Tourism planning and Development in Bangladesh by Azizul Hasan

Author Topic: Tourism planning and Development in Bangladesh by Azizul Hasan  (Read 334 times)

Offline Kamrul Hasan Bhuiyan

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Tourism policy provides the overall direction to a country’s tourism development
(Goeldner & Ritchie, 2009). It also provides an overall framework within which a country’s
private and public sector work together to achieve its tourism policy objectives. National
tourism policy objectives help focus on enabling tourism to achieve the social and economic
development needs of the county such as employment generation, foreign exchange earnings,
development of marginal and disadvantaged communities, overall economic development
and sustainability
Bangladesh as an emerging economy, arguably, possesses considerable potential in
tourism to diversify, promote and thus attract tourists from other parts of the world. Before
1992, Bangladesh had no official tourism policy. A Strategic Master Plan for tourism
development prepared by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)/the World
Tourism Organization (UNWTO) came in effect in 1990. The first set of tourism policies was
formulated by the government in 1992. Continuing with the process and to tap the growing
the global tourism demand, the government adopted an updated tourism policy in 2009. The
Bangladesh National Tourism Policy came in to force on the 14th December, 2009. The
governmental agencies responsible for implementing the policy are the Ministry of Civil
Aviation and Tourism, Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation and Bangladesh Tourism Board as
the National Tourism Organization (NTO). The updated tourism policies of Bangladesh are
generally viewed as comprehensive with goals, objectives, policy instruments,
implementation programmes and evaluation tactics. The ‘National Tourism Policy 2009’ has
31 objectives and goals with brief action plans. Yet another tourism policy was published in
2010 that had 30 clearly defined objectives aiming to attain a comprehensively developed
tourism industry in Bangladesh.
 A very basic criticism of the policy relates to its non-availability in Bengali language
(Hassan & Burns, 2014). Even though a Bengali version was available, it keeps disappearing
from the website of the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation on a regular basis due to
technical glitches (Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation, 2015a). It is important for a
country such as Bangladesh, where the use of English language is limited to a minority that a
vernacular version of the tourism policy is made available for its more effective
dissemination. A complete and detailed version of the ‘Draft National Tourism Policy 2010’
is also missing on the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation website. Secondly, it is very
rare to find governments to publish tourism policies on an annual basis. Formulating tourism