Speakers express hope at Chittagong Travel Mart-2019 inauguration

More connectivity will lead to Chattogram tourism boom

- A Monitor Report01 Nov, 2019 | 795 Views|-+
Chattogram : Tourism sector of the country will reach its desired destination and good days are awaiting the stakeholders.

The optimism was expressed by A J M Nasir Uddin, Mayor, Chattogram City Corpo-ration at the inaugural session of three-day international tourism fair Chittagong Travel Mart-2019 at The Peninsula Hotel in the port city on October 24.

The 11th edition of the fair was organised by The Bangladesh Monitor and supported by Buy Tickets, an online travel agency (OTA) as the Title Sponsor.

The inaugural session was also addressed by Mahbubul Alam, President, Chittagong Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI), Kazi Wahidul Alam, Editor, The Bangladesh Monitor, Mobin Rashid, Country Manager Bangladesh, Air Arabia, Hanif Zakaria, Chief Commercial Officer, Regent Airways and Shafiqul Islam, General Manager (Sales and Marketing), US-Bangla Airlines, among others.

Mayor Nasir Uddin said those who were associated with the sector in the past did take the correct steps. Now visible changes are taking place in Chattogram. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has attached importance to the sector.

“The road islands and dividers are being improved. We are trying to coordinate the activities of all the utility service providers,” the Mayor said. He expressed the hope that inconvenience caused to the port city dwellers will be reduced with the move.

“I am sure those who had come last and visiting the port city this year will notice the difference.”

Mayor Nasir Uddin further informed, “The Bangladesh Monitor has been organising the event over the years realising the importance and potentials of Chattogram. We the residents of the city will also have to come forward to harness the potentials.”

Besides Chattogram, there are many tourist attractions in Cox's Bazar, Rangamati, Bandarban and Khagra-chhari. Foreign tourists will have to be attracted. So the quicker the connectivity is increased, the better.

Speaking as the special guest, Mahbubul Alam, President, Chittagong Chamber of Commerce and Industry said, Chattogram and Sylhet both have ecotourism and religious tourism potentials.

He said, tourism sector will not develop if there is no connectivity. So there should be flights between the cities of Chattogram-Sylhet.

“Everyone is now looking at Chattogram. Bangabandhu Industrial City, EPZs and EZs - are here.”

He added, a large number of businesspersons, patients and tourists travel to south Asian cities including Singapore and Bangkok.

So there should be flights from Chattogram to these cities.

Chattogram could be an aviation and tourism hub, the CCCI chief said.

Hanif Zakaria, Chief Commercial Officer, Regent Airways, said the airline will be coming up with flights to more destinations including resumption of flights to Bangkok. The announcements will be made shortly. At the end of the day, Regent is an airline of Chattogram, he reminded the audience.

Mobin Rashid, Country Manager Bangladesh, Air Arabia said surprises await the passengers from Chattogram as the airline will be connecting Chattogram with more destinations in United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the days ahead.

Through Sharjah, the airline is connecting Dhaka and Chattogram with some 170 cities in Middle East, Asia, Africa and Europe it operates to. Very recently the airline started flights to Vienna.

He said Air Arabia believes in innovation. The passengers will be able to enjoy a variety of entertainment though state-of-the-art "Sky Time" which livestreams movies, music onboard the airline's aircrafts.

Mobin Rashid assured that Air Arabia will help tourism grow in Bangladesh.

Shafiqul Islam said US-Bangla Airlines will be making Chattogram its second hub, basing two of its Boeing aircraft at Shah Amanat International Airport. Flights to Muscat, Doha, Kolkata and Chennai will be operated from the port city, he said.

The airline will also be launching Chattogram-Sylhet, Chattogram-Jashore, Sylhet-Cox's Bazar flights at the beginning of next year. “We already have "through" fares which are very cheap.”

Shafiqul Islam called for improving the condition of the roads leading to the three hill district towns for tourism growth.

At the outset of the event, Kazi Wahidul Alam, Editor, The Bangladesh Monitor said Chattogram has all it takes to attract tourists from abroad.

He said, the airlines will have to promote Bangladesh at the destinations they fly to. They bring in travel writers whose write-ups will be able to attract more tourists from abroad.

Kazi Wahidul Alam said everything is there in the port city, but the will to act seems to be absent.

Over 20 organisations representing airlines, hotels, resorts, tour operators and other tourism service providers participated in Chittagong Travel Mart-2019. The participants offered special discounts on air tickets to domestic and international destinations, tour packages, hotel and resort accommodations.

Speeches over, Mayor Nasir Uddin formally inaugurated CTM-2019 by cutting a ribbon. He and other dignitaries went round the pavilions and stalls at the Mart.

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