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Who should lead the development of a sustainable tourism industry in Bangladesh?

There is no doubt that government, tourism industry and all other stake holders must work together to obtain a long term positive and sustainable tourism development in Bangladesh.

But how to get this development process started?
Is it the tourism industry, organisations, associations, NGO’s, foreign experts, visionary individuals or government that should start this process?
How has successful tourist destinations started their development?
Which sectors from Bangladesh has gone through a similar process?

I am convinced that the visionary and skilled people related to a sustainable tourism development in Bangladesh has to unite and increase knowledge sharing and cooperate in order to launch innovating, positive and sustainable initiatives.
This is a long term process – a sustainable tourism movement – aiming to develop the national tourism industry and to unite the people involved in this sector. I do not see any alternative; long term positive tourism development has to be a vision shared by many people guiding their actions.

To my knowledge Kerala in India and Nepal are some of the very successful tourism destinations in the South Asian region who started their tourism development through the initiative of the tourism industry. Through the long term visions and actions of the private sector, the tourism industry developed up to a level where the government was convinced of the industry potential and got involved.

In Bangladesh I have heard that the garment sector developed in a similar way. To my knowledge it was only a few visionary and resourceful people that stepped forward and invested in the first garment factories in Bangladesh. Their initiative developed into several successful businesses, which caught the attention of the government. It was at that moment that the government increased their support to develop a Bangladeshi garment industry.

During almost 3 years in Bangladesh I have meet so many skilled and visionary people related to Bangladeshi tourism industry and learned about so many fantastic initiatives. The resources to develop a sustainable Bangladeshi tourism industry do indeed exist.
I believe the biggest obstacles to develop a positive Bangladeshi tourism industry is not the government, it is to unite all relevant stakeholders in a national sustainable tourism movement. The actions of this movement should be guided by long term sustainable visions, knowledge and cooperation.

We all make an impact in the society we live in – I believe we have an obligation to use our resources to make a positive impact.

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 and South Asia. Read more about this group and how to become a member here.

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

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Posted in Bangladesh, Best practice, Bhutan, Cooperation and network, Development, Education and qualification, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Policy, Sustainability.

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