Bangladesh Tourism Board (BTB) organised a workshop on National Integrity Strategy and Tourism Development at its conference room on February 26 for its stakeholders.
Md Mahbub Ali, State Minister, Civil Aviation and Tourism Ministry attended the workshop as Chief Guest. CEO of Bangladesh Tourism Board Dr. Bhuban Chandra Biswas presided over the event. The moderator for the workshop was Md. Afzal Hossain, Professor, Department of Tourism and Hospitality Management.
Among the stakeholders, there were prominent figures of the tourism industry and board members.
The aim of the workshop was to discuss the importance of integrity in developing the tourism industry.
A presentation on National Integrity Strategy and Tourism Development was carried out by the CEO of BTB.
It was followed by an open discussion session where the stakeholders addressed some issues and requested for specific new changes for the sake of developing the tourism industry.
Rezaul Ekram, President, Bangladesh Inbound Tour Operators Association, said, “There should be a research cell. The government needs to ensure such things. We can only help. Most of the initiatives taken by the government for the development of tourism have been taken sporadically; rather these should be taken collectively and in a planned manner.”
“We don’t have a crisis management committee for tourism. There is no co-ordination between Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation and Bangladesh Tourism Board. Even the ministries lack co-ordination when it comes to doing development projects. One doesn’t know what the other is doing until it is too late,” Masud Hossain, Managing Director, The Bengal Tours Ltd, said.
Shahid Hamid FIH, Executive Director, Dhaka Regency Hotel & Resort and Chairman & Executive Board Member, PATA Bangladesh Chapter, said, “15-20 years ago, a specific tour operator brought tourist bus tax-free. This initiative should be taken again since the transportation cost is plenty now. BTB should play a regulatory role from now on as, for instance, we see that the service charge in one hotel is 5pc, whereas 12.5pc in another. This huge gap should be regulated. Instead of taking approval in every step, Civil Aviation and Tourism Ministry should think about declaring the parameter of a hotel as ETZ (Exclusively Tourist Zone) because 98pc of residents in a hotel are foreigners.”
Dr. Bhuban Chandra Biswas, CEO, Bangladesh Tourism Board, said, “All of the essential matters you all have mentioned will be taken to the ministry in a written form and carried out in phases.”
Md Mahbub Ali, State Minister, Civil Aviation and Tourism Ministry, concluded, “We need to be open minded when it comes to tourism. Even Saudi is relaxing their laws for their sea beaches. Malaysia did the same thing looking at Thailand. We can make our Saint Martin ‘heaven on earth’. There are so many other tourism resources for us to use and develop. All of the aforementioned matters will surely be looked into.”