‘Another Rs 100 crore being added to tourism’

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Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister Rashed Khan Menon said, “Bangladesh has gone a little offsite in tourism due to the recent spread of religious extremism. There is a negative publicity about this outside. He added that another Tk 100 crore would be added to the current budget in the tourism sector.

Rashed Khan Menon said this while addressing a pre-budget discussion on the tourism sector at the VIP Lounge of the National Press Club on Thursday afternoon. Hosted the seminar at the Aviation and Tourism Journalists Forum (ATJFB). Organized by Tour Operators Association of Bangladesh (TOAB) and Association of Travel Agents of Bangladesh (ATAB).

Rashed Khan Menon said, ‘Bangladesh is a role model in achieving economic growth. Due to the recent spread of religious extremism, Bangladesh has gone a little offsite in tourism. There is a negative publicity about this outside.

“We have achieved a growth rate of 7.5 percent,” he said. However, in recent times, Bangladesh has gone a little offside due to the spread of religious extremists. If we can develop the tourism sector, it will not be a problem.

Rashed Khan Menon added, ‘Now our economy has grown a lot. So the size of the budget is also big. In this case, the acquisition of internal resources must be given importance. Apart from that, the issue of 15 percent VAT is a matter of policy decision. So I have nothing to do at the moment about reducing VAT.

Informing that Rs 100 crore is being added to the tourism sector in the next budget, the tourism minister said, “In today’s discussion, I would like to give the good news that we have been able to add another Rs 100 crore to the Rs 246 crore allocated in the last budget.”

Rafiuzzaman, vice-president of the Tour Operators Association of Bangladesh (TOAB), said, “Tourism development is not possible without the goodwill, cooperation and political commitment of all. Although 2016 has been declared as the year of tourism, six months of the year are about to pass. But no eye-catching activities were carried out.

Rafiuzzaman further said, “It is important to increase the tourist attraction of the country and encourage the entrepreneurs. To this end, it is proposed to ensure that 25 per cent of the annual foreign exchange earnings are interest-free, loans at minimum rates, special banking facilities and financial benefits.

During the discussion, the organization called for providing duty-free facilities for the import of tourist vehicles and tourist vessels. It also demanded duty-free access to imported raw materials, heavy and light equipment and training materials for hotels, motels, resorts, highway restaurants and local food restaurants.

Toab director Masud Hossain said, “It is important to arrange financial grants to attract inbound tour operators to the business. In addition, CIP benefits should be provided to the owners of foreign exchange earning tourism companies. He called for announcing awards for special contributions in the tourism sector.

Aslam Khan, secretary general of the Association of Travel Agents of Bangladesh (ATAB), said, “Apart from the airports in Dhaka and Chittagong, the airports in other areas are not well developed. These need to be developed infrastructurally.

Attab called on tour operators to set up desks at the country’s airports. According to Atab, there is a huge demand for nature-dependent tech and social tourism all over the world. Keeping in view this demand, he called for massive activities and allocation of funds for socio-economic development, protection of environment, inclusion of culture and heritage in tourism policy, allocation of funds, training, foreign experts, infrastructure development, raising public awareness, etc.

Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister Rashed Khan Menon said, “Bangladesh has gone a little offsite in tourism due to the recent spread of religious extremism. There is a negative publicity about this outside. He added that another Tk 100 crore would be added to the current budget in the tourism sector. Rashed…

Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister Rashed Khan Menon said, “Bangladesh has gone a little offsite in tourism due to the recent spread of religious extremism. There is a negative publicity about this outside. He added that another Tk 100 crore would be added to the current budget in the tourism sector. Rashed…

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