Civil Aviation Minister Rashed Khan Menon said 3.5 million people will have employment in tourism sector by 2018, saying the government has taken many initiatives to flourish the sector.To attract the tourist in to the country campaigns would be run in or out of the country from the minister, said the minister.
In terms of potentials, tourism sector is next to the garment industry. Though tourism in the country has not witnessed much progress, in the recent years tourism industry has been able to attract the foreigners, said Menon.
Menon was addressing a “Meet the Press” programme at Sagor-Runi auditorium organised by Dhaka Reporters Unity (DRU) yesterday. DRU president and Jamal Uddin general secretary Raju Ahmed was also present at that time.
“11 people get works if a tourist comes into a country. We want to attract tourists from China, Thailand, Bhutan, India, Myanmar and Malaysia,” he said.
Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on tourism has been signed with Malaysia, Nepal and Thailand. Former Soviet Union countries including Lithuania, Latvia and Ukraine have expressed interest in tourism in the country, said the minister.
Claiming that the Bangladesh airlines industry is now a profitable institution, the minister said the airlines was incurring loses after it had been converted into a public limited company.
“However, airlines industry is witnessing profit since the last year,” said Menon.
“Years before many ships were old. For this reason, many routes were closed down. We replaced those with new. Now, two domestic flights run in a day,” he said.
“Talks of expanding the routes to Japan and Canada are underway,” he added.
Rashed Khan Menon said Government is working to transform the Cox’s Bazar airport into international by 2018. Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib International Airport will be built in the south western part of Padma.