes island made the island exclusively beautiful. These coconut trees save the dsland from cyclones.
Tortoises are there in the island and lay eggs in the island. To protect those eggs from destruction there is a research center in the middle of the island. Researchers come and stay athere during the period when tortoises lay eggs.
The people of the island are very hospitable. They are very simple and very well mannered. They are very cordial to the tourists. Most of the Italian restaurants and motels and motel are being operated by the people of the island. They do business during the tourists season.
In the island there are different souvenir shop there tourists get souvenirs mane of corals and snails. These souvenirs are very beautiful anf tourists collect this souvenirs for their friends and hold it as memory of this island.
During tourist season there is a kite festival arranged and different types of dite are made and fly in the sky. This kite festival is very colorful and it’s a traditional festival of Bangladesh.
Tourist enjoys the sunrise and the sunset in the island. At the most southern part of the island is he best location to enjoy the sunset.
Rangamatai-the lake district:
Rangamati, located 77 km. away from Chittagong, is a favorite holiday resort because of its beautiful landscape, lake, numerous colorful tribes, hanging bridge, homespun textile products, ivory jeweler, and tribal museum and so on. For tourists the attractions are fishing, speed boat cruising, water skiing, bathing and much moue. It is a rare spot for ecotourism. The township is located on the western bank of Kaptai Lake.
Kaptai-The lake town:
A pleasant and picturesque drive of 64 km. form Chittagong brings the tourists to a huge expanse of emerald and blue water ringed by tropical forests. It is the famous man-made Kaptai Lake (580 sq. km.). From Kaptai along the Chittagong road, lies the ancient Chit Morang Buddhist temple having beautiful Buddhist statues.
Bandarban- The roof of Bangladesh:
Bandarban, the district headquarters of the Bandarban Hill District, is situated ninety-two km. From Chittagong. Bandarban Hill District is the remotest and least populated district in Bangladesh. The lure of the tallest peaks of Bangladesh, treks through virgin forests and chance to meet more than 15 tribes of the region up a close is growing both among Bangladeshis and tourists from other countries. Since the insurgency ceased in the Chittagong Hill Tracts ( a cluster that includes all three hill districts of Bangladesh) it has opened up for tourists more than a decade back, though some of the western tourist guides may still describe the area as a major security risk.
The three highest peak of Bangladesh – Tahjindong (1280 meters, also known as bijoy), Mowdok Mual (1052 meters), and Keokradong (883 meters) – are located in Bandarban district, as well as Rakihiang Lake, the highest lake in Bangladesh Chimbuk peak and Boga
Lake are two more highly noted features of the district. Though most Bangladesh sources cite Keokradong as the highest peak in the country, but Tazing Dong (sometimes spelled as Tahjingdong, and also known as Bijoy) lying further east is recognized both by government and expert sources as a taller peak.
Kuakata, situated in the district of Patuakhai, is a wonderful picturesque spot. The 25 KM long sea beach situated at the periphery of the southern part of Patuakhali is a potential tourist resort. It provides a unique opportunity to witness both sun rise and sun set.
The local Rakhain population has rich cultural tradition and their hospitality is will known. The 200 acres dense forest gives the beach a pleasant look and it serves as a wall against tidal bore. A Buddhist pagoda is located at the sea shore and a Buddhist statue weighing over 1.5 metric tons & preserved inside the pagoda.
Duadata, locally dnown as Sagar Kannya (Daughter of the Sea ) is a rare scenic beauty spot on the southemmost tip of Bangladesh. Kuakata in latachapli union under Kalapara police station of patuakhli 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 kuakataa excellent combination of the picturesque natural beauty, sandy beach, blue sky, huge expanse of water of the bay and Walgreen forest in really eye catching.
Duakata is one of the rarest places which have the unique beauty of offering the full view of the rating and setting of crimson sun in the water of the bayj of Bengal in a calm environment. That perhaps makes kuakata one of the world’s unique beaches. The long and wide beach at duadata has a typical natural setting. This sandy beach has gentle stopes into the bay if Bengal and thing there is as pleasant as is walking of diving. Kuakata is truly a virgin beach a sanctuary for migratory winter birds, a series of coconut trees, sandy beach of blue bay, a feast for the eye.
Forest, boats plying in the Bay of Bengal with colourful sails , fishing, towering cliffs, surfing waves everything here tokuches every visitor’s heart. The unique customs and costumes of the Rakhyne’ tribal families and Buddhist Temple of about hundred years old indicate the ancient tradition and cultural heritage, which are objects of great pleasure Kuakata is the
place of pilgrimage of the Hindus and Buddhist communities. Innumerable devotees arrive here at the festival of ‘Rush Purnima’. On these two days they take holy bath and traditional fairs are held here. All these additional offers to panoramic beauty make the beach more attractive to the visitors.
Tamabil & Jaflong:
Situated amidst splendid panorama, Tamabil is a border outpost on Sylhet-Shilong road, about 55 km. away from Sylhet town. Beside enchanting views of the area one can also have glimpse of the waterfail across the border from Tamabil. Jaflong is also a scenic spot nearby amidst tea gardens and rare beauty of rolling stones from hills.
An isolated low, dimpled range of hills, dotted –with more than 50 ancient Buddhist settlements of the 8th to 12th century A.D. known as Mainamati-Laimai range are extended through the centre of the district of Comilla.
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” higli and 8”to 12” wide. Mairiamati is only 114 km. from Dhaka City and is just a day’s trip by road on way to Chittagong.
Southernmost tip to Bangladesh, Teknaf situated on the Naaf River and just at the end of the billy regions fo the district. Maynmar is on the opposite bank of Naaf River. Wild animals and birds are available but the most interesting thing is a journey on the river. Wide sandy beach in the backdrop of high hills with green forests is an enchanting scene never to be forgotten.
Located at a distance of 18 km. to the north of Bogra town. Mahasthangah is the oldest archeological site of Bangladesh on the western bank of river Karotoa. The spectacular site
is an imposing landmark in the area having a fortified long enclosure. Beyond the fortified area, other ancient ruins fan out within a semi-circle of about 8-km. 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.
Besides, there are several attractive tourist spots in the various parts of Bangladesh. In the northern part, comprising of the Rajshahi division, there are archaeological sites, including the temple city Puthia in Rajshahi, the largest and most ancient archaeological site, Mahsthangarh in Bogra, the single largest Buddhist monastery, Paharpur in Naogaon; the ornamental terracotta Hindu temple in Bangladesh Kantaji Temple, and many rajbaris or palaces of old zamindars.
In the south-western parts, mainly the Khulna Division, there is the historically and architecturally important sixty domed mosque in Bagerghat is a notable site.
In the south-eastern part, which is the Chittagong division, there are mainly natural and hilly scenarios like Chittagong Hill Tracts, along with salary sea beaches.
In the north-eastern part, Sylhet division, there is a green carpet of tea plants on small hillocks. Natural reserved tourists are great attractions. Migratory birds in winter, particularly in the haor areas, are also very attractive in this area.
Tourism Word Associations:
Chart 7 shows the adjectives that are most commonly associated with the experience of visiting Bangladesh. Bangladesh is most associated with the positive attributes of fascinating (42.0%), exciting (31.0%). Although some view the visit in Bangladesh are stressful (15.0%) and risky (12.5%). But overall Bangladesh is not seen as a stressful or depressing destination and most of the respondents described the visit as fascinating and exciting,.
Total Tourist Arrivals in Bangladesh:
The following table shows the tourist arrivals in Bangladesh in deferent years and the rate of growth of the same:
Table: Year –Wise Total Tourist Arrivals in Bangladesh
|Number||Growth Rate (%)|
|Average Growth rate||8.73%|
Source: Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation
The table shows that the number of tourist arrivals in Bangladesh has increased to 271270 in 2004 from 113,142in 1991 which shows an average annual growth rate of 7.79 percent. The tourist arrivals increased in 200
2003 by 17.98 percent and 10.94 percent in 2004 over its preceding year . in general, the statisticssssshows a very tood and positive trend.
Steps should be taken to improve tourism in Bangladesh:
Chart 8 reveals that improvement of hotel and transportation system is ranked first by 31.0% of the native respondents followed by increase security 28% promotional activist 28% and make tourist friendly environment 8.0%h.
On the other hand Chart 9 reveals that increase promotional activities to create awareness about the tourist spits of Bangladesh and increase security are ranted first by 29.4% of the foreigners respectively that are followed by improvement of hotel and transportation systems 14.7% religious and cultural liberty 11.8%, ensuring neatness 8.8% and create tourist friendly environment 5.9%.
As tourism is one of the main possible sectors to enhance the image of Bangladesh. So, to improve the tourism of Bangladesh the following steps should be implemented.
- Improvement in the security systems of the tourist spots is give the most importance by both the native people and foreigners.
- Improvement in the hotel and transportation systems should given priority for the improvement of the tourism sector.
- One of the main o obstacles for the improvement of tourism sector is that the foreigners are not aware of the tourist spots of Bangladesh. Promotional activities can improve the situation by creating awareness of the tourist spots. For this reason, like India, internationally famous celebrities and spokespersons should use in the promotional campaign. Cricket World Cup 2011 will be inaugurated in Bangladesh. T-20 will be held in Bangladesh in 2013. On these occasions, many foreigners will come here, We should utilize these opportunities and these can be the platform for promoting the tourism of Bangladesh.
- The website of the Bangladesh Porjatan Corporation should be developed and up to date. As the website promotes the slogan of ~discover Beautiful Bangladesh”,
the information provided in this website is not sufficient. It should narrate all the important information as well the low cost of travelling in Bangladesh.
- Having an international airport in cox’s Bazar will ensure that foreigners can fly there directly without having to go through Dhaka. Besides, hotel and transportation systems should be developed to meet the taste and income of every tourist. Cox’s Bazar cans beramled as other international cities such as like Bali, Goa etc. Separate entertainment policy may be formulated so that a strong PPP can be implemented.
- The religious and cultural liberty should be ensured for the foreigner tourists.
- Ecotourism in Bangladesh should be introduced. Ecotourism refers to tourism that is basic on the natural environment but that seeks to minimize the harmful impacts and before still, seeks to promote conservation. It focuses on local cultures, wilderness adventures, volunteering, personal growth and learning new ways to live on our
Vulnerable planet. Responsible ecotourism includes programs that minimize the adverse effects of traditional tourism on the natural environment, and enhance the cultural integrity of local people. Therefore, in addition to evaluating environmental and cultural factors, initiatives by hospitality providers to promote recycling, energy efficiency, water re-use, and the creation of economic opportunities tor local communities are an integral part of ecotourism.