Following the recent terror attacks in Bangladesh, the tourism industry is fearing impact on the flow of foreign tourist arrivals into Bangladesh. The country was stricken by two terror attacks when terrorists massacred several foreign nationals at Holey Artisan Bakery Cafe in capital Dhaka’s posh Gulshan area and then triggered grenade explosions at Kishoreganj during Eid prayers.
Some countries have already issued warnings to their citizens residing or travelling to Bangladesh against further possible terror attacks. Commenting on this, Taufiq Rahman, secretary-general, Pacific Asia Travel Association (Bangladesh Chapter) and director, Tour Operators Association of Bangladesh, who was in Kolkata recently, told FE Online, “Today terror attacks are taking place in different parts of the world, be it Paris, Istanbul or elsewhere. It has now become a global menace. We strongly condemn such ghastly and cowardly acts, but at the same time, it is very unfortunate that efforts are being made to put a terror tag on Bangladesh, which is not at all accepted. These were stray incidents and the government is committed to deal with them sternly. So we are here to convince and convey to Indian nationals that Bangladesh is totally safe for tourists.”
Jyotirmoy Barman, joint secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism, Government of Bangladesh, who was also in Kolkata, said, “Our Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina has categorically said that terrorism and violence in any form will not be tolerated and the government will strongly deal with those elements who want to destabilise Bangladesh.”
Meanwhile, Bangla tour operators have chalked out new packages to attract tourists into their country during festivals. “We will soon launch some short-term packages to commemorate ‘International Mother Language Day’ on February 21 next year,” added Barman. During this time, tourists would be taken around the various places of interest in Bangladesh and also get a chance to taste a variety of Bengali cuisines.
There will be also tour packages during other major festivals of the country like the Bengali New Year and the Durga Pujas. ‘Besides the festivals, we have conducted tours in and around Dhaka and Sunderbans,” added Barman.