Bangladesh has much to offer in terms of natural resources, history, and cultural heritage
It is no secret that, when it comes to developing tourism in Bangladesh, we have historically lagged behind.
However, with the three-day Asian Tourism Fair (ATF) set to begin today, there is hope that this is the first of many steps Bangladesh takes to bolster its sluggish tourism sector.
The fair, which will see foreign exhibitors from eight other Asian countries -- to encourage, among other things, community tourism and awareness of culture and heritage -- should inspire those working in the tourism sector of Bangladesh to do more.
While we have shown encouraging signs in recent times -- moving up five places on the list for the most tourist-friendly nations on the planet in 2019, published by the World Economic Forum -- there is much work to be done before Bangladesh as a nation is considered to be a tourist attraction.
Above all else, the authorities in the tourism sector must ensure that our tourist-friendly destinations are kept clean and maintained properly; the beaches in Cox’s Bazar have always been littered with trash and almost none of our culturally and historically significant spots are adequately maintained to a satisfactory standard.
Beyond cleanliness and maintenance, Bangladesh must also work towards raising the standards of its hospitality industry, by learning from its Asian neighbours on how to meet the international standards required to attract foreign tourists.
Bangladesh has much to offer in terms of natural resources, history, and cultural heritage. Yet, we have mostly failed to capitalize on these factors and establish a thriving tourism sector.
It is about time that changed.