• Monday, Sep 24, 2018
  • Last Update : 12:04 am

Govt to make on arrival visas effective at land, sea ports

  • Published at 03:06 am July 29th, 2018
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Data shows that around 620,000 foreign tourists visited Bangladesh in 2016, though the government had set a target to attract one million tourists

The government is planning to ease the visa system further for tourists, by making on arrival visas effective at land and seaports.

Government officials said the plan has been taken to give foreign tourists easier access to Bangladesh and boost the tourism sector of the country.

Immigration officers will approve the visas after examining relevant documents, reports UNB.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Bangladesh Tourism Board (BTB) Nikhil Ranjan Roy said: “The Tourism Ministry and Bangladesh Tourism Board are always trying to ease the visa system for tourists."

He added that they are in discussions with the Ministries of Home and Foreign Affairs in this regard. "I'm hopeful that on arrival visas through land ports will be made effective. The Home Ministry is also positive about easing the visa process."

Director of the Tour Operators Association of Bangladesh (TOAB) Taufiq Rahman said: “Though foreigners get visas on arrival at airports, they do not get such facilities at land ports.”

"These facilities are already there, but we need to activate them at all the land ports effectively," Taufiq added.

He said immigration officers at the land ports are not aware of on arrival visas, and this needs to be addressed to give the tourism industry a boost.

Tour operators suggested introducing on arrival visas at seaports, as cruise ships would be able to gain an extended tour of Bangladesh by availing the facility.

A government official said the visa system of Bangladesh is tourist-friendly, and Bangladesh missions abroad have always granted visas to tourists in the shortest possible time.

He added that it may attract more tourists if the on arrival visa process is eased further.

A diplomat said: "We have offered the privilege of on arrival visa to a number of countries. We don't know its impact on our tourism sector and it's high time we find this out. It would help us take appropriate measures."

Tour operators also suggested massive campaigns to spread a a positive image of Bangladesh, with the help of the country's missions abroad, and better coordination among the ministries concerned to attract foreign tourists.

Data shows that around 620,000 foreign tourists visited Bangladesh in 2016, though the government had set a target to attract one million tourists.

Bangladesh earned $163.21 million from the tourism sector in 2016, as compared to $145.74 million in 2015.