State Minister for Civil Aviation and Tourism Md Mahbub Ali said the government under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has taken various initiatives for the development of tourism industry as one of the major aspects of blue economy. In addition, the tourism master plan being prepared by the Bangladesh Tourism Board under the supervision of the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism will include a detailed plan for the development of coastal areas and sea tourism in the country. Once the tourism master plan is completed, tourism will open new horizons in blue economy.
He was speaking as the chief guest at a workshop titled "Role of Tourism in Bangladesh's blue Economy" organized by the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism at Paryatan Bhaban in Agargaon on Sunday.
He further said that the prospering blue economy has created golden opportunities for economic `development in front of Bangladesh. This sea-based economy will lead the country to rise to the status of a developed country. Considering the potential of coastal areas and sea tourism in Bangladesh, the government has given importance to tourism in the Seventh Five Year Plan, Perspective Plan-2041 and Delta Plan-2100. In addition to inclusive development through timely and integrated measures in Bangladesh's sea-based tourism, employment will increase, SDGs will be achieved, the national economy will be strengthened and the tourism industry will be a partner in achieving the Prime Minister's Vision-2041.
"Where 5 per cent of world GDP and 6 to 7 per cent of total employment comes from coastal and sea tourism, we have no chance to lag behind," he said. In order to attract tourists, various development activities are underway for the development of coastal and sea tourism as per the directions of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Work is underway to set up Naf Tourism Park, Sabrang Tourism Park and Sonadia Eco Tourism Park in Cox's Bazar. The three tourist parks will create 200,000 jobs and 2 billion a year in economic activity. In addition, Cox's Bazar Airport is being upgraded to international standards, construction of railway line to Ghumdhum, Sheikh Hasina Tower at Khurushkul in Cox's Bazar, ethnic village and intensive tourist zone are being constructed. Various initiatives have been taken to develop eco-tourism based on the Sundarbans, the largest mangrove forest in the world. Work is underway to operate an international marine cruise.
Secretary of the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism Md Mokammel Hossain presided over the workshop and Secretary of the Maritime Affairs Unit of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Rear Admiral (Retd) Md Khurshid Alam spoke as the keynote speaker. Senior officials of the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism and its subordinate agencies and various tourism partners also participated in the workshop.