Tourism in Bangladesh lags behind

Published on : Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Tourism often gets neglected when policies are made in Bangladesh. In fact, the country ranks 121st in Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index with regard toprioritization of travel and tourism.

South and south-east Asian countries have become some of the most visited tourist destinations in the world in the past two decades. However, although countries like Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, India or Indonesia witness millions of international tourists every year, Bangladesh only witnessed 125,000 international tourists in 2019.

This poor figure is not due to lack of attractions in the country. Besides the world’s longest sea beach and the Sundarbans, Bangladesh has beautiful hills, valleys, lively cities, historically and culturally important landmarks and a diverse and vibrant culture. So why does it still lag behind?

On the whole, Bangladesh ranked 120th among 140 countries according to Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index. Compared to the average score of other south and south-east Asian countries, Bangladesh is lacking in many key aspects.

This performance perhaps, can be attributed to tourist service infrastructure criteria which includeimportant services like quality accommodation and rental services. Bangladesh ranks 133rd in this part, scoring 1.9, which is below the global average of 4.

Other areas also do not look promising. Bangladesh ranked 120th in the usage of human resource, 116th in environmental sustainability, 11th in air transport infrastructure and ICT readiness.

Hence, it is apparent that the country is way behind in the global tourism industry.

Boosting tourism in Bangladesh will take a holistic approach and combined effort from both the government and private entities. This can be attained by providing subsidies, creating public-private partnerships and a business-friendly environment.

The government needs to maintain strict hygiene regulation and establish quality control tools for hotels and other facilities in key tourist destinations in Bangladesh.

Bangladesh also needs to discuss more bilateral air service agreements to facilitate a smooth traveling experience for the tourists. Air transport infrastructure also needs to be improved. The government needs to build more airports in important locations for both domestic and international travel.

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