India’s tour operators could play a major role in promoting tourism of Bangladesh, says Mr. Rahman
“We invite all tour operators to visit Bangladesh as it presents immense opportunities for Indian tourists to come and explore the country. Hon’ble Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of Bangladesh has emphasised on the importance of promoting tourism in India, besides other sectors of the economy. The Government of Bangladesh has set up Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA) to accelerate investment in the Country. One of the core activities is to develop the Special Economic Zones (SEZs). Three Economic Zones are dedicated to Indian investors and entrepreneurs, of which two of them are exclusively promoting tourism. One is Sabrang Tourism Park which is over an area of 1027 acres. The other is Naf Tourism Park is being built on the 271 acre island”, said Mr. Md. Lutfor Rahman Deputy High Commissioner of Bangladesh in Mumbai at an interactive session on ‘Promoting Tourism in Bangladesh’ jointly organised by MVIRDC World Trade Center Mumbai and All India Association of Industries in association with Bangladesh Deputy High Commission in Mumbai at WTC Mumbai.
Mr. Rahman said that his office will be inviting tour operators in Mumbai to visit the country and gain from first-hand experience of the place, in terms of sightseeing locations, tourism agencies and hotels. He further added that Bangladesh has three world heritage sites, while five more have been nominated and are pending approval. India is successfully promoting tourism and Bangladesh looks to India on building a strategy to promote its tourism.
Mr. Rahman further added that currently Indian visitors to Bangladesh were only businessmen and the Commission is issuing upto 50 visas per day. Plans are on to bring the Bangladesh Minister to lead a delegation of tour operators within a span of six months to India. He also said that Biman Bangladesh Airlines is operating flights to Bangladesh from Delhi and Kolkata, however, if tourism gets a boost and if there is a sizable number of tourists from Mumbai then direct flights would be arranged from Mumbai. He also said that there will be one official who will be appointed at the Commission to hand the portfolio on tourism and queries could be directed to the official.
Earlier, Ms. Rupa Naik, Senior Director, MVIRDC World Trade Center Mumbai while welcoming the tour operators to the session said,
Ms. Naik invited all participants to the Concurrent Session II on ‘Tourism As a Tool for Regional and Development’ on February 26, 2020B which is part of BIMSTEC Expo scheduled for February 26 – 28, 2020 being organised at World Trade Center Mumbai. She suggested that the past president of Tour Operators Association of Bangladesh (TOAB), a speaker at the event would provide an in-depth perspective on Bangladesh’s tourism potential and participants could seek clarification on any aspect of it.
The interactive session ended with questions-answers, where the participating tour operators raised questions on presence of tourism board in Mumbai to address queries, plans for promotion of Bangladesh tourism through road shows etc., duration for tourist stay in Bangladesh as part of a familiarisation tour, best time of the year to visit the country, suggestion to issue electronic visa, potential for sports tourism, etc.
Mr. Anil Velde, Joint Director – Trade Promotion and Marketing, MVIRDC World Trade Center Mumbai while proposing the vote of thanks requested Mr. Rahman for details on Bangladesh Travel & Tourism Fair (BTTF) 2020 to be held in April which would be circulated among the participants. Also, information on the BIMSTEC Expo would be shared among the participants through a whataspp group.
A view of the participating tour operators from Mumbai. Also seen is Mr. Anil Velde, Joint Director – Trade Promotion and Marketing, MVIRDC World Trade Center Mumbai (extreme left), Mr. Md. Lutfor Rahman Deputy High Commissioner of Bangladesh in Mumbai (foreground, center) and Ms. Rupa Naik, Senior Director, MVIRDC World Trade Center Mumbai (extreme right) at the interactive session on ‘Promoting Tourism in Bangladesh’ jointly organised by MVIRDC World Trade Center Mumbai and All India Association of Industries in association with Bangladesh Deputy High Commission in Mumbai at WTC Mumbai.