Govt to privatise tourism sector
Wednesday, 26 March 2008

The government has decided to turn Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation into National Tourism Authority by December next for better exploitation of the potentials of the country’s tourism sector, reports UNB.

The National Tourism Authority will be set up through the enactment of Tourism Act by the end of the year as the government now looks for complete privatisation of the prospective sector.

Newly appointed chairman of the corporation Joint Secretary Shafiq Alam Mehedi made the disclosure at an opinion-exchange meeting with journalists at his office at noon.

“By December, the present Parjatan Corporation will be turned into a National Tourism Authority. The present government wants to see the tourism sector grow as a real industry that will help earn huge revenues and create jobs,” Shafiq Alam said. After the formation of the National Authority, he said, Parjatan Corporation would withdraw it from all types of business affairs.

“The National Authority will only play the role of facilitator and supervisor of all the activities of various institutions in the sector.” The new chairman said the tourism sector in Bangladesh is “limping” and it will have to be reformed radically.

The tourism sector requires immediate development of infrastructures like construction of roads, hotels and motels apart from ensuring security of the tourists both from home and abroad in every spot, he said.

Shafiq Alam said, “The government is now working to attract investments from home and abroad to bring about a massive change. The present infrastructures are no longer effective to satisfy the tourists.

At least we should attain the quality of the Maldives and Nepal.” He said Bangladesh is such a country where natural and historic spots are in plenty, but it cannot make the best use of such potentials for lack of a proper policy. “I hope the Tourism Act in the offing won’t control but facilitate the tourism industry in Bangladesh.

We need tourism-friendly policy and laws,” Shafiq Alam said. He informed the journalists that the Parjatan Corporation is working to rank the hotels in Bangladesh under certain categories.

The chairman said the corporation feels the necessity of setting up at least 10 national hotel and tourism institutes across the country for creating skilled human resources to be needed for massive activities of the National Tourism Authority. The skilled manpower will also be exported to the western countries, including Europe, he said.

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