For tourism purposes
Zarif Mahmud: Bangladesh is expected to receive 0.26 million foreign tourists in the calendar year 2024, up from 0.5 million in 2023, said Statista, a Germany-based online platform for data gathering and visualization, in its recent report. But it will hamper for the high airfare and travel taxes.
According to its calculation, Bangladesh received 0.32 million tourists in 2019, which fell sharply to 60,000 in 2020, and 1,17,000 in 2021.
In 2021, Bangladesh generated around $273.00 million in the tourism sector alone. This corresponds to 0.059 percent of its the gross domestic product and approximately 2 percent of all international tourism receipts in South Asia.
On the other hand, Bangladesh is spending about $1.20 billion for the purpose of tourism to visit abroad annually.
Bangladesh’s expenditures data was reported at $659 million in 2020. This records a decrease from the previous number of $1.389 billion for 2019.
International tourism expenditures are expenditures of international outbound visitors in other countries, including payments to foreign carriers for international transport. These expenditures may include those by residents traveling abroad as same-day visitors, except in cases where these are important enough to justify separate classification. For some countries they do not include expenditures for passenger transport items.
It also estimated that the country’s inbound tourists will increase to 2019’s level of 0.32 million in 2028 following some ups and downs along the way.
Meaning, it will take five more years for inbound travel to recover to pre-pandemic levels and solve the Covid-19 induced crisis that is currently haunting the industry.
According to Bangladesh Tourism Board’s data, the country drew a constantly increasing number of foreign holidaymakers between 2016 and 2019.
In 2019, the country attracted 6,21,131 foreign tourists while the figure declined to 1,81,518 in 2020 and 1,35,186 in 2021.
However, the figures available at the government organisations might not reflect the authentic number of holidaymakers, as many foreigners come to Bangladesh for different purposes with tourist visa, stressed industry insiders.
The inflow of foreign tourists in Bangladesh remains much lower than potential over infrastructure shortcomings, visa regime complexity, and destination marketing or promotion limitation.
Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh announced plans to increase development and security fees at airports across the country from January 1, 2024. The move will lead to increased airfare for passengers.
As per reports citing Md Aziz Taher Khan, Member (Finance) of CAAB, the authority has made a policy decision to adjust the development and security fees of our airports in light of the rising dollar exchange rate.
The proposal has been forwarded to the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism to finalise the matter, he added, according to reports.
The decision to set passenger and freight fares in taka instead of US dollar will also be effective from January 2024, further mentioned the reports citing the CAAB representative.
Industry insiders have mentioned while talking to The Bangladesh Monitor that the increased airport fees will possibly lead to air ticket price hike.
Currently, passengers from SAARC countries pay Tk 545 airport development fee and Tk 654 passenger security fee for flights on international routes. For passengers from countries outside the SAARC region, the fees are currently Tk 1,090 for airport development and Tk 1,090 for passenger security.
For domestic route passengers, the fees are Tk 100 for airport development and Tk 70 for passenger security.
As per reports, CAAB proposed the ministry to increase airport development fee to Tk 700 and passenger security fee to Tk 840 for passengers from SAARC countries on international routes.
For passengers from non-SAARC countries, the proposed fees are Tk 1,400 for airport development and passenger security each. On the other hand, for domestic route passengers, Tk 150 and Tk 100 fees have been proposed for airport development and passenger security respectively.CAAB has proposal the fees for period till December 2025, noted reports.
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