The tourism industry in Sylhet region is thriving following an acute loss caused by the corona pandemic.
Tourist spots and recreational centers across the region are now alive with a large number of visitors.
According to Sylhet Parjatan Motel, the reservation of visitors has increased by seven percent this year. In January this year, 36 percent of motel rooms were reserved which was 29 percent in the last season.And 47 percent rooms were booked in December, 2022 which was less than 40 percent in 2021.
Since the pandemic hit, tourism industries among the other commercial sectors were seemingly dead because of the tourist crisis following the numbers of lockdowns and social-distancing issues.
Now the pandemic situation is over, people are moving around and gathering at tourist areas to have a fresh breath.
Sylhet region is compared to the country’s most significant area for eco-tourism because of its natural beauty and unique cultural diversity than the other recreational areas. Besides the natural beauty and biodiversity, the region is affluent with ethnic groups full of esthetic culture and lifestyles.
Greenery glimpse of region-wide tea estates at beautiful hills, several reserved forests and the country’s only swamp forest Ratargul, haors full of biodiversity and the glimpse of migratory birds has made Sylhet region the prime location for vacation and attraction for tourist and sightseers.
The region is also equally significant for religious importance.
The holy shrines of HazratShahjalal and Shahporan, the ancestral home of the saint Shri Chaitanya, Adyoitadham and many other holy places have made the region most important to the people from all walks of life.
Although tourism is growing rapidly in the Sylhet region, this industry is facing a list of barriers due to inadequate and improper developments in tourist areas. Some tourist spots are adjacent to the city areas, but the majority of tourist spots close to the bordering areas are facing bad communication facilities and infrastructural development.
The poor road conditions and lack of proper hospitality management, unavailability of hotel, restaurants and hygienic dining places is halting the proper development of tourism industries in the region.
Motaharul Islam, Sylhet Parjatan Motel Manager told Bangladesh Post, Sylhet region is the prime location of the country’s eco-tourism and its glimpse of beauty is gifted divinely. If we take sustainable plans and execute them appropriately, Sylhet will become the biggest source of revenue as it is sure to attract global tourists besides the local sightseers.
Being located in remote areas, almost all tourist spots and recreational centers suffer from poor road conditions and lack of security. There are many untoward occurrences noticed, visitors even face physical hurt from miscreants.
Due to the lack of planned branding, Sylhet tourism is still on the backfoot in the race of ecotourism development which is now the biggest part of national economies rapidly growing across the globe. Besides that, low security measures are also tearing these industries in Sylhet, visitors feel unsafe to roam around fearing the snatching and physical attacks. An attack on a tourist group by a local group of miscreants at Jaflong last season sent a negative message to the tour lovers. Such incidents are almost common at every spot, but the tourism board is literally silent in ensuring strict security measures for sightseers.
Sumonta Gupta, director of Banalata Resort located at Saheb Bazar Ramnagar area told Bangladesh Post “Besides inadequacy of branding and infrastructural developments, security measures are very poor considering the developments of tourism industries in Sylhet region. Local groups are very uncooperative to tourists, shopkeepers are very unfriendly and unethically claim commodity prices multiple times higher than the regular rates. But the concerned authorities are not taking steps to regulate them which is also a biggest threat to the sustainable development of tourism industries.
Talking to Bangladesh Post, the Divisional Commissioner of Sylhet Dr. Muhammad MosharrafHussen said, “Government is working to ensure a sustainable development in tourism industries, especially to the development of eco-tourism in Sylhet region. There are a lot of tourist spots people visit, but most of those spots are not identified.
Government is about to make a master plan following the The tourism industry in Sylhet region is thriving following an acute loss caused by the corona pandemic development in Sylhet region and a committee was formed to identify new tourist spots here. Some infrastructural development works are ongoing at BholaganjSadapathar spot, but there would be more infrastructural developments in Sylhet after the masterplan to be taken soon.