The Bangladeshi government has commenced work, by preparing a proposal for approval, to create an exclusive tourism zone in Cox’s Bazar and Bandarban districts.
The government is working sincerely for the development of the country’s tourism sector and to attract both domestic and foreign tourists, work is already underway to formulate new laws and guidelines on tourism and to identify the tourism spots.
Highlighting the importance of the Sundarbans, the world’s largest mangrove forest, he said the government would make necessary arrangements so that the tourists could enjoy the scenic beauty of the Sundarbans.
In this regard, GM Quader stressed the need for the formation of “Tourist Police”.
A comprehensive development of the Chittagong Hill Tracts region has been envisaged and a long-term plan costing between US$2.1 billion to US$2.8 billion has been budgeted.
Similarly, approval has been given for the development of cable car facilities in five areas in Rangamati and Bandarban.
RECENT newspaper reports indicated that the traditional performance of the country in relation to tourism had stared to change for the better. Foreign tourist arrivals in the present winter season seem to be particularly good. This was borne out by figures given by the Tour Operators Association of Bangladesh (TOAB) which pointed to significant business expansion. This positive turn in tourism is not the outcome of planned promotional moves on the part of the Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation (BPC). The private tour operators, too, have not so much improved their sales pitch to make this happen.
There has been a dramatic change in mentality of tourists who prefer little known destinations. Many tourists on coming to Bangladesh are realising that this country has so much to offer to them. The experiences they will carry back can be the best publicity for tourism here. The tasks on the part of the tourist bodies should be to sustain the interest of foreign tourists who are still coming as the winter season is not over. The unexpected increase in the number of tourists may have already created pressure on limited capacities.
Therefore, better preparations must be taken to cope with increased tourist arrivals in the next season. Meanwhile, all involved in the industry should be motivated by better policies and planning to render the most impressive and dedicated services to tourists. At the same time long term plans will have to be taken up and pursued with a sense of urgency. The government should take the initiative and expand essential infrastructures like airports, roads and leave the works of building accommodation and recreation centres to private businesses. But things should be done in accordance with a master plan to be prepared in consultation with stake holders and experts in the field.
TRAVEX Set To Open For World Tourism Buyers
The world is all eyes on Brunei and Asean as over 370 buyers from 52 countries enjoy a field day at the six-day Asean Travel Exchange (TRAVEX), the market component of the Asean Tourism Forum 2010 hosted by Brunei.
The 5,000-square-metre exhibition area at the Brunei International Defence Exhibition (BRIDEX) Centre in Jerudong – a few kilometres from the main ATF 2010 event at The Empire Hotel & Country Club – is being filled up by some 315 participating companies and 383 exhibiting booths representing 10 countries.
To get an overview of the event that opens today and runs till January 28, the Bulletin spoke to Ms Hanli Tan, Assistant Marcoms Manager of TTGAsia Media Pte Ltd, a leading organiser and event manager of travel tradeshows in Asia. Brunei has delegated TTGAsia as the event organiser for ATF 2010.
TRAVEX is a platform for the selling and buying of regional and individual tourism products from Asean member countries: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myammar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
Thailand occupies the biggest exhibition area with 108 booths, followed by Malaysia with 63 booths, Indonesia with 52 booths, Singapore with 23 booths and the Philippines with 20 booths.
The event enables exhibitors of all types to sell their travel or tourism products. Among the areas of focus are adventure/incentive travel supplies, airlines/airports, convention/meetings, cruise lines/ferry services, dive operators, golf courses, hotels and resorts, national/ state tourism organisations, special interest operators, sightseeing/guide services, spas/health tourism businesses, theme parks/tourist attractions, tour operators as well as destination management companies.
The six-day event is expected to attract buyers from all over the world including Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Brunei, Cambodia, Canada, Czech Republic, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Laos, Lebanon, Macedonia, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Myanmar, Nepal, the Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan, the Philippines, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, USA and Vietnam.
Europe makes up the largest delegation of buyers outside the Asia-Pacific Region, followed by Americas and the Middle East. Buyers include airlines, convention/exhibition organisers, auto rental/coach operators, hotels and resorts, incentive organisers, meeting/conference planners, retail operators, travel agents and wholesalers.
The centrally located and well-equipped exhibition venue is well poised to impress both exhibitors and delegates at ATF 2010, as much as Brunei will charm with its pristine rainforests, majestic landmarks and warm culture.
The Lao National Tourism Administration is one of the exhibitors taking part in the event. In an interview with the Bulletin yesterday, Mr Saly Phimphinnith, the Lao Director-General of Tourism and Promotion praised the exhibition area and venue, and said he was amazed with the beauty and tranquility of Brunei Darussalam.
He believed that Brunei can promote itself to be one of the best tourism destinations in Southeast Asia. He said that throughout the exhibition, Laos will be highlighting some of its best sites, such as the Luang Prabang and Wat Phou, a ruined Khmer temple complex in southern Laos.
Exhibition contractors were yesterday seen busy putting up the booths and making sure everything was in order, including the audio-visual complex of exhibition booths