Industry Desk: After being closed for around four months, all tourist destinations and entertainment centres like resorts, theme parks, and zoos, including hotels and community centres, are to reopen today at half capacity in compliance with hygiene rules.
Organizations or businesses neglecting to comply with hygiene rules, will be held responsible and legal action will be taken against them, according to a Cabinet Division notification issued on August 12.
Before tourist locations open, on Tuesday the Bangladesh Tourism Board held a virtual views-exchange meeting to decide on what to do to manage sub-sectors of the tourism industry so that they implement standard operating procedures (SOPs) and hygiene rules.
The state minister for Civil Aviation and Tourism, secretary to the ministry, the chairman of Bangladesh Tourism Corporation, director general of the Department of Archeology, deputy inspector general (DIG) of Tourist Police, the deputy commissioners of 12 tourist destination districts, and other responsible persons of various organisations relevant to tourism, attended the meeting chaired by Jabed Ahmed, chief executive officer of the tourism board.
“All measures will be taken to ensure hygiene and social distancing in open tourist spaces. Deputy commissioners have been instructed to have in place, round-the-clock mobile courts at all tourist spots,” Jabed Ahmed told.
“First, the leadership of concerned associations have been given the responsibility to ensure no more than 50% use of hotel rooms, motels, and leisure centres. Local administrations have also been tasked to remain proactive. If necessary, officials from the tourism ministry and the tourism board will visit.”
The country’s tourism and entertainment centres were closed from 18 March to 16 August last year. With the start of the second wave of coronavirus, all tourist centres of the country have been closed since 1 April this year.
Stakeholders are saying loss to the tourism sector due to coronavirus last year has been more than Tk20,000 crore. And since March this year, losses have only increased as everything has come to a standstill.
A large number of the industry’s professionals and support staff have already lost their jobs in the pandemic, they added.
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