Tk 200 cr loss for ecasted
Staff Correspondent, Cox’s Bazar: The main opposition BNP-Jamaat strike on October 29 after the rally on October 28 and the three-day blockade from October 31 to November 2 had an impact on the tourism industry of Cox’s Bazar. Most of the tourists have canceled the rooms booked from October 29 to November 4. Over 90 percent of hotel-motel rooms are lying empty. The loss is about Tk 200 crore.
The unexpected strike at the beginning of the season, the blockade program is seen as an ominous sign for tourism. However, it is said that the blockade did not affect the roads of Cox’s Bazar. The Teknaf-Saint-Martin waterway is also operational. Two tourist ships are regularly plying on this route. From the district headquarters, microbuses and CNG taxis and other small vehicles have been operating in the remote areas of the upazila without any hindrance. Of the three vessels plying the Teknaf-Saint-Martin route, two are tourist vessels. Sea-Cruise Owners Association of Bangladesh general secretary Hossain Islam Bahadur said that about seven hundred tourists have come and gone to St. Martin on two ships.
Golam Mortuza, manager of Cox’s Bazar Airport, said that 22 flights are operating from Dhaka to the airport. One and a half to two thousand passengers are traveling on these flights every day.
Cox’s Bazar District Restaurant Owners Association and District Jasad President Naemul Haque Chowdhury Tutul said that due to the blockade, the long-distance bus movement has been greatly affected in the tourism industry. Over 90 percent of tourists left Cox’s Bazar on Monday (October 30). As a result, the restaurants of sea side are counting losses. Tourism would have been active if bus traffic had been increased under police guard during the blockade. We are discussing this with the administration.
Abul Kashem Sikder, general secretary of Cox’s Bazar Tourism Service Association and president of Hotel-Motel Guest House Owners Association, said that the blockade has adversely affected the tourism industry. During the peak season, about 95 percent of hotel-motel rooms are empty. On Tuesday (October 31) there were only three tourists in my hotel (Hotel Diamond).
Riyad Iftekhar, general manager of White Orchid Hotel, claimed the same.
Abdul Quader Mishu, director of Kalatali’s star hotel Ocean Paradise, said that after the announcement of the blockade, the tourists canceled all the bookings from Tuesday to Thursday. Most of the tourists staying in star hotels come by bus.
President of Cox’s Bazar Chamber of Commerce and Industry Abu Morshed Chowdhury Khoka said that the business of almost every hotel in the tourism zone is going down. Almost only 5-10 percent of hotel rooms are rented. Due to the strike, the blockade has reduced the tourism sector in all sectors, but there has been a loss of Tk 200 crore.
Abdul Hannan, front office manager of Ocean Paradise Hotel, said that the employees of all hotels are having a lazy time. Hotel workers are happy when there are tourists. Irrespective of the political situation, everyone is requested to keep tourism out of trouble. Otherwise, the potential industry will fall flat.
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