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Tourism with its wide range of constituent sub sectors is now world's

largest industry. The dramatic growth of tourism over the last twenty five
years is one of the most remarkable economic and social phenomena of
the period.

The employment impact of tourism goes beyond employment in sectors in

which tourists directly spend their money, such as hotels, restaurants and
airlines. The establishments which receive tourists also buy goods and
services from other sectors that generate employment in those sectors
through multiplier effect.

Tourism creates employment. According to the World Tourism

Organisation (WTO), the tourism industry accounts for 11% of total
global employment. It is said that every twelve tourists create a new job.
Unfortunately, tourism is one of the most neglected sectors in Bangladesh,
though there is no lack of lip service on the part of the government.

In India, there has been 220.1 million domestic tourist visits in the year
2000 that increased to 234.8 million in the year 2001 and 273.3 million in
2002. In the year 2003, 2.75 million tourists visited the country.
Conservative estimates of tourism related employment (base year 2002)
by indian professionals reveal that tourism generates about 7.5 million full
time job equivalents in India. It translates to about 11 million actual jobs.

684000 jobs were sustained by the visitors to new york state last yaer with
total associated income of $27 million. 6.2% of all jobs in the state are
sustained by tourism.

Tourism can be considered an export industry. It is a commodity for sale

at a cheaper rate to earn a great amount of foreign exchange. The initial
period of growth occurred in the late 1960's and 1970's, when tourism was
perceived as a key activity for generating foreign exchange and creating
employment opportunities through private and government organisations.

Efforts for employment generation and poverty reduction,. related to

tourism sector, have been continuing in a dynamic way in developed and
developing countries because of their tourism promotional campaign.
Inter-cultural awareness and cross-boarder face-to-face gathering are made
possible through tourism. As such, it is a powerful tool for improving
international understanding, thus, contributing to peace among all the
nations of the world.

From an ancient period, Bengal was well known for its loveliness as well
as its industrial base. Tourism in Bangladesh can also be developed as a
productive industry like in many other countries. We can earn foreign
exchange from this sector as well as create large employment
opportunities. Tourism is an integrated sector, depending on the cultural
heritage, scenic beauty of spots, archaeological and historical sites, socio-
political and infrastructural development of a country. For effective
development of the tourism industry, balanced development is needed. It
is also related to current affairs and economic diplomacy. Security of the
tourist spots is vital for arranging tour programmes. However, when
violence and political instability prevail, then tourism will not prosper.

'Tourism 2020' vision is the World Tourism Organisation's long-term

forecast and assessment for the development of tourism up to the first 20
years of the new millennium. An essential outcome of this vision is
quantitative forecasts covering a 25-year period, with 1995 as the base
year. Bangladesh is also trying to attain 'Tourism 2020' vision. Bangladesh
Parjatan Corporation or BPC (2004) in its study report on this vision
aimed at harnessing the potential of tourism as a contributor to overall
development of the country, in terms of job creation, poverty reduction,
accelerated national gross domestic product (GDP) growth, overall
development and conservation of nature.

Thus job growth permits the expansion and improvement of public goods
and services, leading to an improved local quality of life and enhanced
prospects for future employment growth. In addition, a vibrant job market
provides an incentive for local students to continue their education since
the rewards for such are evident in better local employment opportunities.
And an expanding job market encourages local workers to upgrade their
skills in order to qualify for available higher wage jobs. Sustained job
growth stimulates improvements in the education and skills of the local
labor force, making the community a more attractive location for
businesses in the future.

When tourism sector is developed, it will have a positive impact on GDP

growth performance. This will, in turn, help develop the economy as a
whole. Tourism marketing depends on strategic planning. Vision and
mission to increase tourism should work together.

The activities for attracting local and foreign tourists to tour different areas
of Bangladesh should cover proper maintenance of the archaeological,
historical and natural scenic beauty spots and launching of effective
advertising and promotional campaign.

Tourism sector as a whole encompasses diverse organisations including

tourism spots, easy communication and transportation facilities, provision
of accommodation starting from world class to those catering to poorer
income groups of people, security arrangement, rescue system, diversified
quality food items for multiple groups of people at different prices
depending on the nature of the tourists, tax free shops, tour operators,
travel guides, multiple languages etc.

Economic diplomacy can be used to explore production, exchange of

products and services from one place to another, movement of labour and
foreign direct investment (FDI).

Global economic issues have a vast impact on local issues and in this
process, economic diplomacy can help to attain fulfillment of the basic
needs of a country. Due to international phenomena, a wide area, covering
new dimensions and strategies, has been created for economic diplomacy.
Activities for enhancement in sequence, larger precision and more
advertising, have positive impact on world tourism.

The current situation is directly related to world tourism. If we consider

the history of world civilisation, we find that during the times of peace and
prosperity, mobility of tourists from one place to another, rises. The same
thing is happening in the twenty-first century. Tourism activities are
getting a boost in the countries having political stability and also being
free from terrorist activities.


The host country needs to arrange some essential facilities at the

destination areas to ensure comfortable tours for the visitors.
Accommodation, transport, restaurant and recreation facilities are the
important ones to be ensured by the host destination areas to ensure
comfortable tours for the visitors. Accommodation, transport, restaurant
and recreation facilities are the important ones to be ensured by the host
destination country. It is quite pertinent to look at the tourist facilities
available in Bangladesh. This will help get a clear idea about the present
condition of tourism in the country. The following sections highlight the
facilities available in Bangladesh:

BPC has already set up different types of accommodation and other

facilities at different places of tourism importance. For holding
conferences and arranging cultural functions, BPC has established an air
conditioned modern auditorium with 200 seating capacity at Rangamati
and six conference halls of different capacities at Cox’s Bazar, Rangpur,
Dhaka, Rajshahi, and Bogra. A large number of standard auditoriums and
theatre stages of different capacities under both private and public sector
organizations are also available in Dhaka, Chittagong, Syllhet, Rajshahi
and other district headquarters. The present supply of five star, three star
and two star hotel rooms at Dhaka can meet the present demand of
tourists. Nevertheless, further increases in the supply of 3/5-star hotels will
be required at Dhaka in the medium and long-term. But the supply of
economy and first class accommodations in the destination areas in not
enough and cannot meet the demand of the visitors in the peak season,
though the supply of the same at some destination areas is found vacant
during the off-season. The following table gives an account of the
destination-wise break-up of the supply of BPC’s important hotel rooms
and bed capacities:

Tourism is mostly a service industry providing huge job opportunities. It is

more labor oriented than any other industry. This role of this industry in
generating employment opportunities for the working people is very
important for developing countries like ours. It has already become the
single largest employer in the world. Tourism being a vast and complex
industry provides employment to a large number of people with different
skills through its many and diverse components.

Both the domestic and the international tourism offer a protective umbrella
for other sectors and help flourish transport companies, hotel industry,
food service and restaurant industry, etc., and thus paves the way of
creating employment opportunities. Moreover, distribution channel
members like tour operators and travel agencies add to the opening up
further employment opportunities in most of the destination countries. The
overwhelming majority of tourism jobs are provided with small and
medium entrepreneurs requiring small amount of capital. This sector
creates job opportunities to higher level enterprises too. Besides, tourism
is a labor intensive industry which can help create employment
opportunities for a large number of skilled and unskilled persons in
different sectors and solve unemployment problems substantially. Thus,
the industry has unlimited potentials as an avenue to create huge
employment opportunities throughout the world.

Tourism can be the life-blood of developing nation by promoting local

employment. “Research shows that job creation in tourism grows by one
and a half times faster than in any other industrial sector. Tourism jobs and
businesses are usually created in the most underdeveloped regions of a
country, far from the madding crowd. This helps equalize economic
opportunities throughout the nation and provide incentives to residents to
remain in their respective rural areas rather than moving to overcrowded
cities.” As such, there has been greater emphasis on creating employment
through both the domestic and the international tourism demands,
especially in the areas where alternative economic development is not a
cost-effective alternative. It is interesting too that the tourist industry is
one of the few in which more women are employed than men is most
countries. In Britain, for instance, 69% of the employees in the catering
and holiday trade are women.

“The world statistics shows that in terms of creating employment

opportunities, tourism industry has become the single largest employer in
the world”. A WTO publication has shown that two-thirds of the
workforce in the developed countries of the world has been working in
the service sectors and as much as 25 percent of these workers are
working in tourism-related jobs. In 1994, travel and tourism industry
sprouted roughly 206 million jobs or one out of every five workers in the
world. During 1997, tourism generated over 262 million jobs worldwide
accounting for 10.5 percent of the world’s workforce”. On the other hand,
another statistics published by the World Travel and Tourism Council
shows that more than 255 million people are engaged with and earn their
livelihood from this labor intensive industry. Haque also cited with
reference to the WTTC that 255 million people were engaged in this
industry in 2002. Jobs in this sector are expected to increase faster than
other traditional industries, 33% by the year 2005. Haque also mentioned
that this number would rise to 380 million in the next 2006. Again, by the
year 2007, it is expected that the workforce for tourism and travel sector
alone will grow to 383 million people will be earning their livelihood from
tourism. Thus, this sector is helping solve the problem of unemployment
worldwide at a faster rate than any other sector.

A major sector of the service economy tourism is increase recognized as

contributing to social and economic development as well as a beneficially
activity for host communities creating direct and indirect job.

Tourism is a leading industry of the 21 century. It is a singe largest

industry in the world today. As per static’s issued in the world tract and
tourism council more the 225 million people earn their livelihood from
tourism and by the by in year 2006 no fewer than 385 million will be
doing so.

Tourism today is not confined to a few countries of traditional tourist-

internet. More and more tourist are now avoiding the over crowded beaten
treat and heading for new areas and destination. The changing behavior
and Trent in global tourist movement was identity by many countries by
developing their own tourism industry.

In Bangladesh government has taken necessary measure to encourage to

private sector to play a positive role in the development and diversification
of tourist facilities. The traditional constraints of the hotel, catering and
tourism industry long antisocial working hours low pay, unstable, seasonal
employment low job status make employment within an industry appear
attractive to many. A study carried out in Bangladesh found that
employment in tourism destination control



Tourism’s multifaceted role is of obvious importance. The contribution of

this industry in the global as well as individual perspective is really
astounding. “Despite enormous potentials, the tourism industry of
Bangladesh still strives to reach a satisfactory level. There is no specific
target to achieve and no clear vision for the future.” Bangladesh could
hardly bring any noticeable success in its tourism trade during more than
the last three decades. “Remarkable growth and development of tourism
has taken place in countries with similar socio-economic and religious
environment such as Malaysia and Indonesia. Compared to them,
Bangladesh’s position is far behind. Among the tourism exporting
countries, Bangladesh’s position is at the bottom of the list and only ahead
of Bhutan.

Bangladesh could attain a very insignificant contribution in its economy in

terms of GDP, Foreign currency earnings, and employment generation.
The country has failed to attract a significant number of foreign tourist
arrivals and contribute in its economy from this sector. Therefore,
Bangladesh should gear up its efforts to uphold the position of this sector
and keep it at least at par with its neighboring countries with a view to
achieving its economic and social goals.

It should be noted that “Development of tourism industry does not mean

only an increase in earning of foreign currency from this sector. Rather,
the number of foreign tourists that arrive to a particular country is taken as
the yardstick worldwide for measuring the development level of tourist.
Judged by any standard either foreign currency earnings or tourist arrivals-
Bangladesh has shown a gloomy picture in this connection. The following
table shows foreign visitor arrivals and earnings from travel and tourism in

In Bangladesh, about 1,99,211 foreign tourists visited Bangladesh and the

country earned 59 million US Dollar from this sector during the year
2000. While during 2002 and 2003, the number of foreign tourists visited
Bangladesh stood at 2, 07,246 and 2,44,509 respectively and the foreign
exchange earnings stood at 33,126 lacs and 33,100 lacs respectively. The
figure presented in the above table may reflect an impressive profile of
tourism in Bangladesh. But these figures are calculated by enumerating all
foreigners coming to Bangladesh. The rate of growth may also sound very
impressive numerically. But an objective analysis will reveal a somewhat
different picture. In absolute figure, the total number of actual tourist
arrivals and the amount of foreign currency earnings are sadly very
insignificant compared to our neighbouring countries. Only a small
portion of the total visitors is real-holiday tourist. “Siddiqi (1977) also
noted that visitors to this country are mostly businessmen and officials. A
very negligible number of visitors here are actual holiday traffic.” Others
are NGO employees, government officials, diplomats, and businessmen of
the source countries. If we separate those who are not real pleasure
tourists, the number would be very small and would show the precarious
state of the tourism sector in Bangladesh.

In the case of earnings, tourism represents only one percent of

Bangladesh’s export economy. “In 30 years since the birth of the BPC
until the financial year 2001-2002, BPC has contributed Tk. 710 million to
the government exchequer against a total investment of only Tk. 320
million. The total government investment of Tk. 320 million came in the
form a capital, grant and loan. Against this paltry investment, BPC paid
back Tk. 710 million in the forms of income tax, interest, profit, Vat, etc.
up to June 2002 to the government exchequer. BPC invested another 3000
million from its own fund during the period.

In the case of employment generation in Bangladesh, the industry has also

great potentials as a provider of jobs. As Bangladesh has been suffering
from an acute unemployment problem and no alternative cost-effective
avenue of employment has been developed, a greater emphasis on creating
employment opportunities through the development of both domestic and
international tourism in this country is essential. But only about 1 lakh
people are directly and another 2 lakhs people are indirectly engaged with
tourism industry in huge number of youths has virtually faded out. “Till
now, BPC has invested about Tk. 85 cores in the development of tourism
infrastructure through government loan, grants and self-finance.
Bangladesh has developed infrastructure like hotel, motel, road, culvert,
electricity, fuel, transport which is the precondition to the development of
tourism industry.

The economic globalization of the world has boosted up tourism trade and
created an opportunity for the developing countries to develop the sector
and reap benefits out of this ever growing industry. Thus the industry in
Bangladesh has great potentials as both a foreign exchange earner and an
employment generator with the resultant multiplier effect on the country’s
economy provided the country can exploit the sector with strategic

Prospects for BD:

Study shows that the reasons of poor employment generation by tourism
are various constraints faced by tourism industry at various tourist
destinations in the country. Major constraints are poor quality of
infrastructure, malpractices by operators, manpower not being qualified
resulting in poor quality of service, absence of a diversified value bundle
as a product offer to the tourists, proper marketing and promotion, air
connectivity and concerns related with carrying capacity and environment.

In fact, government high-ups and policy makers have hazy as well as

negative ideas about tourism. They firmly believe that to attract foreign
tourists to Bangladesh, the country needs to have nightlife facilities, bars,
massage parlours etc., as if these are the essence of tourism.

One of our ex-state ministers for tourism said in a seminar that tourists
would come to Bangladesh if the price of alcoholic beverages could be
brought down. One ex-finance minister of the country said in a meeting,
"Tourist-ra kee Bangladeshe milad porte aibo?" (Will tourists come to
Bangladesh to attend milad?) He was indicating the lack of western style
nightlife in Bangladesh.

With this sort of idea, our government policy makers have set their minds
on setting-up an exclusive tourist zone near Cox's Bazaar, with all
nightlife facilities, where domestic tourists will not be allowed.

To change this mindset, our government policy makers need to know that
at present the number of international eco-tourists is more than one
hundred million; and they are not after the nightlife in the country, which
they go to visit. These eco-tourists visit a country only to experience the
nature, culture, and heritage of that country.

he number of eco-tourists in the world has been increasing by more than

ten percent a year. Initially, Bangladesh may set its target to attract one
million eco-tourists a year. To achieve that target, it will have to chalk out
a down-to-earth tourism marketing strategy and go for aggressive
marketing in countries, which produce most of the outbound tourists. Thus
huge employment opportunity may be generated

another important fact is that Nowadays different organisations often

organise tourism fairs in Bangladesh, in which mainly outbound tour
packages are sold. Sending tourists from Bangladesh to other countries
cannot be treated as the development of tourism in our country & job
opportunity can not be created.

These fairs are sellers' fairs in character from the perspective of

Bangladesh because the foreign exhibitors or their counterparts in
Bangladesh sell outbound tour packages, and only a few offer domestic
tour packages. Instead of helping the country to earn foreign currency
through tourism, the sellers' fairs help in depletion of the foreign exchange
reserve of the country. Then how will job opportunities be created in
tourism sector?

Anybody has the legal right to organise a sellers' tourism fair; but they
must not say that they are organising this sort of fair for the development
of tourism in the country. Unfortunately, in the inaugural ceremony, the
chief guest and special guest, who are usually from the government, as
well as the organisers, speak of the development of tourism in Bangladesh,
which sounds odd on such an occasion.

This global meltdown is expected to continue for another one or two

years. In this kind of situation, we need to explore newer opportunities of
employment generation and development. Bangladesh has a wealth of
tourism resources.

government does try to promote tourism in it's own efforts. But, it has
taken a beating due to the lack of diversified brand image. The
government should focus on the potential of aqua-based products as a
major driver to create a brand image. Just to cite an example, the
following can be a show-case towards this direction.

a) A resort at a Cox’s bazar beach.

b) Specialization in sea-food related cuisine.
c) A by-product would be focus on Bangla cusine.

The plan needs following things:

1) Provide a small piece of land (less than say 2 acres or approx. 80,000
sq. ft).
2)Government provides a loan to a private entrepreneur (Local).
3) In return, the government has a stake in the project.
4) Creation of an expert team which can guide the local entrepreneurs in
setting up and managing the project.
5) A tie-up with a management institute for guidance.
This would develop local entrepreneurships as opposed to looking only for
big investors in terms of mega projects. Local entrepreneurships will
always create more jobs. Also, big investments take a long time to

The Idea behind a beach-cum-seafood resort is that, it provides a chance to

create a brand image which can be used to develop the brand image of
Bangladesh tourism. The marketing potential for such an enterprise is
huge and cheap. Internet could be a medium. There will be no need to
spend money to buy media space in expensive TV channels. Today, the
travel industry is looking for new and innovative ideas. Also, most of the
travel Industry depends on Internet for it's marketing and revenues.
A chain of such resorts along the coastline will act as a feather in BD's
cap. And, has the potential to generate employment as well as build
Bangladesh's brand image in the global world.


Bangladesh tourism has vast potential for generating employment and

earning large sums of foreign exchange. Above observations coupled with
timely and efficient implementation of programs and plans outlined in the
tourism policies of respective States can catalyze the growth of tourism
industry in the country resulting in creation of more tourism related jobs.
by way of increasing air seat capacity, increasing trains and railway
connectivity to important tourist destinations, four-laning of roads
connecting important tourist centers and increasing availability of
accommodation by adding heritage hotels to the hotel industry and
encouraging paying guest accommodations.

Let us be more practical about the development of tourism in the country;

let us develop it in the true sense, so that it contributes valuable foreign
exchange to our state coffer, and help to develop the economy of the
Impact if tourism in Employment
generation: prospect for Bangladesh

Submitted to:
Professor Dr. Md. Afjal Hossain
Dept. of Tourism & Hospitality Management
University of Dhaka

Prepared by:
ID: 070903034
3rd Batch

Course : Managerial Economics