Tourism yet to develop to attract foreigners: Mahbub Ali


Minister of State for Civil Aviation and Tourism Md Mahbub Ali addresses a press conference organized by Porjoton Bichitra, a tourism magazine, on Sunday to mark the opening of the 9th Asia Tourism Fair at Pan Pacific Sonargaon Dhaka. — New Age photo

Minister of State for Civil Aviation and Tourism Md Mahbub Ali said the country’s tourism infrastructures could not be developed to attract international tourists like other Muslim countries.

He made the remarks in response to journalists’ questions at a press conference organized by Porjoton Bichitra, a tourism magazine, on the eve of the opening of the ninth Asia Tourism Fair at Pan Pacific Sonargaon Dhaka on Sunday.

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The three-day fair begins Thursday at the International Convention City Bashundhara in Dhaka.

The fair will remain open daily from 10am to 7pm until October 1 and the entrance fee is Tk30, said fair director Borhan Uddin.

He said a total of 130 local and overseas organizations are expected to install pavilions at the fair.

He said that the country’s founding president, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, founded the Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation with the plan to attract international tourists by creating a tourist environment at the request of foreign citizens.

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Mahbub Ali said successive governments could not develop tourism infrastructures according to Sheikh Mujib’s wishes.

“We have some limitations as our tourism sectors cannot be presented as it is the case in other countries,” he added.

He said Muslim countries like Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, Malaysia, Indonesia and Turkey could develop their tourism to meet foreign nationals’ desires.

“Foreign tourists will of course visit Bangladesh if we can ensure their facilities because we have beautiful nature, long sea beaches and history and culture like other tourism-based countries,” he added.

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Speakers at the meeting included Md Mokammel Hossain, Senior Secretary of the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism, Abu Tahir Mohammad Zaber, Chief Executive Officer of the Bangladesh Tourism Board, Md Ali Kadar, Chairman of the Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation, Kumar Rai, Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of Nepal , Managing Director of Hotels International Limited Md. Aminur Rahman, Chairman of Asian Tourism Fair Mohiuddin Helal and many tourism professionals and tour operators.





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