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Glimmer of hope for struggling tourism industry

Published : 02 Jun 2020 09:45 PM | Updated : 03 Sep 2020 05:28 PM

As the government has resumed the country’s economic activities on a limited scale, concerned people with the tourism industry has demanded the resumption of tourism-related businesses including hotels and motels, which have been closed for almost three months.

Officials of Bangladesh Tourism Board (BTB) informed that a guideline titled “Standard Operating System” is being prepared to restart the tourism businesses of the country.

According to industry insiders’ information, since the lockdown till now almost three lakh people are in the face of becoming unemployed and the industry incurred a loss of Tk 9,500 crore.

BTB Chief Executive Officer Jabed Ahmed told journalists that, “If the lockdown situation prolongs further, the tourism industry including hotels and motels will face huge losses. In this situation, a guideline is being made to restart the tourism industry business”.

“Considering the existing situation, a Standard Operating System (SOS) processes is underway, where various guidelines for hotels and tourists, including hygiene will be attached, then it will be sent to the concerned ministry for approval. Based on the health ministry’s suggestion for the SOS, the final guideline will be formed”, he added.

“In the meantime, more than one lakh people have already lost their jobs. Moreover, earnings of 40 lakh people have also been affected. If we can not resume our tourism-related businesses immediately then three lakh people’s jobs will be in danger”, he feared.

It is to be noted, due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, the tourism business around the world has come to a standstill since its inception. Hotels and resorts have been closed for three consecutive months and have already lost Tk 5,000 crore. The loss in table agents, recreation centers, or parks is around Tk 4,000 crore.

In such a situation, the businessmen want to reopen hotels, resorts, and parks quickly to keep the business alive and retain the employees. However, they are also worried about their future business prospect.

They have also demanded a quick release of incentives to boost the tourism sector, including workers’ salaries, office expenses, and utility bills.

In a statement, Pan Pacific Sonargaon hotel authority said, the hotel will be fully operational and prepared to serve its valued patrons with the maximum safety measures from 8th June onwards.

“We are currently welcoming our associates back to the Hotel and conducting comprehensive training, in new safety protocols for our guests. A comprehensive disinfection process is being implemented under strict guidelines of World Health Organisation (WHO).

The hotel will be ‘Safety Certified’ by the Diversey Sanitization Corporation, ensuring we meet strict standards and practices. These practices will be maintained to protect our patrons”, the handout said.