Dhaka on Saturday hosted a tourism promotion networking session inviting nearly 100 tour operators from India, Nepal, Bhutan and Sri Lanka as Bangladesh wants to attract regional tourists, especially from landlocked neighboring countries, showcasing its sandy beaches.
"We would like to attract more regional tourists to give a boost to our pandemic-hit leisure industry through expanding our inbound tourism spectrum," Bangladesh Tourism Board (BTB) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Abu Tahir Muhammad Zaber told BSS at a city hotel.
The BTB, under the aviation and tourism ministry, has arranged the endeavor for the first time titled "Mujib's Bangladesh: Tourism Promotion and B2B Exchange Programme".
A total of 97 tour operators - 52 from India, 19 from Sri Lanka, 14 from Bhutan and 12 from Nepal - have joined the programme and interacted with 125 local tour operators, tourism service providers and airlines to find the best way to bring tourists from their countries to Bangladesh.
BTB CEO said all the tour operators of India are from bordering West Bengal and north eastern seven sisters - Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Monipur, Tripura, Mizoram and Arunachal as Dhaka's focus in on regional tourists.
"Our longest unbroken sandy sea beach in Chittagong and Cox's bazaar would be a good tourism product for the travelers from landlocked seven Indian northeastern states, Nepal and Bhutan," Zaber said. He said Bangladesh's tour operators also discussed how Nepal and Bhutan can send foreign tourists to Bangladesh by making extended tour plans.
Under the tourism master plan, the BTB chief said, Bangladesh government would focus to improve tourism connectivity and to ease visa process for making regional tourism circuit to benefit the country's tourism sector.
On Sunday, the BTB will bring all foreign tour operators to beach town Cox's Bazar to show them the existing facilities and tourism products there.
The BTB chief said the BTB made a plan to organize such exchange programme targeting the Chinese tour operators in future.