Mega plan for tourism

PM stresses quick development of important spots

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday asked the officials to expedite development of the existing and prospective tourist spots as per the master plan adopted last December.
In a meeting of the Bangladesh Tourist Council at the Prime Minister Office (PMO), she also urged the officials to take necessary measures for encouraging the local people in tourism and explore the local tourism potentials.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Chairperson of the Council was presiding over the meeting.
Briefing reporters after the meeting, PM’s Press Secretary AKM Shameem Chowdhury said the year 2016 would be observed in Bangladesh as "Visit Bangladesh Year 2016" in order to expedite development and flourish tourism industry. The government has allocated around Taka 200 crore for the purpose for next three years.
The meeting was informed that a master plan is being prepared to make the adjacent area of the mausoleum of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at Tungipara in Gopalganj as an attractive tourist spot keeping intact the rural beauty of that area.
The meeting also discussed Bangladesh’s joining the international river cruise connecting Chennai of India through Andaman, Myanmar, Thailand and Malaysia and thus ending up at Singapore.
The PM’s Press Secretary said the meeting also discussed simplifying on-arrival visa, introducing long-term multiple visa and e-visa for making the country’s tourism sector more attractive for foreigners.
Speaking at the meeting, the Prime Minister said Bangladesh would be an attractive tourist spot for foreigners if the tourism plan is taken over the existing tourist sites, archaeological and religious establishments.
"Sea beaches are not only our tourist destinations. But our rivers, hills, old heritages, establishments, relics, tea-gardens and scenic areas in the Chittagong Hill Tracts are also attractive tourist sites," she said.
Putting utmost importance on creating tourism awareness among the country’s people, the Prime Minister said the domestic tourism should be promoted. Otherwise, she said, foreign tourists could not be attracted.
The Prime Minister asked the officials to build Cox’s Bazar as a planned tourist town making an exclusive zone for foreigners. She said marine drive would be built in Kuakata, a place where tourists have a rare opportunity to enjoy both sunrise and sunset.
She laid importance on taking package tourist programmes with Nepal and Bhutan saying such package would help Himalayan tourists to visit Bangladesh to enjoy the charming beauty of sea. Bangladesh can be linked with Maldives, Sri Lanka and India in operating ocean cruises, she said.
The Prime Minister urged the officials to expedite the process of bringing the Sundarbans, world’s largest mangrove forest, under eco-tourism and said world heritage should be portrayed more attractively before the local and foreign tourists.
Members of the Council including ministers and secretaries concerned attended the meeting.    ?BSS