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Menon wants more inbound tourist for revenue

Civil aviation and tourism minister Rashed Khan Menon on Friday called for public-private partnership for building up tourism based establishments in order to attack inbound tourists. ‘We can build hotels under private public partnership in order to boost of tourism,’ he told a discussion.

The Aviation and Tourism Journalists’ Forum of Bangladesh organised the pre-budget discussion on Civil Aviation and Tourism held at Hotel Abakash in the capital’s Mohakhali. Addressing as special guest, the influential lawmaker, Faruk Khan, a retired army officer turned politician, also blasted poor immigration management by police at the international airport especially for Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport.

‘O-level graduates should be posted in the immigration point…as these [airport immigration check point] are profitable locations, they [immigration police] had to leave their airport posting before they could learn something,’ said the chief of parliamentary watchdog over the civil aviation and tourism ministry.

Civil aviation and tourism minister Rashed Khan Menon, however, did not talk about the proposal of his predecessor but said that the government already taken various project to upgrade and expand airports in Dhaka, Cox’s Bazar and Bagherhat targeting tourists. The civil aviation authority, Bangladesh in a recent report to the High Court recently stated that indiscriminate use of the VIP lounge facility at the Shahjalal International Airport undermines the security of the key point installation.

Addressing as the chief guest, the minister, Menon, said that all possible development workers were finalised or underway to celebrate Tourism Year in 2016. He urged the tour operators to focus of inbound tourists than of outbound tourists in order to earn revenue.

The minister said work order for upgrading domestic airport to international airport in the tourist destination Cox’s Bazar has been awarded while three bridges connecting Kuakata beach would be completed by December.

Primary works for Khanjahan Ali Airport has been started targeting the Sundarbans bound tourists, he said. Both Menon and Faruk also encouraged private-public partnership to build tourism based establishments. The CAAB chairman, Air Vice Marshal Sanaul Haque, and Bangladesh Tourism Board chief executive officer Akhtaruz Zaman Khan Kabir among others, spoke in the discussion where Centre for Policy Dialogue additional director (research) Khondaker Golam Moazzem presented the key note paper.

Moazzem recommended for building up infrastructure in the different domestic tourists locations considering the regional trans-boundary connectivity among the neighbouring countries. Representatives from Tour Operators’ Association of Bangladesh put forth a set of recommendations including deployment of tourist police in the major tourist destinations.

TOAB leader Syed Mahbubul Islam Bulu urged the government to improve immigration service at the entry points. Travel Agents of Bangladesh president S N Manzur Murshed said ‘We want to make the travel safety with cheaper coast.’

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