Govt to boost tourism in Sundarban and Saint Martin’s Island

Different government agencies have come up with new proposals for boosting tourism particularly in Sundarban and Saint Martin’s Island.

Ministry of Environment and Forest, Ministry of Shipping, Bangladesh Navy, Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation and Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA) have submitted separate proposals for the roadmap to the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism (MoCAT) in a meeting in Dhaka on Tuesday, reports state run BSS. Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister Rashed Khan Menon Chaired the meeting.

In the next meeting, a high-powered committee would be formed to prepare the ‘roadmap for the ecotourism’ after scrutinizing the proposals.

Menon said the government wants to develop the tourism sector in such a way that it could contribute more towards the country’s economic development as well as generate further employment opportunities.

Referring to the achievement of Sri Lanka and Nepal in tourism sector, Menon said: “We want to contribute double to the country’s GDP in next few years.”

As per the statistics of World Tourism Council, Bangladesh has earned Taka 40,760 crore in 2015 from the tourism sector which was 2.4 percent of the total GDP. If the trend would continue, the contribution would stand at Taka 73,810 crore in 2016.

Identifying the insufficient transport, tourism infrastructures, facilities and lack of awareness as the main barriers to the ecotourism in Sundarbans, the proposals submitted by different ministries and organization suggested to introduce tourist friendly ships, construct environment friendly motel, safari park fencing, birds viewing facilities, wildlife photography facilities, battery-run boat, angling spot and other facilities so tourist could enjoy their trip.

It also advocated for establishing cultural tourism sites in the neighbouring villages of the Sundarbans mangrove forest-in Khulna and Satkhira-to promote ecotourism.

Besides, taking into consideration of different natural resources in the Saint Martin’s Island, they also opined to establish sea aquarium, large scale scuba diving, beach bike racing and other sports, ship for the tourist, motel and flying boat operation which would bring opportunity for the tourist to enjoy Aerial view of the island.

Source: The Daily Sun. Date: 19 July, 2016