The UNWTO World Tourism Barometer reports that in 2013 therewere 148,000 international tourist arrivals to Bangladesh. The country suffers from an unfortunate perception that it is unsafe, has poor infrastructure, and a belief that it has little to offer in terms of tourism products. While precaution is necessary when visiting any country, on my recent trip I didn’t feel unsafe during my stay. It is true that traffic in the capital is probably the worst I have ever experienced. However, when it comes to tourism product offerings, they have something unique to present. If you want an adventure where mass tourism doesn’t exist yet, that is the place to go. Bangladesh is the perfect destination for the more adventurous travellers (video courtesy of the Adventure Club Bangladesh) who want an experience off the beaten path with places such as Sundarbans National Park, where you will find interesting wild life and the largest Mangrove in the world;Cox’s Bazar, one of the longest beaches in the world; and St. Martin’s Island, completely unspoiled and just waiting to be discovered. Visitors can also travel to Sylhet or Srimongal and visit some beautiful tea plantations in the green mountains where you can experience a colourful local culture.
The country has tremendous opportunities to develop Adventure Tourism and possibly Religious Tourism with beautiful Hindu and Muslim temples across the country waiting to be visited. During my visit, I met with a united local travel industry and experienced the warmth of the Bangladeshi who are waiting with great anticipation to welcome the world to their homeland.
Next year will be declared Visit Bangladesh 2016 by the tourism authority and the people of Bangladesh are keen to share their stories. The award winning video, “Beautiful Bangladesh – Land of Stories“, is worth viewing to see some of the unique experiences that the country has to offer.
I invite you all to go and discover Beautiful Bangladesh while it is still a secret and make your own stories!