Stakeholders of tourism sector Thursday demanded duty-free facilities for importing tourism vehicles for boosting the untapped but highly potential tourism industry.
Though the government has marked tourism as one of the priority industries under the National Industry Policy 2010, they said the entrepreneurs are not getting duty free facilities in importing various goods and machinery related to the tourism industry, reports BSS.
According to the UK based World Traveler and Tourism Council’s report tourism industry has contributed 4.7% to the national GDP of Bangladesh during the fiscal 2012-13.
Bangladesh Tourism Foundation (BTF) organised the seminar titled “Water & Tourism Protecting Our Common Future: Perspective Bangladesh” in Dhaka.
Industries Minister Dilip Barua spoke as the chief guest while BTF President Mokhlesur Rahman was in the chair.
He assured the tour operators of recommending the government to allow duty-free facility for importing vehicles and vessels to be used for tourism purpose and other tourism gadgets and gears.
He said it is possible to achieve the desire goals of socio-economic advancement through development of tourism and the government will continue to provide all kinds of support in expanding tourism industry.
Terming water as an important element of natural resources, the minister urged all to protect waters of all the rivers including the Buriganga from pollution.
He said the grand alliance government has taken the initiative to shift tanneries from Hajaribagh to Savar for protecting the Buriganga from pollution.
Speakers said it is necessary to increase government patronisation for expansion of tourism industry as it is a service oriented industry. They observed that the entrepreneurs are showing interest to invest in the sector and more than 50 resorts have already been established under the private sector.
Later, the minister handed over BTF Tourism Award to ten persons for their outstanding contribution in the tourism industry.
Chief Executive Officer of Bangladesh Tourism Board Akhtaruz Zaman Khan Kabir, Professor of Dhaka University Mojib Uddin Ahmed, Vice Chancellor of Darul Ehsan University Professor Dr Akbar Uddin Ahmed and acting President of Tour Operators Association of Bangladesh (TOAB) Rafeuzzaman spoke among others while Professor of State University of Bangladesh Dr M Ashraful Islam Chowdhury presented the keynote paper.