Cox's Bazar, the city of the world’s longest unbroken sea beach, is rife with mismanagement in its beach and hotel prices, hurting the country’s tourism sector.
Though there are rules about what to do or not to do on the beach, the sandy beach in Cox’s Bazar is in a mess.Playing football in groups and horse riding in busy beach points, free movement of hawkers, trash and wastage, lack of vigilance of lifeguards are holding back the future prospect of city’s tourism.
In most cases, tourists do not follow the rules on the beach while the beach management authorities are mostly inactive.
At the same time, taking the opportunity of the growing pressure of tourists in Cox’s Bazar, hotel-motel and resorts owners are charging double price than the regular prices.
Beach mismanagement at its worst
Naimur Rahman, a non-resident Bangladeshi from Germany, went to visit Cox’s Bazar last week.
While he was returning to the hotel from Sugandha beach point, he was suddenly hit by a football at his face and fell on the ground immediately. He stood up after a while and asked the boys who were playing football in such a crowded place why they are playing football at this busy point.The boys replied rudely that ‘it’s was their choice’. Naimur felt helpless and he did not find any solution as there was no one to take care of the issue.
Later talking to this correspondent at the spot, he said that was the poorest beach management he has ever seen.
“We know that playing football is not allowed on the beach. It is happening here but authorities do not bother at all,” he said, adding that if Cox’s Bazar tourism runs this way, genuine tourists including foreign tourists will avoid this place.
Hawkers were irritating the tourists at the beach and littering is very common at the key points of the beach.
Though there is a beach management committee formed by the district administration, it does not work properly, said many tourists and locals.
When contacted, deputy commissioner of Cox’s Bazar Md Kamal Hossain said that they are trying to keep the beach safe, clean and hassle-free for the tourists.
Anarchy in hotel prices
During the peak season, owners of hotels, motels, resorts start charging as per their wish.
A couple who recently visited Cox’s Bazar last week rented a room of a mid-range hotel at Tk 4,000 per night. Surprisingly the regular charge of that hotel was Tk 1,500-2,000 per night.
They said that they had nothing to do as most of the hotels were charging at least double the price than the regular price.
“We were looking for a mid-range hotel. We found many but at the price of luxury hotels,” they said.
This is a common scenario of Cox’s Bazar city which has around 450 hotels and motels.
Sources said mid-range hotels usually take this opportunity of holding hostage tourists by charging higher than regular price. Tourists have nothing to do as there are several syndicates who manipulate hotel prices during the peak season.
When contacted, a manager of a mid-range hotel said this is the common trend in Cox’s Bazar during the holiday season.
Seeking anonymity, a top official of the district administration said, the local administration conducts some drives in hotels but that is not enough to bring discipline in hotel pricing practice.