Bangladesh records growth of visitor exports and investment despite government inaction

By Raquib Siddiqi 16 Mar, 2017  |    -      +
Dhaka : Bangladesh has recorded growth concerning visitor exports- a key component of the direct contribution of Travel and Tourism. This is despite government inaction in regard to development of tourism.

It may be noted that, visitor exports are defined, as the spending within the country, by international tourists, for both business and leisure trips, including transportation spending. This is consistent with total inbound tourism expenditure in table 1 of the TSA.

Investment in tourism sector of Bangladesh has also made progress and the growing trend is expected to continue.

According to rese-arch by World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), visitor exports generated Tk 6.9 billion-0.5 per cent of total exports in 2011. It increased to Tk 10.8bn (0.4 per cent of total exports) in 2015. This is forecast to grow by 4.3 per cent in 2016, and grow by 7.1 per cent pa, from 2016-2026, to Tk 22.4bn in 2026 (0.4 per cent of total).

Travel and Tourism investment in 2011 was Tk 34.3bn, or 1.7 per cent of total investment. It rose in 2015 to Tk 61.6bn, or 1.2 per cent of total investment. It should rise by 6.3 per cent in 2016, and rise by 8.8 per cent pa over the next ten years to Tk 151.9bn in 2026 (1.7 per cent of total).

In 2011, Bang-ladesh generated BDT 6.9b in visitor ex-ports. In 2015, Bangladesh generated Tk 10.8bn in visitor exports and the country is expected to attract 400,000 international tourist arrivals.

In 2016, this is expected to grow by 4.3 per cent, and the country is expected to attract 173,000 international tourist arrivals.

By 2026, international tourist arrivals are forecast to total 278,000, generating expenditure of Tk 22.4bn, an increase of 4.8 per cent per annum.

Travel & Tourism is expected to have attracted capital investment of Tk 61.6bn in 2015. This is expected to rise by 6.3 per cent in 2016, and rise by 8.8 per cent per annum over the next ten years to Tk 151.9bn in 2026.

Travel and Tourism's share of total national investment will rise from 1.2 per cent in 2016 to 1.7 per cent in 2026.

Business vs Leisure

Leisure travel spending (inbound and domestic) generated 81.9 per cent of direct Travel & Tourism GDP in 2015 (Tk 534.1bn) compared with 18.1 per cent for business travel spending (Tk 117.7bn).

Leisure travel spending is expected to grow by 5.9 per cent in 2016 to Tk 565.5bn, and rise by 5.7 per cent per annum to Tk 986.0bn in 2026.

Business travel spending is expected to grow by 7.4 per cent in 2016 to Tk 126.4bn, and rise by 5.4 per cent per annum to Tk 213.5bn in 2026.

Domestic vs Foreign

Domestic travel spending generated 98.3 per cent of direct Travel & Tourism GDP in 2051 compared with 1.7 per cent for visitor exports (i.e.foreign visitor spending or international tourism receipts).

Domestic travel spending is expected to grow by 6.2 per cent in 2016 to Tk 680.6bn, and rise by 5.6 per cent per annum to Tk 564.4bn in 2022.

Visitor exports are expected to grow by 7.3 per cent in 2012 to Tk 7.4bn, and rise by 4.8 per cent per annum to Tk 1,117.1bn in 2026.

Visitor exports are expected to grow by 4.3 per cent in 2016 to Tk11.3bn, and rise by 7.1 per cent to Tk 22.4bn in 2926.

Global scene

Travel and Tourism continues to be one of the world's largest industries. For the fifth successive year, the growth of the Travel and Tourism sector in 2015 (2.8 per cent) outpaced that of the global economy (2.3 per cent) and a number of other major sectors such as manufacturing and retail. In total, Travel and Tourism generated US $7.2 trillion (9.8 per cent of global GDP) and supported 284 million jobs, equivalent to 1 in 11 jobs in the global economy.

The outlook for Travel and Tourism in 2016 remains robust, despite economic fragilities and other sources of volatility in the wider market. The sector's GDP growth contribution is expected to accelerate and again outpace growth of the wider economy. Stronger growth in 2016 is likely to be underpinned by an improving global economy. The lowest oil prices in more than a decade will continue to boost demand through lower transport costs, whilst household finances and disposable income will benefit from reduced energy costs.

Through the last year, safety and security concerns have moved into the spotlight, and we have to assume that these issues will continue to cause difficulties in the years ahead. We note that the sector remains resilient and that governments are working hard to ensure the safety of tourists and to minimise the impact of security threats. Incidents such as the ones we observed with shock and sadness in recent months will not stop people travelling, as the world continues to go about its business.

There are other factors, which are influencing the flow of travellers around the world. Notably, the strength of the US dollar relative to other currencies is shifting the price competitiveness of destinations and will affect who travels where this year. Undoubtedly new developments will emerge alongside these existing factors. Travel & Tourism is a key force for good, and it has proven in the past that it is strong and adaptable enough to face any challenges. It will continue to grow, to create jobs, and to bring economic and social benefits.

The Travel and Tourism sector is expected to grow faster than the wider economy and many other industries over the next decade. It is anticipated to support over 370 million jobs by 2026. Such strong growth will require tourism destinations across the world to provide environments that are conducive to business development. It will require effective coordination between public institutions and the private sector around the world.

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