After passing the last couple of Eids amid Covid-19 restrictions, this year the people made most of the Eid festivity as the restrictions have been lifted. Popular tourist spots have witnessed the presence of an overwhelming number of visitors during the Eid holidays. For example, the National Zoo in Mirpur has recorded one lakh visitors for three consecutive days during Eid vacation. Although it is heartening that the people could enjoy Eid to their heart’s content, the massive gathering in a handful of spots in Dhaka indicates an abject lack of recreational space in the capital.
That the Dhaka National Zoo attracted one lakh visitors a day is quite astonishing. The place can barely serve so many visitors. A photograph published in the front page of yesterday’s Daily Sun shows a sea of people in front of the zoo. To what extent the visitors could enjoy their time amidst such a large crowd is anybody’s guess.
Bangladesh is a naturally gifted country as it has a diverse array of attractions. From the world’s largest sea-beach Cox’s Bazar to natural wonders of the Sundarbans and from picturesque tea gardens to archaeological sites, nature has adorned the country with abundant beauty and bounty. However, our tourism industry didn’t develop as desired due to a nagging security concern and lack of planned development of tourist sites. An increasing number of local people are travelling nowadays with the rise in their purchasing capacity, but the number of foreign tourists is few and far between.
The issue of security and law and order in the country is a cause for concern for the tourists. Even during this Eid vacation, tourists were allegedly beaten at a spot in Sylhet. Besides, allegation of sexual harassment is also common. Touts are also a huge menace. They create trouble from the moment a foreigner steps out of the airport.
Travelers wish to visit places where they can enjoy the time according to their will. The government has already introduced tourist police to ensure safety and security of the tourists, which is welcome. Similarly, all other bottlenecks should be removed gradually to tap the full potential of the tourism sector. If due attention is given, the sector can be a driving force of job creation and economic growth.