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Tour Service Providers in Bangladesh

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Introduction

The word travel came from “Old French” word “Travail” means “Work”. Now a day’s people does not only travel for work it is also the most famous from of recreation and relaxation. People like Marco polo and Ibn Battuta wrote the history of mankind through their journey. Now in the era of globalization where the borders has despaired and infrastructure has reached new heights a new industry has grown known as travel industry. This industry is so big and has so much opportunity that many countries GDP depends on it. But, Bangladesh being one of the most beautiful country in the does not attract that much travelers. The government has taken some big steps to increase the number of tourist in our country but it is not working as expected. In this paper we are going to identify the key opportunities and current lacking in Bangladesh tourism sector.

Objective of the Study

With the development of technology, communication and infrastructure, travelling in today’s world is much easier than it used to be. The 21st century has seen incredible growth in the tourism industry all around the world. While many Asian countries have done significantly well in their development of this industry, Bangladesh unfortunately falls behind. Tour service packages provided by countries like Bhutan, Nepal, Thailand and Malaysia come at exclusive pricing and includes various amenities to attract foreign visitors. Bangladesh, on the other hand, while does provide lucrative tour packages, it still seems to fall behind in enticing the overseas tourist market. This document will provide results to the in-depth analysis done to evaluate this situation.

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Objectives

  • To identify the importance of tourism marketing in Bangladesh
  • Understand the reasons behind the lack of foreign interest in Bangladeshi tourist destinations
  • Bangladeshi tour packages and what they lack from their foreign counterparts
  • Competition between Bangladeshi and Foreign Tour Packages
  • Recommendations for the development of this sector
  • Literature Review

The vital importance of international tourism in generating economic edges has long been acknowledged in several developing countries (Jenkins, 1991), and Bangladesh has been no different from that. In recent times, the tourism sector has become an established source of revenue worldwide, particularly in the developing nations (Buhalis, 1999; Butler, 2002; Vanhove, 2005).

Development of Tourism in Bangladesh has been slow. Post Liberation, the Bangladesh government commenced the Bangladesh Parjatan Sangstha (Bangladesh Tourism Organization) and published the inaugural national tourism policy in 1992. The core idea behind this initiation was to boost the tourism sector as well as developing tourism resources (Hasan, 2007). However, despite their best efforts, the BPC along with various other private firms have failed to deliver on their intentions as the Bangladeshi tourism industry still has a long way to go (Ahmed, 2010). The Bangladeshi government eventually combined the public tourism section with the private corporations for better coordination and an overall progress (Hossain & Nazmin, 2006). Consequently, the Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation reformed as NTO in Bangladesh (Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism, 2004).

Tourism these days has become one of the biggest sources of economic growth for Bangladesh. According to the recent annual research report by World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), The direct contribution of Travel & Tourism to the GDP in Bangladesh was BDT 427.5bn (USD 5,310.4mn), which is 2.2% of the total GDP. This contribution is expected to rise to BDT 824.0bn (USD 10,235.7mn) by 2028. In addition, the contribution of the Travel & Tourism industry to the employment state in Bangladesh stood at 3.8 of the total employment at the end of 2017. Addressing the importance of this sector, the Bangladesh government also increased their spending and investment towards this industry.

Tourism Service Providers in Bangladesh

In tourism, the tourist is the center of attention. Without the tourists, the multiple tourism businesses cannot be imagined. It is the tourists’ demand that resulted in the origination of the multiple travel organizations. The tourism service provided by the travel guides and such other organizations has also seen a rise in quality. The packages provided to the consumers have been divided into multiple segments, catering to different sections of the potential consumers. Nevertheless, there are still some big negatives, which keeps on hurting the tourism industry as a whole. There are multiple tourism service providers that undertake false promotion of their below par services, leaving a sour experience for the tourists that used their services (Hossain & Nazmin, 2006). Without going to the very root of these problems that are so deeply associated with the Bangladeshi tourism sector and eradicating them, it can never be expected that the tourism industry will see the rise that is expected out of it (Ali & Mohsin, 2008)

Methodology

People have identified the flourishing demand and the development in the tourism industry, the paper is also focused on this topic. However, the expectations are not met as people have been demanding and this sector in Bangladesh, is yet too young before getting totally developed. This study is based on secondary data. The secondary data have been collected through the internet. Through this process, various articles were mostly reviewed. In addition to these, a lot of websites, related to tourism has been also reviewed for updated information. However, we have only used qualitative data from the articles and websites we have reviewed.

Findings

Over the years various efforts to improve the tourism industry in Bangladesh has been undertaken from both government and various external parties and it has resulted in a noteworthy momentum for this sector in Bangladesh, but it still always seemed to have come undone. It has been pointed that the biggest problems of tourism in Bangladesh include overpopulation, floods and other natural calamities, unemployment, and economic underdevelopment (Hall and Page, 2000). It also needs to be addressed that, despite the potential, Bangladesh has failed to be established as an attraction for the global tourists. Debashis & Mehedi (2012) noted that foreign people are more accustomed to the flood-stricken negative images of the natural side of the Bangladesh and most people view the country as natural disaster driven one more than a tourism-friendly one.

Over the years, the number of tourism services provided in Bangladesh has seen an exponential rise. These packages come with everything and all kinds of facilities are provided. This includes foods and accommodations, sightseeing and boat trips and such. The whole thing is also cheaper and more adventurous than the others are. (McCrohan, 2012). Some tourism service providers have also chosen the virtual path, which only makes it far easier for the customers.

The biggest problem seems to be the clear absence of accountability for the tourism service providers, as there exist a high number of agencies with terrible services as well as fraudulent methods, who continue to operate even today. This begs the question of the authenticity as well as the validity of the public regulatory bodies (Majbritt, 2010). Bangladesh has incredible potential to be a sought out tourist destination because of its incredible natural beauty, gallant historical background and archeological resources. However, barriers such as lack of financial support from government and efficient infrastructure facilities have hindered its progress. Absence of appropriate tourism policy and training institute related to tourism has also contributed to this sector’s slow development.

In addition to these, due to the shortage of private and investment initiatives in tourism development tourism sites are not properly explored and managed. There is a significant lack in sales plan and public relation activities and Bangladesh is unable to provide tourist products and destination packages exclusively to local and foreign tourists. Thus, in many cases travelers go back dissatisfied. With only a handful of tour operators, incompetent national airlines, inconsequential role of travel agencies and insufficient professional guides also deter foreign attraction.

Another obstacle is the insufficient amount of promotional and marketing activities undertaken by Bangladesh to create awareness about this sector. This sector’s potential can only be transformed into a reality by dynamic marketing of the tourism products and services. Various countries around the world are competing with each other to promote their destinations and Bangladesh has fallen far behind in the race. Endurance and development of the tourism industry in the nation now depends on vigorous marketing approach. Only with effort and sufficient investment Bangladesh’s tourism industry can grow to its full potential and contribute significantly to the country’s economy. Tourism packages should go a step further from only offering facilities, to the use of proper promotional activities to create awareness overseas about Bangladesh’s vast pool of tourism opportunities.

Conclusion and Recommendation

Bangladesh is a land of beauty with her charismatic green with the essence of six seasons. From the perspective of a common individual, Bangladesh is a land of historical heritage, core traditions, cultural diversity and a good cultural mix. It’s a land of traditional music, authentic practitioners of art and literature. Along with all these Bangladesh also offers a series of natural beauties and places to visit; but shockingly, the country severely lacks in good positioning over the tourists’ mind all over the world, mostly for the inefficient and ineffective tour service providers who are mostly existing only by name, now a days. Absence of accountability, authenticity, trustworthiness and finally, low quality service and management of the tour service providers force to discourage a healthy tour in Bangladesh, especially for the foreigners. Moreover, a beautiful natural country should be more and more concerned about how they should keep everyone busy enjoying the country’s beauty. Ensuring a tourist’s comfort should be a country’s national duty which Bangladesh clearly lacks in.

To meet the deficits, a number of things can be taken care of. Like, effective and predicative working network can be introduced between public and private sector which is a must where local people might get involved. Tourist information center can be introduced across the country for the tourists from where they can get detailed information about transportation, residence and guidance. Tribal shopping center might be a unique option for Bangladesh to promote handicrafts and to attract both the domestic and foreigner tourists. Bangladesh Tourism Corporation should open a research center for the foreigners for further research in tourism. Good governance that is related to government interaction and dealing with business by means of regulatory affairs is rather a big problem for the sustainable tourism development in Bangladesh. Thus, the rules and regulations should be enacted effectively by persuasive ways and means.

In fact, efficient promotional activities, entrepreneurship on such fields, a well-managed form of national and private tour service centers, a good combination of transportation model, hotel management and tour guidance facilities can bring a luck for Bangladesh to become one of the best earners from tourism sector.

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