Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has directed authorities to take steps to make all places of natural beauty, as well as religious and historic spots in the country attractive to local and foreign tourists.
She ordered infrastructure development at Cox’s Bazar, St. Martin and Maheshkhali islands, Kuakata, and other major tourist spots. She also suggested introducing Tourist Police to deal with security concerns in the tourism sector.
The directives of the Prime Minister came following the first meeting of the National Tourism Council. Minister for Finance, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Minister for Civil Aviation and Tourism, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, and Secretaries of the Ministries were also present.
The Prime Minister emphasized maximum utilization of the world’s longest sea beach, Cox’s Bazar, and ensuring security of the tourists. While modernizing the tourism spots, the traditional beautiful face of rural Bangladesh and the country’s culture and heritage will have to be protected from distortion, she said.
The Prime Minister said there are hundreds of ancient mosques, temples, pagodas, and churches across the country with outstanding architecture and significant history that need to be protected.
She asked the Tourism Ministry to work with devotion and a new spirit to modernize the tourism industry. “Other countries present even a small river with much attraction to the tourists. Why shall we lag behind even when nature has bestowed us with its bounty?” she questioned.
Underling the importance of Chittagong Hill Tracts as a tourist attraction, the prime minister said peace was restored in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) following the peace accord of 1997. The hill districts can be turned into places with tourism attractions. She asked to ensure representation of the Chittagong Hill Tract Regional Council in every committee on tourism matters.
The Prime Minister reiterated her call to introduce package tourism among the SAARC member-countries, particularly among Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Bhutan for the economic welfare of the region’s population.