Tourism fair in Oct to offset past losses

July 5, 2015

A three-day international tourism fair will be held in Dhaka in October to jumpstart the sector’s peak season after the previous two ones were virtually written off due to political turmoil. The sector’s peak season starts from October and lasts until March, and in the past two years it coincided with political unrest, which put off foreigners from visiting the country. Styled the ‘Bangladesh Travel and Tourism Fair 2015’, the exhibition will see travel agents, tour operators, foreign tourist organisations, local and international hotels and resorts, and airlines showcase their products and services.
Tour Operators Association of Bangladesh (TOAB) is organising the exhibition at Bashundhara International Convention Centre from October 15.Several seminars will also be held alongside the fair to discuss various issues related to the development of tourism, organisers said.
“As a preamble to the tourism year, the mega event would create great excitement among the travel tradespeople, and overseas and local tourists,” TOAB President Akbaruddin Ahmad said at a press briefing in Dhaka yesterday.
The government has declared 2016 the “Tourism Year” in a move to revitalise the sector and increase the annual average foreign tourist arrivals to 10 lakh by 2018.
Ahmad said they are expecting some 250 participants from home and abroad to take part in the exhibition, which will be managed by Prionty Edit and Effects, an event manager.
Shiblul Azam Koreshi, vice-president of TOAB, said the tourism sector’s contribution to the economy is only 4.1 percent, which is below the world tourism-GDP ratio of 10.69 percent. “It means we have the opportunity to grow further,” he said.
An average of five lakh foreign tourists visit Bangladesh every year, but last year just 2.5 lakh came, according to industry people.

-With The Daily Star input

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