Government expects 10% of GDP from tourism

State Minister for Civil Aviation and Tourism M Mahbub Ali on Tuesday said that tourism can be one of the means to attain mass economic freedom as dreamt by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

Bangabandhu's visions for the development of Bangladesh tourism sector have become true through Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, as she has created a tourism-friendly atmosphere in the country, he also said.

The state minister was speaking as the chief guest at a seminar titled "Development thoughts of Bangabandhu: Potentials of Bangladesh's Tourism and Sonargaon Hotel."

Acknowledging that the tourism sector has yet to reach the desired level in the 50 years since gaining independence, the minister said that the government has been extending policy support to entrepreneurs to help grow the tourism sector.

As the country has been witnessing steady economic growth over the years, the minister said young and innovative entrepreneurs are setting up hotels and motels in the country to help the tourism sector.

Citing an example, he said some young entrepreneurs have set up the 5-star hotel named Palace Luxury Resort in remote Bahubal Upazila of Habiganj district in Sylhet.

The living standard of the people has improved due to the economic growth of the country escalating the number of domestic tourists, Mahbub added.

He also said that both the aviation and tourism sectors of the country have witnessed momentum of rapid growth with huge investment in recent years due to the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.  

Development work is now underway to modernize the country’s aviation infrastructures, besides, for the collective improvement of the tourism industry the tourism master plan is also on the cards, he said.

Chairman of Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation (BPC) Md Hannan Mia said that the government has set a target to raise the contribution of the tourism sector to the economy to the tune of 10% of the GDP in the days to come. 

The contribution of the travel and tourism sector of the country to its gross domestic product (GDP) has been estimated at 4.9%, he added.

Among others, economist Selim Jahan, Civil Aviation and Tourism secretary Md. Mokammel Hossain, Bangladesh Energy and Power Research Council (EPRC) – Chairman (Secretary) Satyajit Karmaker, senior advocate of Supreme Court Bashir Ahmed, Hotel International Ltd. Managing Director Aminur Rahman Khan and Dhaka University Tourism and hospitality management department Prof Badiuzzaman Bhuiyan also spoke on the occasion.

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