Master plan to turn Bangladesh tourism into lighthouse of Asia: Mahbub

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DHAKA, May 6, 2019 (BSS) – State Minister for civil aviation and tourism M Mahbub Ali today said the government will make a tourism master plan soon comprising short, medium and long term goals for turning Bangladesh into an exciting tourism destination of Asia.

“We want to turn Bangladesh tourism into the lighthouse of Asia,” he said while speaking at pre-budget discussion on aviation and tourism sector in the capital.

Aviation and Tourism Journalists’ Forum of Bangladesh (ATJFB) organised the discussion in collaboration with Association of Travel Agents of Bangladesh (ATAB) and Tour Operators Association of Bangladesh (TOAB) with the support of US-Bangla airlines.

Civil Aviation and Tourism Secretary M Mohibul Haque spoke as the special guest while National Board of Revenue (NBR) Member (Tax Policy) Kanon Kumar Roy spoke as the Guest of Honor. The state minister said the initiative of formulating tourism master plan will be reflected in the next budget.

Under the master plan, the government will develop tourism infrastructures and improve road connectivity to the tourism spots as well as upgrade the country’s international and domestic airports, he added.

Haque said there is no budget constrain for taking tourism development projects but there is problem in implementing the projects.

“Fund is  not a problem for tourism, problem lies in spending the money properly,” he said.

The secretary said the constructing work of Third terminal with 26 boarding bridge of Hazrat Shajalal International airport will be started by July while the government has taken initiative to upgrade the Cox’s Bazar and Sylhet airport

The government will increase the length of Cox’s Bazar airport runway from 9000 to 12000 feet to turn it into an international aviation hub aiming at making the beach town as a single tourist destination for international tourists.

CEO US-Bangla Airlines Asif Imran, ATAB Secretary General Abdus Salem Aref and TOAB adviser Masud Hossain presented separate keynote papers.

Bangladesh Monitor Editor Kazi Wahidduzzaman, TAOB president Taufiquddin Ahmed, director Taufiq Rahman, and Taslim Amin Shovon, adviser Syed G Kader, TRIAB president Khabir Uddin Ahmed, Bangladesh tourism board member Zamiul Ahmed and Biman Bangladesh Airlines general manager Shakil Meraj also spoke on the occasion.

ATJFB president Nadira Kiron moderated the discussion while general secretary Tanzim Anwar gave welcome speech.

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