The government with private sector has come up with exclusive offers for foreign tourists as part of the massive endeavor to make Bangladesh Tourism Year 2016 a success.
The offers included discounts in air tickets and hotel rents to attract one million foreign tourists during the tourism year and after that, reports BSS.
This was revealed on Wednesday at a press conference jointly organised by Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation (BPC) and Bangladesh Tourism Board (BTB) at Jatiya Press Club in city.
BPC Chairman Dr Aparup Chowdhury and BTB CEO Akhtaruz Zaman Khan Kabir talked to the press on various offers and facilities to be offered by airlines and hotels for the tourists.
The biggest discount offer was made by government owned five-star Sonargaon Pan Pasific Hotel with 50 percent rebate on room rent except VAT and services charges depending on availability space.
Besides, Biman Bangladesh Airlines will offer 10 percent rebate on ticket purchase while BPC will offer 30 percent discount on room rent and 20 percent discount of lunch and dinner.
Private airline Novoair will offer 15 percent discount on purchasing tickets for the passengers under package tour.
Dr Chowdhury said they have discussed with other private airlines and hotels and they assured them of joining with the BPC and BTB to offer special facilities for tourists targeting the tourism year.
Akhtaruz Zaman Khan Kabir said this is a small part of their year-long initiative. "We are hopeful that we will be able to come up with more facilities."
He said the BTB has already finalized a yearlong event calendar for 2016. "The event calendar is now in the ministry awaiting for approval. We are hopeful, we can announce the event calendar by first week of next month," he said.
After announcement of the event calendar, the BTB will try to attract the foreign tourists to join various events to be held at different parts of Bangladesh round the year in 2016, he said.
Mentioning that the BTB has already sent tourism promotional information to all Bangladesh missions abroad, Kabir said they are in discussion with the Foreign Ministry so that the information can be disseminated through missions for the foreign nationals in proper way.
He said all the stakeholders of the tourism industry including the public sector urged the government to ease the tourist visa procedure through initiating e-visa and widening the on arrival visa system to enter Bangladesh.
"It is true we have security concern, but in the name of security we can't resist foreign tourist to enter Bangladesh," he said.
The BTB CEO said the government has already taken a decision to form a taskforce comprising representatives from three ministries - Civil Aviation and Tourism, Foreign Affairs and Home Affairs to resolve all problems regarding easing the visa issuing procedure.
Noting that Bangladesh is now focusing Chinese tourism, he said they will host an International Conference on Buddhist Tourism Circuit Conference of the Asian Countries to be held at the Bangabandhu International Conference Center (BICC) here on October 27-28, to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
There will be a workshop on September 1 at CIRDAP auditorium here before the conference, he added.
The BTB CEO said they have planned to conduct a massive Bangladesh tourism promotional campaign to the international media. "We are going to telecast out television commercial to BBC and CNN soon to make the foreign tourists know about our tourism products," he said.
The government has allocated Taka 200 crore centering the Tourism Year to give a boost to the country's tourism industry.