We, the Bangladeshis are feeling proud of the Padma Bridge. We cordially congratulate the Mother of Humanity, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, for her successful leadership and contribution to the construction of the Padma Bridge, ignoring all obstacles of domestic and international individuals. Now we can see the successful implementation of this dream-winning Padma Bridge.
Today Bangladesh is a role model of development to the world of our Prime Minister’s great leadership. Over a dozen mega-projects like the Padma Bridge will be implemented this year. The transparency of the Hon'ble Prime Minister's leadership can be understood only by looking at the picture of the implementation of these mega-projects. Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman said in his speech on March 7, " Amader keo Dabaiya Rakhte Parbana (None of us can keep it under control)." Ignoring all the conspiracies of the World Bank, domestic and foreign individuals, and organizations, it is standing on the chest of the Padma river. Padma Bridge is the story of our surprise and dream victory today.
All the nations of the world were apprehensive about this post-independence riverine Bangladesh. At that time the index of the economy of the hungry people was zero. Bangladesh was known to the world for its natural disasters like floods, droughts and tidal surges. Fifty years after independence, we are today the Asian Tiger or Emerging Tiger in the economy. Our economy is roaring like a tiger, beating all the countries in the world. In this country with the immense potential of the tourism industry, we are not yet able to take advantage of this sector as much as other countries in the world. But from Teknaf to Tetulia, there is no shortage of scenic spots for a traveler. Our Padma Bridge multiplied the potential for the development of the tourism industry. The biggest obstacle to the development of tourism is the inadequacy of the communication system and insecurity. Due to the Padma Bridge, the development of the tourism industry is inevitable as communication management has undergone a revolutionary change with 21 districts in the southern part of the country. Countries around the world have chosen the tourism industry as their business tool to strengthen and streamline their national economies. However, despite the immense potential of Bangladesh in the tourism industry, we are not giving priority to the development of this industry. Today the Padma Bridge has opened our eyes. We can only think today; that Bangladesh will be one of the tourist paradises in Asia.
The tourism industry of Bangladesh is dependent on nature. The government is being deprived of revenue from this sector as the tourist centers have not been developed as planned. Cox's Bazar, Sylhet, and Rangamati are considered the main destinations by tourists. But various places in south Bengal could not attract domestic and foreign tourists due to a lack of improvement in a communication system. Like India's tourist city "Goa", we can make Patuakhali, the green land of immense beauty, a tourist city of South Bengal. The Padma Bridge can change the lives and livelihoods of the people of the south of Bangladesh and bring economic prosperity if we develop our tourism industry. The government should have a vision and master plan for this industry. Then we can hope that the growth of the tourism industry in the total GDP of the country reaches 30 percent.
Padma Bridge is the best addition to the country's communication system. The development of the tourism industry is possible only through the massive improvement of communication management like Padma Bridge. This bridge will change the fortunes of the country's tourism industry. The image of a changing Bangladesh seems to have started with the Padma Bridge. Many tourists from home and abroad will come to see changed Bangladesh. They are the carriers of earning foreign currency. In a country that has world heritage like the mangrove forest of the Sundarbans, in a country that has Nakshikatha, in a country that has the longest beach in the world, in a country that has a Padma Bridge, in that country the development of the tourism industry is inevitable.
As we can see, the Eiffel Tower in Paris or the River Thames in London are the main destinations for a tourist. We need to make Padma Bridge known to the world through such global branding. Let the world know that this is one of the best "Engineering Wonders". It is heard that Padma Bridge is going to be connected with the Trans-Asian Express Highway route. It will then become a destination in Europe via India, China, and Iran. Passengers from Europe will get off the train to see the Padma Bridge at Jajira in Shariatpur. Then Padma Bridge is going to be one of the huge gateways of the global tourism industry.
A huge amount of domestic and foreign investment will come due to Padma Bridge. If you want to see the tourism industry as a driving force for Bangladesh's growth, along with heavy industry, remittances, or garments, it needs a mega-plan now. In addition to physical and infrastructural development, I think the creation of skilled manpower in this sector is also a key factor. The Bangladesh Tourism Board is making a master plan with eleven spots in the country. Some important places also have architectural, structural, and investment plans. Among these, tourist spots of Barisal and Khulna will get priority.
Unless there is a natural disaster or a major global recession in the tourism industry, foreign exchange earnings continue to grow exponentially. I firmly believe that the development of the tourism industry will take Bangladesh to a unique height in the world like Padma Bridge in the future. This bridge will play a helpful role in creating fear in the tourism industry of the southern part of Bangladesh.
Ultimately, the gray Padma Bridge will serve as the driving force in our economy. This dream bridge will show the world a proud Bangladesh. Padma Bridge is especially effective in realizing the dream of developing the tourism industry in Bangladesh. We hope that it will play an invaluable role in the development of the emerging global tourism industry in the south and in Bangladesh.
The writer is media coordinator at Bangladesh Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (BAAPA)