Cardiff Metropolitan University, UK
Dr Jithendran Kokkranikal
Principal Lecturer in Tourism Management
Department of Marketing, Events and Tourism University of Greenwich, UK
TOURISM POLICY PLANNING IN BANGLADESH: BACKGROUND AND SOME STEPS FORWARD
Tourism policy provides the overall direction to a country’s tourism development (Goeldner & Ritchie, 2009). It also provides an overall framework within which a country’s private and public sector work together to achieve its tourism policy objectives. National tourism policy objectives help focus on enabling tourism to achieve the social and economic development needs of the county such as employment generation, foreign exchange earnings, development of marginal and disadvantaged communities, overall economic development and sustainability.
Policy planning as a process is typically led by current development needs and in response to changes in the external and internal environments. Tourism policies and plans seek to resolve tourism development issues, safeguard the built and natural heritage, and achieve sustainable socioeconomic development in relation to the aspirations of current and future generations (Edgell & Swanson, 2013). However, performance of the tourism sector depends on various factors such as the policy formulation capacities of a country with the active involvements of key stakeholders. This conceptual research critically outlines dynamics of national tourism policy formulation with special reference to Bangladesh. This study is based on data and information on Bangladesh tourism from online resources and existing literature.
Bangladesh as an emerging economy, arguably, possesses considerable potential in tourism to diversify, promote and thus attract tourists from other parts of the world. Before 1992, Bangladesh had no official tourism policy. A Strategic Master Plan for tourism development prepared by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)/the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) came in effect in 1990. The first set of tourism policies was formulated by the government in 1992. Continuing with the process and to tap the growing the global tourism demand, the government adopted an updated tourism policy in 2009. The Bangladesh National Tourism Policy came in to force on the 14th December, 2009. The governmental agencies responsible for implementing the policy are the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism, Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation and Bangladesh Tourism Board as the National Tourism Organization (NTO). The updated tourism policies of Bangladesh are generally viewed as comprehensive with goals, objectives, policy instruments, implementation programmes and evaluation tactics. The ‘National Tourism Policy 2009’ has 31 objectives and goals with brief action plans. Yet another tourism policy was published in 2010 that had 30 clearly defined objectives aiming to attain a comprehensively developed tourism industry in Bangladesh.
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