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OPPORTUNITIES OF DEVELOPING TOURISM INDUSTRY IN BANGLADESH

MOHAMMAD SHAMSUDDOHA
Assistant Professor, Department of Marketing Studies and International Marketing,
University of Chittagong, Chittagong, Bangladesh
E- mail: mdsdoha@gmail.com

Abstract:
Tourism attractions include archeological sites, historic mosques and monuments, resorts,
beaches, picnic spots, forest and wildlife. Bangladesh is a riverine country having attractive
panoramic beauty. There are hills, vales, deep and mangrove forests, rivers and the longest
beach in the world. In this country, the scope of nature based tourism, research based
tourism, culture based tourism and eco-tourism is quite evident. In Bangladesh, prospective
areas are present, minimum infra-structural arrangement is developing, role of government
is now positive, private and public organizations have come forward side by side to attract
the local and foreign tourists, researchers, dignitaries and foreign delegates. Having all the
minimum requirements, the tourism industry could not develop adequately. The cracks of
problem could not identify accurately because of paucity of sufficient number of research and
investigations in our country. This could benefit the tourism industry in multiple ways. This
could change the economic picture of tourism sector and contribute a big share in the GDP
of Bangladesh. This study will facilitate the decision makers to assess the intensity of the
problem and to plan accurate measures to train and develop a good number of manpower for
facing the current need readily.

Keywords: Tourism, Development, Marketing, Bangladesh

1. INTRODUCTION
During the post-Second World War era, tourism demand has rapidly increased and
tourism has become a worldwide phenomenon. Not surprisingly, this post-war boom has
drawn the attention of many developing countries, and tourism as one of the growing
industries of the world economy has enticed many entrepreneurs and governments of various
countries to invest in the tourism industry without proper planning and preparation (Cevat
Tosun and Dallen J. Timothy, 2001).
Tourism is not associated with aristocracy. Today even ordinary persons can afford.
With the passage of time, the tourism has become almost a part of our norma l life. In the
background of its growing popularity, tourism has become a mass phenomenon. It has grown to
such dimensions that we consider it an important industry.
The promotion of tourism as an industry serves multi-pronged interest, e.g. protecting
our arts and culture, preserving our cultural heritage, interaction of different religion, exchange
of views, and generation of foreign exchange and so on. It is against this background that albeit
global tourism organizations like World Tourism Organization. Pacific Area Travel Association.
International Union of Official Travel Organization etc. have been active in developing tourism
as an industry. Particularly for the developing countries, the tourism industry is considered as a
bonanza. The conceptual exposition appears essential to study other dimensions of tourism
marketing.

1.1. LITERATURE REVIEW


The marketing experts opine that tourism marketing is the systemic and coordinated
efforts to optimize the satisfaction of tourism. The tourism marketing is also supposed to be a
device to make a possible reorientation in the business policy and overhaul in the management
concept. Generally speaking, tourism planning has been defined as a process based on
research and evaluation, which seeks to optimize the potential contribution of tourism to
human welfare and environmental quality (Tosun and Jenkins, 1998).
Thus, tourism planning should relate tourism development to the more equitable
distribution of wealth that is one of the main aims of national development planning. In this
respect, tourism planning is a component of national development planning and strategy.
Moreover, it includes a decision-making process between the tourism industry and other
sectors of the economy, between various sub-national areas and between types of tourism. It
requires the integration of the tourism industry into other sectors such as agriculture, industry,
transportation and social services (Timothy, 1999).
In view of the aforesaid facts it is right to mention that tourism marketing is an integrated
effort to satisfy tourists by making available to them the best possible services. It is a device to
transform the potential tourists into actual tourists. It is the safest way to generate demand and
expand market. Further, it is an effort to make possible harmony between the social interests and
interests of tourist organizations. It is an approach to promote business, which feeds the
organizations the necessary information for farming or revamping the marketing decisions. The
tourisms marketing is thus promotion or sales based on research on what are to be sold in the
market. Dependence on laurels is not possible in the tourism marketing since the taste
preferences of users change very firstly.

1.2 Objectives of the study


In the light of development of tourism industry in Bangladesh particularly, the main
objectives of the study are-
1. To find out the present users and classifications of tourism industry in Bangladesh
2. To reveal the objectives of tourism development in Bangladesh
3. To find out the way of developing manpower through training in tourism industry.
4. To give some recommendations for the development of tourist industry

1.3 Scope and Methodologies of the study


The study covered various Government and non-government who are acting vital role
in developing tourism industry Situated mainly capital Dhaka and commercial capital city
Chittagong in Bangladesh. The sample comprised of more than ten Governmental and non-
governmental institutes those who are working with the tourism in Bangladesh. Necessary
information and data were collected from sample respondents through the direct interview
method by using structured questionnaire. In addition, review all the tourism related websites
for updated information. In total 100 respondents were interviewed during the study period.
In the other hand, the researcher also reviews several foreign and local research works as well
in this field.

1.4 Analysis of Findings


The conceptual exposition appears essential to study tourism marketing. The
marketing experts opine that tourism marketing is the systemic and coordinated efforts to
optimize the satisfaction of tourism. The thing here are concerned with making available to
the tourist organizations. The tourism marketing is also supposed to be a device to make a
possible reorientation in the business policy and overhaul in the management concept.
Tourism marketing is an integrated effort to satisfy tourists by making available to them the
best possible services.
It is a device to transform the potent ial tourists into actual tourists. It is the safest way
to generate demand and expand market. Further it is an effort to make possible harmony
between the social interests and interests of tourist organizations. It is an approach to promote
business, which feeds the organizations the necessary information for farming or revamping
the marketing decisions. The tourisms marketing is thus promotion or sales based on research
on what are to be sold in the market. Dependence on laurels is not possible in the tourism
marketing since the taste preferences of users change very firstly in Bangladesh.

2. THE USERS OF TOURISM SERVICES


There are several users of tourist like rural tourists, urban tourists and international
tourists. For the successful execution of marketing strategies for translating the strategies in
to meaningful purposes, it is essential to have a detailed knowledge of users of services.
Tourists coming from the rural areas are rural tourists whereas the tourists coming from urban
areas are urban tourists.
The users

Domestic Foreign

Rural Urban

Literate Illiterate Literate Illiterate

Rich / Poor Rich / Poor


or
[Source: BPC Officials]

3. CLASSIFICATION OF TOURISTS
According to a sample survey, the tourists’ arrivals are classified in the following
categories:
A. Business  42%
B. Pleasure  23%
C. Official  18%
D. Others  17%

17%
18% Business
Pleasure
Official
42%
Others
23%

Figure: Shows the Arrival of Tourists, [Source: Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation]

4. OBJECTIVES OF TOURISM DEVELOPMENT


Tourism, as the worldwide initiator of movements of people and exchange of cultures,
has become the world’s single largest industry. It has matured, provides the livelihood for
many millions, foments good will between nations, provides a display case for a nation’s
products and stimulates creative and enjoyable activity.
As the world is increasingly able to produce the food and other physical needs for its
population with fewer and fewer workers, jobs are being lost. Others, however, are gained in
the service sector and a higher standard of living is achieved for all. The benefits, at first
observed in the more developed lands, are distributed as citizens seek new experiences and
travel to new destinations, spending money, providing employment and enjoying a change in
living from their normal lives. From being once a neglected sector, tourism now has the
attention of national, regional and municipal governments throughout the world, who seek to
participate in the flow of resources, increase their market share and earn the respect of their
counterparts. The study of tourism has become a science spearheaded by the world Tourism
Organization that collects and interprets data and advises government’s as to how they may
share in the benefits of tourism’s growth and potential.
A recent study completed by the WTO in 1986 – an Eco nomic review of world
Tourism – shows that in the developed countries of the world, two thirds of the workforce
now work in the service sector and as many as 25 per cent of those workers are in tourism
related jobs. Spain, with an estimated 25.9 per cent of service sector employees working in
tourism related jobs come first followed by the United States of America with 25.1 per cent.
Comparative data for the lesser developed countries of the world show that a lower
percentage are employed in the survive sector and tourism related activities. Much of the
tourism sector employment in the developed countries is attributable to domestic movements
of people. It is estimated by the WTO that nine out of ten movements took place within
national boundaries and only ten per cent of movements were across national borders.
International tourist movements estimated to be 300 million in 1984 imply domestic
movements of almost 3,000 million. Although data collection of domestic movements is less
certain than international movements, WTO conjectures that domestic travel is increasing at
least at the same rate as international tourism which was estimated to have increased by two
per cent in 1984 over the 1983 figure rate expected to increase over the next few years.
Many factors affect such expectations. Both discretionary and non-discretionary
tourist movements depend on economic and political conditions for their growth as well as
the actual pleasure and other rewards experienced in travel itself that encourage further
exploration. Population growth and demographic changes in age groupings affect volume and
the experiences hoped for while the absorptive capacity of some destinations may also
change, giving new opportunities to others.
Taking the many variables into account, the WTO projects that international travel
will continue to grow through the remainder of the decade of the 80’s and that the South Asia
region will be a substantial beneficiary of the trend with a projected annual growth rate of
seven per cent. The rate is based on the growing pace of industrialization and urbanization
that will give impetus to travel weather the reason is business, family, duty or pleasure. Thus,
circumstances are seen by WTO to be favorable for growth particularly in the regional
international that will benefit Bangladesh. Such growth is the prime requisite that will permit
the major objectives of tourism to be realized.

The objectives and perceived benefits of tourism for Bangladesh are specific. They are:
Ø To improve the balance of payments and to reverse negative flow in the tourism
sector;
Ø To provide employment;
Ø To capitalize on the investment already made in airports, the nationals airline, in
transport and accommodation;
Ø To enhance the image of the country in the eyes of the world;
Ø To reinforce and protect the culture of the country;
Ø To expose its people to world movements, the stimulation provided by other cultures
and enhances their employment potential abroad;
Ø To enable its people to share in the enjoyment of facilities and amenities that would
be created for international tourism purposes and that would provide a base for
growth in domestic tourism.

4. MANPOWER DEVELOPMENT AND TRAINING


It has been recognized by BPC that the Corporation is short of professional staff in its
hotel operations division particularly and that the development of tourism in Bangladesh will
require training of management cadres. These cadres would be in a position to carry forward
vocational t4raining programmes for hotel and other sector workers once the basic needs
have been met through a number of specially structured programmes designed to remedy the
current lack of trained workers for many work positions.
In order to establish and develop a professional training programme within the tourism
industry in Bangladesh, BPC established the Hotel and Tourism Training Institute (HTTI),
which was jointly funded in 1978 by the Government of Bangladesh and the United Nations
Development Programme (UNDP) with the International Labor Organization (ILO) as
executing agency. The first phase of the project finished in 1983 and the second phase
commenced in February 1986.
The Tourism Training Institute is operated under the auspices of BPC in Mohakhali,
Dhaka. In the same building is a fully operational BPC Hotel. The Institute and the hotel are
housed in purpose-built facilities having, in addition to 20 bedrooms and usual hotel
facilities, classroom areas, a training restaurant, training and demonstration kitchens, a front
office reception area, a conference room, offices and administrative areas. It is intended
during the second phase programme to expand and up- grade HTTI to provide, inter alias, a
langrage laboratory, a travel agency, a library/documentation unit, a demonstration laundry, a
bakery/patisserie training unit with a retail outlet and a small video studio.
There will also be a mobile catering van for outside catering and a 26-seater coaster for
the transport of trainees on study visits. The ILO, besides helping the Government to develop
the hospitality industry, is also helping to develop human resources by providing in-depth
training programmes. The full-time courses, supervised by international experts and
consultants, cover the following specializations:
Ø Hotel and Restaurant Kitchen Training
Ø Restaurant Service
Ø Front Office and Secretarial
Ø Bakery, Pastry and Confectionery
Ø Housekeeping Operations
Ø Tourist Guides
Ø Tour Operation and Travel Agencies.
There will also be part-time of day-release courses in various aspects of the industry,
according to identified needs, such as:
Ø Hygiene and Sanitation for Food Handlers
Ø Short on-the-job Instructor Training Courses
Ø Communications and Social Skills
Ø Short courses in different aspects of catering for non-professionals.
Eventually, there will be developed a diploma course in Hotel and Catering Operations
for management trainees. The current programme is technical and vocational in nature and is
designed to meet the more immediate needs for tourism development. A serious difficulty is
the low level of foreign langrage skills of rank and file employees that make the inclusion of
the proposed language laboratory a desirable priority. Other UNDP projects for tourism
sector training will also be of assistance to Bangladesh in meeting its training needs. One
project for training in tourism planning for South Asia has resulted in conclusions and
recommendations that include:
Ø One-year scholarships, to be given for overseas training at university graduate level.
Ø The development of a series of three six-week regional training courses.
The courses would cover a variety of topics including statistical data collection,
techniques and principles of detailed planning of resorts, and standards of control of
environmental and social impact.
A programme for regional cooperation in tourism training that is planned for 1988 would
cover a number of conceptual matters as well as specialized training. Among the topics slated
for attention are:
Ø Multi destination holiday packaging
Ø Development of market identity
Ø Creation of job titles for sector personnel to replace the currently used civil service
names
Ø Improvement of staff attitudes and capability through encounter and transactional
analysis courses
Ø Budgetary and financial management including hotel accounting
Ø Tour operator and ground handling courses
Ø Clearly all of the recommendations address topics that are important for Bangladesh,
whose tourism development is closely allied with other countries in South Asia and
South East Asia

The master plan study team observed a number of weaknesses in current practices that
should also be considered in the context of training programmes. A good knowledge of
foreign languages does not extend very far down the hotel hierarchy. Training programmes of
a forceful nature are required to remove inhibitions and give adequate practice in actually
speaking foreign languages. No attention is given to sales promotion in restaurants when an
extra sale might be made. In art this ay be a consequence of the limited number of items
actually available out of the menu list.
On the other hand, restaurant employees have been well trainee in accounting for the
sales they actually make. Because of the service charge system, there is a correlation between
the two objectives. Similarly, restaurant employees in particular tend not to be as attentive as
they might, again missing potential for extra sales as well as failing in their duties. It is
notable that the two international hotels in Dhaka have been most successful in their
employee training programmes and their cooperation with the HTTI programmes should be
most helpful. The international hotels are also a potential source of well-trained middle and
upper management personnel for new operations. The basic and long-term training needs are
met in principle by the current and proposed programmes. With will and commitment, they
should be successful.

5. TOUR PROGRAMS TAKEN BY BANGLADESH PARJATAN CORPORATION


The tours division BPC has developed programs for 12 tours designed to permit
tourists to the most interesting parts of the country a range of attractive leaflets is provided.
The tours are also built into offerings of Biman, the national airlines, which includes them on
packages originating in certain European and other cities served by the airlines.
Parjatan Offers
Tour
Title Itinerary Duration
no.
1 Dhaka Stopover Dhaka City Tour 2-days 1 night
2 -do- Dhaka City tour with River Cruise 3-days-2night
3 Paddle -steamer Dhaka-Khulna-Dhaka 4-days-3 night
tour
Nature & tea
4 Dhaka-Srimongal- Sylhet-Dhaka 5-days-4 night
Orie ntation Tour
Tribal culture Dhaka-Ctg-Rangamati- Dhaka 4-days-3-nights
5
Tour
6 Beach Holiday Dhaka-Ctg-Cox’s Bazar-Dhaka 5-days-4-nights
Tour
7 Beach Island Dhaka-Patuakhali-Kuakata-Dhaka 6-days-4-nights
Tour
Nature & Wild Dhaka-Jessor-Mongla -Sundarban-
8 Life Dhaka 5-days-4-nights
Tour
History & Dhaka-Rangpur -Dinajpur -Bogra-Dhaka
9 Archaeological 5-days-4-nights
Tour
Discover Dhaka-Srimangal- Ctg-Cox’s Bazar-
10 8-days-7-nights
Bangladesh-1 Dhaka
Discover Dhaka-Jessor-Mongla -Sunderban-
11 8-days-7-nights
Bangladesh-2 Dhaka-Rnagamati-Dhaka
Dahka-Srimongal- Ctg-Cox’s Bazar-
Destination 14-days-13
12 Rangamati-Dhaka-Mongla-Sunderban
Bangladesh nights
-Dhaka

6. RECOMMENDATIONS
There are so many problems, the researcher found regarding tourism in Bangladesh.
The customers of tourism market are price sensitive and want security in tourist place. To
expand the market it is necessary to set competitive price.

¦ Develop the management education on tourism Marketing and prepare marketing or


sales people to sell the product properly to the right place in local and global perspectives as
well.
¦ In order to strengthen the marketing department, a person should be appointed to look
after policy matters and new brand exclusively while the responsibility of that division should
be in the hand of the marketing Director.
¦ Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation should create pressure on Govt. to implement her policy
more strictly regarding the quality of service. As a result private service provider will be able
to face competition on an even ground.
¦ To deliver information to the foreign tourist through online or website and Information
Technology is necessary to research about new tourist spot.
¦ To encourage the Jr. executives they should be promoted to his/her position and new
executives should be recruited to ensure.
¦ Training and other refresher courses should be conducted at regular intervals to up date
the personnel with efficient.
¦ BPC should formulate her strategy in such to way by which she can serve the users more
effectively. BPC can easily utilize the following distribution channel.
¦ Private sector in this field should be encouraged by the BPC and as well as Government
officials.
7. CONCLUSION
Bangladesh is one of the third world countries having scarcity of his finance but they can
increase their GDP through by giving stress to the tourism industry. From overall point of
view, Bangladesh Parja tan Corporation is a only one government tourism service provider
firm in Bangladesh, which practices modern marketing concept. But in some sector they are
lagging behind. There have a lot of opportunities to earn foreign and local revenue from this
sector but this sector is totally ignored. The researcher has put forward some
recommendation. If BPC follows these recommendations, in the long run, BPC will become
revenue-generating organization. Bangladesh has a lot of potential tourist spots but it should
do find out the exposure. Otherwise, she cannot cash from this potential sector. And private
sector should encourage by the government to work together for the sake of the development
of tourism industry in Bangladesh.

References
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Cevat Tosun and Dallen J. Timothy, (2001), International Journal of Contemporary
Hospitality Management 13/7 Page. 352.
Tosun, C. and Jenkins, C.L. (1998), ``The evolution of tourism planning in third world
countries: a critique’’, Progress in Tourism and Hospitality Research, Vol. 4 No. 2, pp.
101-14.
Timothy, D. (1998), “Cooperative tourism planning in a developing destination’’, Journal
of Sustainable Tourism, Vol. 6 No. 1, pp. 52-68.
President’s Order No 143 of 1972 as published in the Bangladesh Gazette Extraordinary,
27th November 1972.
Philip Kotler & Gray Armstrong, (2003), Principles of Marketing, , 7th Edition
Philip Kotler, (2004), Marketing Management, , 9th Edition.
Website of UNDP, WTO, ILO
*** http://www.bangladeshonline.com
*** http://www.tourismindiaonline.com
*** http://www.tourismindia.com
*** http://www.bangladeshonline.com/tourism/spots
*** http://www.parjatancorporation.org