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With the national election over, people involved in the tourism sector have heaved a big sigh of relief. This is, after all, the peak season for tourists willing to explore the natural beauty of the country.


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Shiblul Azam Quereshi, director of the Tour Operators Association of Bangladesh (TOAB), said that the hotel and transport sectors have done brisk business over the last few months.

“The tourist flow will increase in the coming days. Hopefully, they will have a hassle-free and comfortable experience,” he added.

Sources say that tourism sector revenues could scale up to Tk. 1,500 crore during the peak season this year. Daily transactions may even cross Tk. 8 crore. Half of this amount is expected to be generated in Coxs Bazar—the top tourist destination of the country.

Last year, tour operators experienced a slump in business during the peak season because of political chaos. They, however, expect a better business experience this year.

Abul Kashem Shikder, secretary of the Coxs Bazar Hotel-Motel Guesthouse Owners Association, told The Independent: “Around Tk. 3 crore in revenue is being generated daily as room rent in Coxs Bazar. Transportation, restaurant, and other services generate Tk. 1 crore every day.”

Coxs Bazar has one of the worlds longest beaches. The uninterrupted 120-km sandy beach with a gentle slope can now host 85,000 visitors daily.

During the peak season, the hotels usually have an occupancy rate of 80 per cent, Shikder said.

“A significant number of local and foreign tourists visit the Sundarbans during the peak season. Although the number was low last year, it should be better this year,” said Sourav Mansur, a pioneer in the tour operator business in Bangladesh and the CEO of Guide Tours.

According to statistics, around 1,000 visitors travel to and from the Sundarbans. A package tour for two to three days cost between Tk. 6,000 and Tk. 15,000.

According to The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), around 1.5 million people are directly involved in the countrys tourism business. The number of people having indirect involvement is 2.3 million.

The tourism business got a jolt following the terrorist attack at Gulshan on July 1. Even the domestic tourist flow slowed down from the third week of August. However, the sector has started turning around.

Masuda M Rashid Chowdhury, a professor of Dhaka University, said that although domestic tourism was not much affected by the Gulshan terror attack, it impacted the flow of foreign tourists.

Leaders of the Tour Operators Association subscribed to this view.

 

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