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Friday, June 21, 2024

Save Tourism, Save St. Martin

Staff Reporter

The tourism industry founded by the father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman is playing an important role in the employment of Bangladesh and the overall development of the country.

The Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism of the Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, Bangladesh Tourism Corporation, Bangladesh Tourism Board and all those concerned with tourism have given more importance to inbound and domestic tourism.

Cox’s Bazar, St. Martin’s Island, and its surroundings are the most attractive destinations for national and foreign tourists, both inbound and domestic tourism. Every year a large number of domestic and foreign tourists stay in these places to marvel at its biodiversity and natural beauty. In addition to the 10,000 inhabitants of St. Martin’s Island, another 4,000 people from different parts of the country who have come to seek their livelihood are living on the island.

The tourism sector is the only source of income for 90% of the people of this island. They make a living through income depending on the tourists. Apart from this, as a backward linkage around the tourism of this island, the livelihood of about 5 lakh people of the country including Teknaf and Cox’s Bazar has become dependent.

Unexpectedly restricting St. Martin’s travel without any other alternative at the moment will adversely affect tourism in Bangladesh and the people living on the island will lead a dehumanized life.

Tour Operators Association of Bangladesh (TOAB), a leading organization of tour operators, in the interest of developing the tourism industry in Bangladesh, has demanded that policies be formulated to ensure the travel of domestic and foreign tourists while preserving biodiversity and the natural environment without restricting travel to St. Martin.

Restricting tourist arrivals is not a remedy but has to be developed the tourism industry of Bangladesh by keeping St. Martin’s Island open for tourists through proper management and monitoring. In addition, tourism on St. Martin’s Island plays an important role in improving the quality of life, education and economic development of the local population.

Today, Saturday, June 11, 2022, the Tour Operators Association of Bangladesh (TOAB) organized a press conference at Dhaka Club titled “Save Tourism, Save St. Martin”.

The chief guest at the press conference was Md. Rafeuzzaman, the recently departed President of TOAB and a member of the Governing Body of the Bangladesh Tourism Board. Mr. Mojibur Rahman -Chairman of St. Martin’s Union Parishad, Mr. Abu Jafar Patwari- General Secretary of Hotel Owners Association of St. Martin’s (HOST), Mr. Tofail Ahmed- President of Sea Cruise Operators Owners Association of Bangladesh (Squab), General Secretary Mr. Hossain Islam Bahadur, Md. Shahed Ullah- Toab’s Vice President, Toab’s directors, Toab’s members, tourism stakeholders, and other guests were present at the press conference. Mr. Shiblul Azam Qureshi, President of TOAB presided over the function.

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