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POST TIME: 19 August, 2019 00:00 00 AM
Job prospects in travel and tourism sector bright
Global travel body says 1 in 5 new jobs was created in this sector during last 5 years
TAREQUE MORETAZA, Dhaka

Job prospects in travel and tourism sector bright

This photo shows a view of Tindu of Thanchi Upazilla, a popular tourist spot located in Bandarban. Independent File Photo

One in five jobs created globally over the last five years is attributable to travel and tourism, according to a research study by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).

The travel and tourism sector contributed 3.9 per cent of the total employment in Bangladesh in 2018.

The WTTC unveiled this in its report, "Annual Research: Key Highlights", published recently. It shows that the travel and tourism sector has increasingly contributed to the GDP growth and employment generation of the country.

In this sector, 2,414,400 jobs were created in Bangladesh in 2018. It is expected to reach 3,155,300 by 2019.

The report is good news for the Bangladeshi market, but it said it will depend on sustainable development of this sector.

This includes employment offered by hotels, travel agents, airlines and other passenger transportation services (excluding commuter services).

Tour operators say 50 per cent of these employments will be created at Cox’s Bazar and the rest in Dhaka, Chattogram, Sylhet, the Sunderbans in Khulna and Satkhira and some tourist spots in north Bengal.

According to tour operators and hotel and motel owners, around 60 per cent of the domestic travellers visit Cox’s Bazar. The rest usually visit Chattogram, Sylhet, the Sunderbans, and tourist destinations in north and south Bengal. Cox’s Bazar is famous for its long and natural sandy sea beach.

To enhance tourist facilities, the tourism industry is creating employment in this sector.

Shiblul Azam Koreshi, director of the Tour Operators' Association of Bangladesh (TOAB), said it was important to focus on measures that would stabilise the sector and ensure growth. He added he was confident that the industry would keep expanding.

Masud Hossain, managing director of Bengal Tours, told The Independent: “My personal information is that around 65 to 70 lakh tourists move across the country every year. The number could be more, but not less.”

Explaining the phenomenon, Masud said: “I have collected this data from various hotels, motels and resorts around the country. As a result, chances of a lesser number of tourists travelling in the country are remote. In fact, the number could be more.”

According to Masud’s information, other than Cox’s Bazar, 25–30 lakh tourists travel to the Chittagong Hill Tracts every year, while the number varies between 8–10 lakh in the case of Sylhet.

Some two to 2.5 lakh tourists visit places in north Bengal, such as Mahasthangarh, every year, Masud added.

Stability of the domestic tourism market and the industry’s sustainable growth are vital, said Dhaka University's tourism and hospitality department teacher Prof. Syed Rashidul Hasan.

The government should lay emphasis on this sector, he added.

He told The Independent that the growth being currently witnessed in the domestic tourism market did not happen overnight. The market had been growing gradually after 2000.

According to Hasan’s data, there were around three to five lakh domestic tourists in 2000 and the number has crossed the half a crore mark at present.

The number of tourists could exceed one crore in future, he said.