Tourism status overview acording to Katalyst
Considering the geographical location and topography, Bangladesh is one of the most diverse nations in the region with significant prospects for tourism development. It is ideal for nature-based and cultural tourism making it an attractive destination for both inbound and domestic tourists. As of 2008, the Tourism Industry’s contribution to GDP was 3.9% according to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC). Whereas the real GDP growth rate is expected to average at 6.0% per annum over the coming ten years.
Since the Tourism Industry encompasses several underlying sectors. The prominent ones are Transportation, Accommodation, Food and Beverage, Entertainment/Activities and Shopping. Thus, it has a huge potential to generate employment, both male and female. According to Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation (BPC) job creation is growing 1.5 times faster in tourism than in any other industrial sector and present estimates suggest that the total employment in this sector (direct and indirect), is 3.2% of total employment in the country.
At present, the tourism industry of Bangladesh is at its infancy. And it has a very small contribution to rapid growth of Tourism in Asia, particularly in the South Asian region of the world where growth is approximately 8% as per the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). The constraints for which the sector is struggling to keep up with the growth pace of other Asian countries are
* lack of effective policy and planning,
* inadequate destination infrastructure including environmental degradation,
* lack of developed tourism facilities,
* lack of access to skilled manpower,
* poor tourism awareness and
* lack of promotion are the major impediments hindering the growth of this sector.
Despite this, BPC estimates illustrate that annual growth of the inbound tourists over the last 8 years has been 8% on average. Apart from inbound tourists, due to a growing middle income population with higher disposable income, domestic tourism is also increasing with strong and sustained average growth rates of about 25% per annum. Hence, there is scope for improving both inbound and domestic tourist flow within the country.
Katalyst plans to facilitate the industry players to reach full potential by working around the constraints of this sector. Katalyst’s vision for this sector is therefore to develop “a strengthened and competitive tourism sector that contributes greater economic and social benefits to the people of Bangladesh with increased employment and enterprise opportunities, by responding to market demand, and by enhancing the country’s image”.
The strategies for the Tourism Sector comprise of the following:
* Organization and Policy Strategy- Strengthen public and private sector in policy planning and promotion
* Product Development Strategy- Stimulate the creation of new tourism products and improve the existing ones
* Capacity building and Skills development Strategy-Develop skills and capacity to upgrade tourism operations and services and ensure access to skilled workforce
* Promotion and Marketing Strategy- Enhance information flow and tourism promotion to target tourists
There are so many visionary people and valuable resources related to a sustainable tourism development in Bangladesh. If these forces are united great things will happen – both on grass root, private sector and at government level.
Please join the online Views On Tourism network and discussion group in order to achieve personal goals as well as encourage a sustainable tourism development in Bangladesh. Read more about this group and how to become a member here.
This article is uploaded by Majbritt Thomsen, administrator on ‘Views On Tourism’