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WTD Yatra 2010 in Dhaka, Bangladesh

Heritage Tourism and Cross-Border Opportunities

Part 01: Dhaka to Darjeeling via Paharpur
Connecting Heritage in 02 North Bengals through tourism

27th September, 2010: Evening ‘meet the press’ and meeting of World Tourism Day (WTD) 2010 delegates and well-wishers on WTD 2010 Dinner.

28th September, 2010: Flag-off WTD Yatra 2010 from Dhaka. Evening meet at Joypurhat at the cultural program. Nighthalt hosted by the people of Joypurhat people.

29th September, 2010: Morning workshop at Paharpur on Heritage Tourism and Cross-Border Opportunities. Leave for Darjeeling Himalayan Railway as special team and the rest of the team returns to Dhaka.

About the organizations:

Help Tourism, established in 15th August, 1991 took almost two decades to establish their mission ‘Tourism, the philosophy of mankind’. The beginning years were mostly using tourism as a tool to create livelihoods, the next few years were spent to establish the fact that tourism facilitates conservation, and the recent years have been dedicated to the process of enhancing peace through tourism. It was a difficult responsibility, but in the last 20 years of team work, blessings of several people and faith of the communities have helped us to take forward the tourism responsibility. The small initiative of Help Tourism is today the name of a movement. HT requests all responsible tourism service providers and visitors to join this movement to make this earth a better place to live in.
Read more about Help Tourism here .

Journey Plus has been a complete Destination Management Company (DMC) based in Dhaka, Bangladesh for over 16 years. They are dedicated to providing their clients with a unique hospitality experience, be that a corporate meeting, a conference, an archaeological or classical tour, a cruise or any other travel related service. Their commitment for excellence, for all these years has never changed. Like several new initiatives, Journey Plus has decided to partner the ‘Responsible Movement’ in Bangladesh.
Learn more about Journey Plus here .

ACT (Association for Conservation and Tourism) is an NGO working in the field of conservation and tourism, mainly bridging nature and conservation heritage conservation with people’s livelihood through motivation, capacity building and planning at the rural level. They help the tourism industry to balance economic, environmental and social development at heritage sites.
Go to the web-page of ACT here .

People of Joypurhat, the most enthusiastic, diverse and committed group of people in Bangladesh with an aspiration to connect heritage to livelihood through tourism. For the last 02 years they have been working with Help Tourism to create a tourism experience for travellers visiting North Bengal in Bangladesh. They propose to launch their initiative through the WTD Yatra 2010.

DMSS (Dustha Manabater Seba Sangstha) is an NGO located at Joypurhat working on the rural communities around Joypurhat, mainly in social causes like Anti-Tobacco, family planning, micro-finance, livelihood development and health related issues. They are the first NGO in Bangladesh to try and use tourism for livelihood promotion for poverty alleviation in Bangladesh North Bengal.

MCCS (Modella Caretaker Centre and School), Siliguri, established in 1979, is a coeducation, English medium school upto Class XII in the science, arts and commerce stream, affiliated to CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education), New Delhi have provided quality education to thousands of students from West Bengal and Bangladesh. The overall education approach implemented by them includes orientation in nature conservation, heritage study, cultural practice, rural livelihood and industry orientation, mainly in the tourism field.

Note on the mission:
For years it has been felt for ‘Asia without Borders’, by Asians in Asia. Several isolated initiatives have been taken in different places of Asia, and this is another such initiative with the hope that all these actions will one day meet. Based on this idea, the first ever policy workshop in the Indian subcontinent was initiated by Help Tourism at Shantiniketan on the 29th and 30th of March, 2010 with the theme ‘Peace through tourism in the historically changed cross-borders’. Following the ‘Shantiniketan Declaration’, one of the action points are being fulfilled through the WTD Yatra 2010, Dhaka to Darjeeling via Paharpur.
The greatest loss to Northeast India and North of West Bengal in India has been the partition and so has been the destiny of Bangladesh as a country. This whole area which was once economically, naturally and culturally rich areas of the south of the historical Silk Route is today one of the most ill-developed area of the subcontinent because of being trapped in man-made border bureaucracy. Through the WTD Yatra 2010, Part 01 we want to propose to both Bangladesh and India, the proposed policy framework and the possibilities of joint heritage tourism circuits between the two North Bengals, one in Bangladesh and the other in the Indian state of West Bengal.
Depending on the success and the ‘Paharpur Declaration’, we shall fulfil Part II, Sylhet to Shillong via Cherrapunji shortly. It is being expected that both Bangladesh and India being enlightened countries with strong sense of meaningful collaboration, tourism will be the path breaker in cross-border policy matters to be followed by a better and healthy trade relation. This will help the people of both countries living along the borders emerge out of the isolation, develop their social, economical and environmental conditions helping to establish peace.

The Indian Team will be led by famous film director and international film jury Gautam Ghosh, and the team will consist of Ajoy Roy (famous docufilm maker and President of ACT), Bonani Ghosh (street-animal activist and environmentalist), Manish Chakraborty (famous heritage architect), Shekhar Das (Film Director and social activist), Gouri Shankar Bhattacharya (Famous Travel Writer), Samarjit Roy (Food Industry entrepreneur and an experienced traveller), Biplab Saha of Help Tourism’s Bangla Initiative will coordinate the Indian Team and will be joined by Raj Basu (community based tourism and conservation activist).

The Bangladesh team being coordinated by Taufiq Rahman of Journey Plus and as informed by him the team will consist of Pijush Benerjee – Group Leader ( renowned Actor, Director, Columist), being joined by Jaya Benerjee ( renowned Actress), Debaprasad Debnath ( Director & Asst. Secretary General, International Theatre Institute, Bangladesh Chapter), Babul Biswas ( Theatre information researcher and documentarey film maker), Laila Hasan ( renowned Dance Artist and Director), Mahmuduzzaman Babu ( renowned Singer), Pranab Saha ( TV journalist), Faruque Hasan ( Tourism expert, writer, Columist, tourism researcher), Nazia Andalib Prima – Painter, Syeda Samira Saif – Representative from Katalyst, One representative from Bangladesh parjatan Corporation ( National Tourism Organization), Abdul Aziz – Hotelier, Sadique Ahsan – Founder President of Bangladesh Hotel and Guest House Owner`s Association, Syed Mahbubul Islam Bulu- President, Tourist Guide Association of Bangladesh and Ahsanul Haque – Director, Finance, Tour Operators Association of Bangladesh ( TOAB).

Organized by: Help Tourism, Journey Plus, ACT & People of Joypurhat
In collaboration with Ministry of Cultural Affairs, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh

Supported by: Dustha Manabater Seba Sangstha, Joypurhat & Modella Caretaker Centre & School, Siliguri

Good Dining: Bengal Inn & Jamuna Resort in Bangladesh

Good Living: Hotel Grand Prince, Bangladesh

Good Reading: Monitor, Bangladesh

For more information please call Taufiq Rahman of Journey Plus 01819227901
Biplab Saha of Help Tourism’s Bangla Initiative will be available on 01926738525

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Posted in Best practice, Cooperation and network, Events, Sustainability.

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