POST TIME: 20 January, 2020 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 19 January, 2020 09:16:46 PM
Tourism Master Plan kicks off
BSS, Dhaka

Tourism Master Plan kicks off

The government yesterday formally launched formulation of much-awaited ‘Tourism Master Plan’ for next 20 years, aspiring to turn the travel and leisure sector into the 3rd largest economic engine of Bangladesh after garments and remittance.

The tourism master plan, to be completed by June next year, is expected to create a distinctive brand image of Bangladesh as a popular tourist destination in the world in line with the country’s Vision 2041, to become a developed nation. Besides, the master plan will contribute to the economic transformation of Bangladesh and achievement of the Sustainable Development goals (SDGs) This was revealed yesterday at the official kick-off meeting regarding tourism master plan formulation at CIRDAP auditorium in the capital where State Minister for Civil Aviation and Tourism Md Mahbub Ali spoke as the chief guest.

The plan will be based on sustainable development of existing and new tourism products without interrupting the cultural diversity, lifestyle and beliefs.

An investment strategy will be included in the master plan projects and suggestive measures will be prepared for promotion and marketing of Bangladesh tourism.

Ali said the plan will formulate short-term (three-year), mid-term (five-year) and long-term (15-year) initiatives with emphasis on identification and development of tourism products and their diversification with an assessment of infrastructure, marketing and investment opportunities The entire master plan will be formulated in three phases- situation analysis of tourism, preparation of strategic master plan and final tourism master plan, he said.

IPE Global, an Indian-based tourism consultancy firm, in collaboration with Horwath HTL, a global leader in hotel tourism and leisure consulting, and two national firms BETS and At Earth has been awarded for formulating the master plan by June 30, 2021.

Senior Secretary of Civil Aviation and Tourism Md Mohibul Haque spoke as the special guest while Bangladesh Tourism Board (BTB) CEO Dr Bhubon Chandra Biswas was in the chair.

IPE global team leader Benjamin Carey and deputy team leader Prof Nurul Islam Nazem of Dhaka University’s Geography Department made separate presentations on different aspects of formulating the master plan. Haque said that the master plan would be developed as per Bangladesh context and a monitoring team of the ministry has been formed to supervise the task. Mentioning that presently the tourism sector is contributing 2 per cent to the county’s total GDP, the secretary said the government has a goal to increase the tourism GDP contribution up to 10 per cent after formulation of the master plan.

In first few months, Carey said that he would listen from different tourism stakeholders of Bangladesh and pay visit to all 64 districts to get a clear understanding of Bangladesh.

After that, Carey said, he will start formulating the plan with his prior experience of working in tourism sectors in nearly 50 countries around the world.