The Bangladesh Monitor Editor tells DU students

Travel and tourism to grow if the sector gets appropriate policy support

A Monitor Report 16 Mar, 2017  |    -      +
Dhaka : All indicators suggest that the growth prospects of travel and tourism sector in Bangladesh is inevitable. If the sector gets appropriate policy support, big investments from home and abroad can be attracted, and the country and its people will greatly be benefitted.

Kazi Wahidul Alam, Editor, The Bangladesh Monitor, was addressing the orientation programme of the 22nd batch of the Evening MBA programme of the Department of Tourism and Hospitality Management of University at Pan Pacific Sonargaon in the city on March 9.

A total of sixty students have enrolled in the programme.

Kazi Wahidul Alam said, in the last five years since 2011, Bangladesh has achieved growth in tourism and hospitality sector in almost all counts.

According to research by World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), direct contribution of travel and tourism to GDP of Bangladesh was Tk 182.5 billion in 2011. It has increased to Tk 407.6 billion in 2015 and is expected to rise Tk 738.1 billion between 2016 and 2026, constituting 2.3 pc of total GDP.

The Bangladesh Monitor Editor said, in 2011 travel and tourism sectors directly supported 1.129 million jobs, which has increased to 1.138 million jobs in 2015. It is expected to rise to 1.257 million jobs in 2026, which would be 1.8 pc of the total employment. The number would be much higher if the jobs, which are individually supporting the industry are taken into consideration.

In the recent past a phenomenal growth has been registered in domestic tourist movements, whereas international tourist arrivals have also grown significantly, and it is bound to grow in the years ahead, if the political situation in the country remains stable.

Seventeen more five-star or international rated hotel chains are coming up in Dhaka, Chittagong, Cox's Bazar and other ports of the country. Local brand boutique hotels and resorts are also taking their place in the market.

Kazi Wahidul Alam said, private airlines are strengthening their fleet and expanding networks - both home and abroad, while all other mode of transports are continuously improving their service standards.

He said, those of you, who have decided to study Tourism and Hospitality Management in this great seat of learning, have taken a very right decision and I would urge upon you to pursue your career in this trade, once you pass out successfully.

Kazi Wahidul Alam said, "The country needs a lot of human resources in the tourism and hospitality management and you should exploit the opportunity through gaining of proper qualifications."

Prof. Dr. Syed Rashidul Hasan, Director, MBA (Evening) Programme, said inbound tourism is not that much impressive in terms of number of foreign visitors.

He said in 1995, 154,000 tourists came to Bangladesh. In 2008, it shot up to 467,000 tourists. However, it fell down to 125,000 in 2014.

On the other hand, in 1995, 8,30,000 outbound tourists left Bangladesh for foreign destinations. In 2013, the number of outbound tourists stood at 1,460,000.

In terms of tourism receipts and expenditure, in the year US$154 million was earned as foreign exchange from tourism sector, but in the same year outbound Bangladeshi tourists spent US$414 million outside.

If non-domestic air transportation, accommodation, shopping and other costs are included, the figure would have stood at US$796million.

Prof Dr Syed Rashidul Hasan pointed out that at present one out of seven (a bit more than one billion) persons in the world is going abroad for tourism purposes. In the year four and a half billion tourists will travel to other countries.

So keeping other parameters static, the tourism business will be four fold in volume in Bangladesh. So at that time we will be needing huge number of trained human resources in our tourism and hospitality sector.

EJ Mac Ewan said, "You have a lot of distinctive and inimitable things to offer to foreign tourists. Promote those, but do not try to be another Singapore or Dubai." He also counselled teamwork.

Prof Dr Shaker Ahmed, Chairman, Department of Tourism and Hospitality Management said, the future of our country depends on tourism and hospitality industry. Keeping that in mind the University authorities launched Department of Tourism and Hospitality Management ten years back.

And since then we are trying to impart quality education in tourism and hospitality management. The department is trying to establish linkages with different foreign universities to further enrich the department's curricula and other research works.

Prof Dr Shaker Ahmed said, we are also trying to work with various industry bodies like TOAB, ATAB, TDAB and TRIAB.

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