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Views On Tourism, special guest speech at TOAB meeting

The installation of the new Board of Directors of TOAB (Tour Operators Association of Bangladesh) was held on the 2. of April 2009. The flowering speech was presented by the special guest speaker of the evening, Majbritt Thomsen, administrator of Views On Tourism.

Dear Mr. Taufiq Uddin Ahmed, congratulation on the TOAB presidency. I am very honoured to be the special guest of this evening and to share my view on the Bangladeshi Tourism sector.

My knowledge of your national tourism sector has gradually grown as I have travelled to many local destinations in Bangladesh; meet with players in the field and conducted a several month study on the potential of the Bangladeshi tourism sector.
In my point of view foreigners do not want to travel Bangladesh – but explore it. Adventure seeking tourists will simply love to experience the everyday life of the friendly Bangladeshi people.

But not that many foreigners DO explore Bangladesh. Historically, South Asia is the most under represented region in tourism terms. Except for Bhutan, all South Asia countries furthermore have more arrivals and revenue earned from tourism than Bangladesh.
According to research the tourism demand though is rising. Forecast for the next 10 years predicts a 4 % annual growth worldwide in the Travel and Tourism Economy. In this same period Bangladesh and South Asia should expect a 6 and 7,2 % growth.

The present low tourism demand however, indicates that fundamental improvement is required in the national tourism sector to meet and satisfy the future demand. The challenges include the subjects of national image, strategy, sustainability, product development, education, infrastructure, policy, management and marketing.
The goal should be to plan and carry out a long term sustainable tourism development, including economical, cultural and environmental considerations. The solutions will require the dedication and cooperation of government, industry and all other stakeholders related to the tourism industry.

I am happy to know that the formation of a national tourism board has recently become a reality. This organization, with representatives from the private and public sector, has the potential to play a crucial role in improving the Bangladeshi tourism industry.

I therefore encourage all parties involved in the tourism sector to play an active role in this initial process of the tourism board. Gather information, start discussions, and give your input on how this organization should work.

Thank you very much for listening.

This article is written by Majbritt Thomsen, administrator on ‘Views On Tourism’.

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Posted in Bangladesh, Cooperation and network, Development, Policy, Sustainability.

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