Tourism sector lost Tk 2,000 crore due to political turmoil : Toab
1 March 2015, Nirapad News: Tour Operators’ Association of Bangladesh (Toab) claiming that the country’s tourism sector has suffered a loss of Tk 2,000 crore in the last three years due to political turmoil. President of the association Prof Dr Akbaruddin Ahmed on Saturday urged the government to provide financial support to recoup the losses.
He came up with the call at a round table discussion titled ‘Tourism Sector: Challenges Ahead’ arranged at the Jatiya Press Club. Akbaruddin said winter is the peak season for tourism in the country. “Despite that, the entrepreneurs faced a loss of nearly Tk 2,000 crore in the three consecutive years due to the hartal and blockades”. Recently, the tourism business has declined by 95 percent due to the ongoing political programmes like nonstop blockades and hartal, he said.
The Toab chief further said foreign tourists are cancelling their tour schedules on security grounds amid the political turbulence. He demanded that the government provide compensation and interest-free loan to the affected tour operators, and waive income tax for the fiscal years, 2012-13, 2013-14 and 2014-15, and bank interests.
Referring to the compensation provided by the Prime Minister to the bus owners affected during the ongoing hartal and blockade, Toab member SM Moksedul Islam said, “The country’s tourism sector experienced a great disaster. Now, who will assist us to recoup the losses?”
Toab vice-presidents Md Rafiuzzaman and Hafizur Rahman, its former president Hasan Monsur and Bangladesh International Hotel Association (BIHA) president Hakim Ali also spoke at the programme.