Bangladesh is one of the countries of South Asia and located in the North-Eastern part of this region. There is high potential for Bangladesh to be a part of the world tourism industry because of the world’s longest unbroken, clean sandy beach at Cox’s bazaar, the largest mangrove forest of the world-the home of the majestic Royal Bengal Tiger and spotted deer at Sundarban and the hospitable and open-hearted people of Bangladesh. However, the tourism sector in Bangladesh is facing several challenges. Thus, it has been now an issue for the Bangladesh tourism industry. Therefore, this paper develops a research proposal of the potential and development of the tourism industry in Bangladesh.
Bangladesh is a country where genuine adventure is not just a possibility but a certainty. Lonely Planet ranked Bangladesh as the best value destination for the year 2015 (Lonely Planet, 2016). As a destination for tourism, Bangladesh is truly hard to beat. Yet the most notable feature of the country’s topography is the diversity of its landscape; it is characterized by wooded marshy lands and jungles with deep forest regions in Sylhet, Rangamati, Khagrachhari and Bandarban hill districts, Sundarbans (the worlds Heritage site), Mymensingh and Tangail; rare beauty spot of sunrise and sunset in fascinating Kuakata; the oldest archeological site in Mahasthangarh; the unseen relics of long-forgotten Buddhist kingdoms, lush and lurid tea plantations; tribal groups with Burmese faces; glorious beaches that stretch for eternity; freshwater dolphins and deep water whales and many other delightful beauties of cultural and historical heritage (Parjatan, 2016). These treasures are relatively unknown in the world and are rich resources for the development of tourism in Bangladesh.
Bangladesh is a land of spellbinding beauty, for the adventure seeker, this is a topography that challenges the most daring of spirits, for the historian, there are excavations, museums and artifacts aplenty. Such is the variety Bangladesh offers, a country with an area of 147,570 square kilometers (56,977 square miles) square kilometers and a population of some 160 million. Everywhere, you’ll meet friendly and hospitable people, welcoming you to their homes. Bangladesh has peculiar tribal people having their unique way of life mostly living in the hilly regions of Bandarban, Cox’s bazaar, Khagrachori in the Chittagong division. Many foreign tourists of the west expressed keen interest in finding tribal peoples’ peculiar way of life, but simplicity in their behavior. Bangladesh is also rich in its ancient history (Parjatan, 2016).
According to Bangladesh National Assembly (2010), many famous monuments, archaeological and historical remains are still standing to certify the past glorious civilization of Bangladesh. The Buddhist relic at Paharpur is a monument of 8th century A.D. The Badshahi 60 domes mosque at Bagerhat is 1459 A.D. The Mahasthangarh at Bogra, Lalbagh Fort in Dhaka, Mainnamati Buddhist remains at Comilla are examples of so many historical and archaeological remains scattered located all over Bangladesh. Apart from this, Bangladesh is a land of mighty rivers and tributaries.( Bangladesh is a reverie country having attractive panoramic beauty.)Three big rivers of two or three miles width pass through Bangladesh. The Ganges, Padma, Jumana, Meghna and Karnafully are the widest and longest rivers. Khalid (2016) said the tour of Bangladesh has its unique beauty and character. The tourist could enjoy river cruising on these mighty rivers with their smoothness during excursions. Bangladesh could also claim for its manmade lake of 350sq. miles surrounded by green forested hills in the Chittagong Hill Tracts. The lake has a unique natural beauty, most suitable for skiing and fish cultivation. These are only a few of many tourist products of Bangladesh that can be offered to the tourist.
Hasan (2012) stated that it is in this scenario that Bangladesh emerges as a favorable tourist destination. Besides this, birds watching, Jeep safaris, trekking and mountaineering are readily available tourist specialized products. Despite possession of such an ideal tourism resource, Bangladesh has failed to proportionate gains and attract the desired number of tourists. Tourism growth in Bangladesh is lagging behind the pace of growth at the world level as well as SAARC countries. In 2010 international tourists’ arrivals at SAARC countries were India 5776000, Pakistan 907000, Maldives 792000, Srilanka 654000, Nepal 603000, Bangladesh 303000, and Bhutan 27000 tourist’s only (Bangladesh National Assembly, 2010). Throughout the world, tourism is contributing positively to the socio-economic development of the country, but in Bangladesh, it is the opposite direction. The tourism stakeholders have failed so for to meet the challenge. The core issue of tourism development in Bangladesh is determining the issues and strategies for the short term and long term to run it. From the evaluation of the organizational structure of the tourism sector, it will be recognized that there are serious concerns as to the management and administration and control of the sector. The study intends to bring forth that the tourism industry in Bangladesh has a lot of potentials to grow into a major economic generator and labor intensifying industry for the underdeveloped but tourism-suited areas of Bangladesh. Bangladesh’s present standing as a tourist destination is far below that of other SAARC countries like India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and the even Maldives. Our market share is stagnated at the level from some consecutive year. Bangladesh has too rich destinations for adventure tourism but we failed to exploit the tourism potential fully………………………………………….