Golam Mostafa Jibon: Despite a two-year health ban over Corona pandemic, a new horizon is getting started in the tourism sector of the country centering the immediate past Eid-ul-fitr.
Meanwhile, the presence of millions of tourists in some tourist spots of the country centering holidays of the Eid-ul-Fitr has surpassed all the records of the past. Hundreds of crores of Taka have been transacted in various sectors including hotel-motel, public transport business centered on tourist spots.
According to experts, in the coming days, the government can earn huge amount of money only from the tourism sector. This requires the development of communication system to travel from Dhaka to tourist centers. A huge amount of money will come from this sector if it can make easier for the tourists to travel to the tourist centers of the country including Kuakata, Jaflong, Tamabil and the three hill districts. According to those involved in the tourism industry, more than Tk 15,000 crore has been transacted in this sector during the Eid holidays.
Basically, this time around, the flow of money in the country has surpassed all the records of the past. Around Tk 2 trillion has been transacted in various purposes including tourism, garments, food and beverage items, transport business, Zakat, charity and various types of financial assistance. More than Tk 15,000 crore has been transacted in travel, hotel rent, food and drink for tourists. Tk 1.80 trillion has been transacted in various types of garments, insiders said.
In addition to this, huge amount of money has been transacted in transport sector. The flow of Eid-centric money has accelerated the wheels of the country’s economy. This massive handover has helped to overcome the economic stagnation of the Corona period and the last two years.
Economist of the Center for Policy Research (CPD) Khandaker Golam Moazzem said, “We have noticed a lot of recovery in the Eid-centric trade and commerce, especially in the tourism sector. Shopping, travel, tourism, entertainment, trade and commerce are all positive, which has contributed to the economic dynamism.
Bangladesh Shop Owners Association President Helaluddin said, “Earlier the flow of Eid-centric money was Tk 1.40 trillion, this time it has increased to Tk 2 trillion. Eighty percent of people have spent according to their means on Eid.
Tour Operators Association of Bangladesh (TOAB) President Rafiuzzaman said, “At least one million people travel the country during the Eid holidays. Last Eids were passed under house arrest due to the Corona epidemic. So this time, the countrymen have met with uninterrupted joy on Eid. Tourists flock to tourist centers across the country, including the capital, during the Eid holidays. And so, after two years of recession, the Eid-centric economy has come back to life. Eid clothes, shoes and other luxury items have been sold at a remarkable measure.
Meanwhile, the Bangladesh Shop Owners’ Association estimates that Iftar parties, weddings, Eid holidays and village trips, all together have resulted in a transaction of around Tk 2 trillion.
Analysts said, the influx of Eid-centric money will help strengthen the post-Corona economy. It will also speed up the transaction. After a long time, the revival is returning to the ruined tourism sector. This time, the people involved in the sector are getting good response in internal and external tourism. However, in the tourism sector of the country, there are still various limitations of irresponsible behavior of each sector including communication system. That is why, the tourism of Bangladesh like neighboring countries-India, Maldives, Nepal and Bhutan is not developing.
Tour operators in Bangladesh said, most of the people, who have celebrated Eid outside the country this Eid, have flown to Dubai and Maldives in the United Arab Emirates. Apart from these two countries, the Istanbul route in Turkey was one of the most popular for Eid celebrations.
They said, this time 1 million people have gone to different destinations of the country for Eid holidays. About 5 lakh have also gone abroad. Guests have made advance bookings in various sub-sectors of tourism including hotels, motels, resorts, restaurants and aviation.
Shahidul Islam Sagar, president of Bangladesh Tour Guide Association, said that, about 20 lakh tourists have visited Cox’s Baza’ar, Kuakata, Sundarbans, Bandarban, Sajek, Rangamati and Sylhet. And 35 lakh more can be visited every day in theme parks, amusement parks, heritage sites, natural tourist sites, river banks and shoal areas across the country. The total number of domestic tourists is about 75 lakhs. Regarding Eid-centric trade, Shahidul Islam Sagar further said, if 75 lakh tourists spend an average of Tk 2,000, the total trade would be Tk 15,000 crore.
Rafiuzzaman, President of the Tour Operators Association of Bangladesh (TOAB) said, according to Bangladesh Tourism Corporation, there are more than 200 resorts in the country. In particular, these resorts have sprung up in the vicinity of Dhaka, including Gazipur, Narayanganj and Narsingdi. These Eid-centric resorts were also full. According to Khabir Uddin Ahmed, President of Tourism Resort Industries Association of Bangladesh (TRIAB), about 50-60 percent of resorts were booked in advance centering Eid holidays. Again, many have come directly to the resort.
Motaleb Sharif, General Secretary of the Kuakata Hotel-Motel Owners’ Association said, there were more than 150 hotels and motels in Kuakata, including 84 of their members. All the hotels were full during the Eid holidays. The overflowing crowd was on the beach. Now the communication system with Kuakata is better than earlier especially to come from Barishal. Now, there is no need to cross any ferry. However, the number of tourists may increase, if luxury launches or buses are launched directly with Kuakata.
Tour operators in Bangladesh said, most of the people who have celebrated Eid outside the country during this Eid have gone to Dubai and Maldives by air. In addition to these two countries, Turkey was one of the most popular Eid celebrations.
According to the Bangladesh Outbound Tour Operators Association, more than half a million people have applied for Indian visas during the Eid holidays. Travel to India was closed for a long time by land. Especially after the opening of the land port for Bangladesh-India passenger travel in the first week of April, the visa application has increased several times. Every working day, long lines of applicants are seen at Indian visa application centers in different cities including Dhaka. Many have also traveled to the Maldives, Dubai, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Thailand and Nepal.
According to a recent survey by the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS), India is the top choice for Bangladeshis to travel abroad, followed by Saudi Arabia and Malaysia. Then there is Thailand. But this time it happened differently. With the launch of direct US Bengal flights to the Maldives, this time Maldives was at the top of the tourists’ choice. Dubai and Turkey were their second choice.
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