Tourism is one of the most important economic sectors of the country. It is a strong contributor to gross domestic product and employment. The sector provides livelihoods to hundreds of thousands of working people. For women, indigenous people, rural communities and marginalised population, tourism has been a vehicle for integration, empowerment and generating income. But, Covid-19 has been harsh on this vital sector. Long closure of tourist spots and world heritage sites has deprived communities of vital livelihoods. It has been painful to see how lots of people involved in the hospitality sector lost jobs during the crisis period. The crisis has been a major shock for the country's economy.
However, we have learnt from a report on this newspaper's yesterday issue that our tourism sector has been gradually rebounding after incurring heavy losses. Domestic tourists are already beginning to show up in the attractive spots following their reopening on August 19 as per government instruction. Cox's Bazar, being the most popular holiday spot in the country, has been attracting tourists daily. In our country, winter is the ideal time for tourism. Domestic tourists are likely to increase in the upcoming months. But, it is mandatory for tourists to strictly follow health guidelines; otherwise the hope for a vibrating tourism sector would vanish if the virus spreads again through the loophole of carelessness of the visitors.