'Infrastructure problems to be resolved for tourism' -The Asian Age

The government is working relentlessly to address two major problems of the country's tourism industry, infrastructure and connectivity, said the Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister Rashed Khan Memon on Monday.

He said, "In Bangladesh, tourism is a growing sector. We are now working with relevant ministries to address the challenges of the sector to give a big boost to the industry."

The minister was addressing a roundtable discussion on tourism taking France Ambassador in Dhaka Sophie Aubert and Canadian High Commissioner Benoit Pierre Laramee to a historic heritage place -- Rose Garden Palace -- in Old Dhaka.

The Rose Garden Palace is situated on KM Das Lane in Tikatully of Old Dhaka, near the modern business district of Motijheel. The mansion was built by a landlord (zaminder) Hrikesh Das. He lived in the mansion for a decade. Later in 1927, he became bankrupt and sold the mansion to landlords of Nabinagar and Brahmanbaria. Due to the unfortunate death of Zamidar Boshuruddin Sarkar of Nabinagar, the family had to sell the mansion to a businessman.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Bangladesh Tourism Board Dr Mohammad Nasir Uddin also spoke at the discussion moderated by travel magazine 'Vromon' Editor Abu Sufian. Laila Raquib, the present owner of the Palace, said Awami League held its first major inaugural meeting at the palace. Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman attended the meeting.

 Sharing the history of the palace, Menon said this palace is the testimony of inclusiveness and diversity of Bangladesh society, and talked about having more tourism products in the country as those are limited now. Ambassador Sophie Aubert appreciated Bangladesh's beauty what she has seen by her own eyes over the last couple of years by visiting various places in Bangladesh.

Sharing her country's rich experience in tourism industry she said, "For us tourism means sharing our culture and for the foreign visitors, it means discovering another heritage." The Ambassador said this event is a great initiative to promote a private initiative to preserve Bangladesh's heritage. "Tourism is also an important economic factor. " "I'm quite happy to be here. This is the testimony of diversity and inclusiveness," said Canadian High Commissioner Benoit Pierre Laramee.

Both the diplomats appreciated hospitable and very welcoming people of Bangladesh and their smiles that 'make the difference'. Highlighting the importance of tourism industry, Dr Nasir Uddin said the government has extended visit Bangladesh Programme by another two years - 2017-2018 - to attract both domestic and international tourists to Bangladesh.

"Bangladesh is blessed with natural beauty. We've hospitable people. We're working to take tourism industry to new heights," he said.He also said the government ensured security for tourists by deploying adequate trained security personnel.