The development of tourism is essential to achieve the SDGs: FBCCI

The Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) said developing the country’s tourism industry is essential to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

At least six SDG targets are directly linked to tourism, and the others indirectly. The achievement of the SDGs by 2030 will be hampered if tourism does not develop further. Therefore, there is a need to develop the tourism sector in Bangladesh, the leaders of the business organization said during the first meeting of the FBCCI Tourism Development Standing Committee at the FBCCI office in the capital on Monday.

Observing that 109 sectors are directly connected, and 1100 sub-sectors are indirectly linked to the tourism industry, they called for tourism to be prioritized.

At the meeting, tour operators demanded the resumption of visa-on-arrival facilities and urged the government to officially announce the opening of the country to foreign tourists.

They called for licensing tour operators, recognizing them as exporters, easing the process of transferring money overseas and placing tourist destinations under the Ministry of Tourism.

Speaking as a keynote guest, FBCCI Senior Vice President Mostofa Azad Chowdhury Babu said the tourism industry lacked skilled labor and the industry could consider hiring experienced managers and other Sri Lankan staff to deal with the problem.

FBCCI Director Amzad Hussain said that currently the tourism sector contributes 3.5% to 4% of GDP. This contribution should be increased to 10% and a coordinated action plan should be formulated and implemented accordingly.

Former Bangladesh Tourism Board CEO Akhtaruz Zaman Khan said that the Bangladesh Tourism Board should integrate FBCCI representation to accommodate private sector demand.

Archbishop Nasir Majumder, director in charge of the standing committee, assured that the FBCCI would continue to provide maximum assistance for the development of the tourism industry.

The meeting, chaired by Standing Committee Chairman Taufiq Uddin Ahmed, was also attended by FBCCI Director Harun Or Rashid, Secretary General Mohammad Mahfuzul Hoque and committee members.

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