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In need: Tourists!

It is a given fact that less than 300,000 tourists annually head for Bangladesh to spend vacation in this country. Considering the million dollar tourism industry taking place in neighbouring countries – Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia to name just a few – and bearing in mind the attractions found in Bangladesh – beautiful scenery, historical sites, cultural diversity, attractive climate – there seems clearly to be a mis-match between the tourism potential of Bangladesh and the actual activities achieved in the tourism sector so far.

Reaching the same standards as some of the other major tourist destinations in the region, targeting overseas travellers will require substantial investments in infrastructure, hotel capacity, sea side resorts, transportation, training of service staff etc. and in securing that the tourist industry is taking proper socio-economic and environmental measures into consideration. This cannot be accomplished overnight, but will be part of a long term strategy for promoting Bangladesh as a tourist destination.

However, part of the lack of tourists arriving in Bangladesh today lies with the lack of knowledge among potential travellers in order for them to become aware of the country and to see this as their next overseas destination. The outside image of Bangladesh is not that of a country of travel and leisure, unfortunately. This is definitely a pity, because if “thinking out of the traditional box” Bangladesh could for sure be an interesting alternative to some of the major tourist routes ending up in Nepal, Bhutan, India and similar places.

As a way to try to promote the tourism sector towards Danish tour operators and travel agencies, the Royal Danish Embassy in Dhaka conducted – with the help of a consultant – a report highlighting Bangladesh as an upcoming tourist destination. The report is intended to be used as an “eye-opener” for Danish tour operators to get a first impression of what Bangladesh is all about. If lack of information is the first obstacle, this report is considered a useful door opener. The report will be circulated among interested parties in Denmark and hopefully create awareness among professional players in the tourism industry.

If interested parties are willing to engage themselves further in Bangladesh in co-operation with Bangladeshi tour operators and service providers, the Embassy’s Business-to-Business (B2B) Programme may be instrumental in creating and supporting some interesting joint venture co-operations down the road.

For further information, please consult the Royal Danish Embassy’s homepage where a copy of the report Introduction to the tourism industry in Bangladesh is now available.

The Danida B2B Programme is a private sector development programme, aimed at supporting private sector partnerships between Bangladeshi and Danish commercial companies. During the last 8 years, close to 60 long-term, commercial partnerships between Danish and Bangladeshi companies have been supported through the help of the B2B Programme. For further information on the programme, please consult

This article is quoted from Royal Danish Embassy news. The article was originally published on 2008-05-20.

This article is uploaded by Majbritt Thomsen, tourism consultant for the mensioned DANIDA report and administrator on ‘Views On Tourism’.

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Posted in Bangladesh, Cooperation and network, Denmark, Development, Market knowledge, Performance and management, Policy.

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