That Bangladesh is blessed with natural, scenic beauty, and, in is many areas a veritable tropical haven, is not disputed by anyone.
But also generally agreed upon is the fact that a lot more needs to be done to improve on the gifts endowed by nature and make them suitable for tourism.
A milestone in our country’s progress to that end was marked when Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the Marine Drive stretching from Cox’s Bazar all the way to Teknaf.
The initiative for constructing this 80km drive was also spearheaded by the PM, who, with her actions, has shown a keen understanding of the importance of dynamic and diversified development.
But while it is another great achievement for Bangladesh among many in recent years, it needs to be complemented with better facilities, services, and destination management if we are to recoup the large amount of money invested on it.
In that regard, it seems that the Marine Drive has opened at a very propitious time.
Earlier in March, Bangladesh asked for technical assistance from France and Canada to boost our ailing tourism industry.
Excellent partners no doubt, given that France, being the top tourist destination in the world, knows a thing or two about the industry.
With their support, especially in terms of capacity-building and training skilled human resources, we can go a long way.
However, our administration must pull its own weight too in that regard.
We hope that with the help of these two countries and with significant improvement on our part, our Marine Drive will soon become a thriving tourist destination, rivaling those in other countries and drawing as many visitors if not more.