Bangladesh has sought technical support from Canada and France to boost tourism, an emerging sector to add to revenues.
Though the country has huge potential and hundreds of tourism products to attract tourists, it fails to tap that due to lack of marketing promotion, product development, destination management and skilled human resources.
Chief Executive Officer of Bangladesh Tourism Board Dr Mohammad Nasir Uddin said this at a round-table meeting on tourism held at Rose Garden, a listed heritage property, in Dhaka.
Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister Rashed Khan Menon was present at the event as the chief guest.
French Ambassador in Dhaka, Sophie Aubert, and Canadian High Commissioner Benoît-Pierre Laramée, also spoke at the disscussion meeting while Abu Sufian, editor, Travel Magazine, ‘Vromon’ conducted the session.
In his address, Menon said Rose Garden is a part of history. The ruling party held its first major inaugural meeting in this very room while Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was present with many other dignitaries.
“We started our journey in tourism sector very late. Bangladesh has so many tourist products. Though we could not bring more foreign tourists, domestic tourism grew rapidly,” said the minister.
“I will invite you (France and Canada) to visit Bangladesh as a second destination after India. Our tourism is at the beginning stage, so we need technical support in this sector.”
In her address, French Ambassador Sophie Aubert appreciated Bangladesh’s beauty that she has observed by visiting various places over the last couple of years.
“I have toured many places in Bangladesh including Cox’s Bazaar, which has a lot of hotel facilities and is very easy to go there. It is a pleasant tourist spot”
Mentioning her visit to a historical archaeological town called Panam, she said it was very interesting to see and visit the major townships of historic administrative, commercial and maritime centre in Bengal at Sonargaon near Dhaka.
The French envoy said at first she visited the National Museum at Shahbagh after being appointed as ambassador.
“We will work together in tourism sector so Bangladesh can promote its tourist products as a brand outside the country,” said Sophie.
To narrate his personal experience, Canadian High Commissioner in Bangladesh Benoît-Pierre Laramée said Bangladesh has 11th and 12th century Buddhist temple which is fascinating to him as a traveller.
“I travelled Barisal and island district Bhola where green scenery and farming attract me. All are the arts of Bangladesh. Many things here make me happy, specially hospitality. People’s smiling face is really very much different.”
Benoît-Pierre assured Bangladesh of giving continued support in tourism sector as a development partner.