Golam Mostafa Jibon: River tourism may be new potential in the country’s economy. Not only that, it can become an important component of prosperity in the national economy, experts said.
Riverine Bangladesh is a field of great potential for river tourism. Although, river tourism is popular in different countries of the world, such facilities have not been developed in Bangladesh.
In the big cities of the country, small rivers or big canals or tributaries of the rivers once existed, but either due to geographical reasons or due to the pressure of increased population, the existence of those rivers and canals has disappeared. Many countries in the world do not have such riverine terrain. Still the number of rivers, canals, lakesand ponds has in Bangladesh, it is not less. This is why, there is immense potential for river tourism or boat tourism in this country. River tourism may open a new horizon in the national economy.
Those rivers can bring different levels of natural beauty. Through this, Bangladesh’s river, Haor, Beel, Jheel and lake-centric tourist spots may become the focus of foreign tourists’ attention. Kaptai, Rangamati, Sylhet, Sunamganj, Netrakona, Rajshahi, Sirajganj, Bhairab, Khulna, Bagerhat Barisal, Bhola, Jhalkathi, Pirojpur and Patuakhali have ample opportunity and potential to develop marine tourism industry. One of the great advantages of river tourism is the wonderful opportunity to enjoy the pristine natural environment, which is not available in other tourism enterprises. Nowadays, the development of mechanized civilization is polluting the environment around the world, in which case water tourism can offer a touch of peace for the tourists. This will create a wonderful opportunity to enjoy pure nature with family, friends and colleagues.
River tourism requires proliferation of small, large and medium-sized boats. There is no doubt that, when the tourists will visit the various riverside tourist centers of Sundarbans, Bhola, Hatia, Kaptai Rangamati, Bandarban, Bhairab, Sunamganj, Sylhet and Netrakona boarded on small boats, ships or steamers with comfortable modern facilities, they will enjoy very much.
A new tide will be created in the economic and commercial activities centering those tourist centers. It can also be an advantageous factor in river tourism. Still, the possibility of shipping from Dhaka via Chittagong to Cox’s Baza’ar, Kaptai, Rangamati, Bandarban, Teknaf, St. Martin, Maheshkhali, Kutubdia, Sandwip and Hatiacan be verified.
In neighboring India’s Kerala, Jammu and Kashmir or Southeast Asia’s Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Maldives, Sri Lanka and Mauritius, marine tourism has achieved a lot of success. The popularity of river tourism in these countries is easily seen. Focusing only on rivers, lakes and coastal areas, they have taken their tourism industry far. Various attractive marine tourism initiatives are repeatedly calling the tourists from the country and abroad, in response to which millions of tourists are visiting those countries every year. Like Kerala, Janmu and Kashmir or Vietnam and Cambodia, Bangladesh has also excellent interesting spots of river tourism in Rangamati, Kaptai, Bandarban, Khulna, Bagerhat and Sunamganj region. Now, thosehave been laying neglected, disrespected, dilapidated and unattractive condition. With proper care, patronage and cooperation, potential marine tourism areas can be developed as a center of interest and attention for all. Not only Cox’s Bazar, Rangamati, Kaptai, Bandarban or Sundarbans, the entire Bangladesh can become a pilgrimage destination due to the development of maritime tourism.
Experts said, big Haor, Baor, Beel, Jheel and Lakes in the Bhati region take the form of sea during monsoon. Tourists can go out by ship, steamer, launch or speedboat to enjoy the breathtaking natural beauty of monsoons.
Many initiatives have been taken to open waterways around the capital city Dhaka. Water bus has been launched in Buriganga river. Here too there is great scope for river tourism. About 400 years ago, Dhaka was compared to London, the capital city of England. It is to be mentioned that, London is located on the banks of river Thames. Like that, Dhaka is situating on the banks of river Buriganga. Once, Dhaka was a riverine region. Now that is no longer.
But if the initiative is still taken, it will get a new shape. The government should take various initiatives of river tourism focusing on Dhaka, Narayanganj, Munshiganj and Chandpur region. If 100 or 200 seats water buses are introduced to travel around Dhaka by water, people will enjoy it immensely. Different types of services can be arranged according to the needs of the tourists. Many of the rivers in the country are flooded due to non-dredging of river-based tourism initiatives. Due to which,plying of all types of launches, steamers and ships is disrupted. By dredging these rivers, arrangements can be made to bring the navigable back. People of Dhaka, Chattogram and other riverside cities can take the opportunity to rediscover their country through river tourism. Infrastructural development of this sector needs to take contemporary plans and initiatives. With the development of river tourism or marine tourism, domestic tourism industry can go a long way faster.
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