Mofizur Rahman, Managing Director, NOVOAIR

Air connectivity is must to promote untapped tourist destinations

- A Monitor Report01 Feb, 2020 | 556 Views|-+
Cox’s Bazar : To promote untapped tourism destinations, it is a must to use air connectivity as a driving tool. For instance, we only see winter-based tourism in Sundarbans which can be made year-long if air connectivity is established.

Mofizur Rahman, Managing Director of NOVOAIR said this at a round table discussion on Air Connectivity to Enhance Tourism held on January 15 at Prasad Paradise hotel in Cox's Bazar.

A similar trend had been witnessed in Cox's Bazar. Air connectivity broke the stereotype and brought travellers to the popular beach destination throughout the entire year, Rahman said.

Air connectivity not only boosts tourism but it also creates jobs. Saidpur is a fine example. The region witnessed rapid industrialisation after air connectivity was made to the area.

"On an average, air connectivity and tourism, together create 11 jobs," Rahman mentioned. It plays an unparalleled role in business, economy and employment.

Also there are business travellers who travel to a destination to stay for a few hours. That is not possible without air connectivity since it is the only travel medium which offers fast, convenient and secured travel.

Responsible enhancement of tourism

On the other hand, environmental sustainability is a concern all across the world for both airlines and the tourism sector in today's time.

In foreign countries, tourism is promoted by restoring nature. It is the exact opposite in Bangladesh. Cox's Bazar and Saint Martins are clear unfortunate examples. Jafflong in Sylhet is another. Even the ecology of Sundarban has been hampered, Rahman claimed.

Airlines all over the world are trying to be carbon neutral. Hence they are heading towards biofuel and other alternatives. "We will also need to follow that path in due time since we are yet to be equipped for it technologically."

Also, some airlines have already started resorbing the carbon they are omitting to nature. "This should be our aim - responsible enhancement of tourism."

Untapped potential of Cox's Bazar

Tourism should bring development, not harm to the nature. "Sadly, Cox's Bazar is no longer unbroken. The hotels are responsible for that," said Rahman. The destination is witnessing a decline in tourist arrivals. Foreign tourists are going to Maldives and Thailand instead. Locals are also going abroad for leisure.

"All is there in Cox's Bazar is only a beach." There are no activities for tourists to enjoy after evening in Cox's Bazar. There is no nightlife.

"People travel to see something new, to do something adventurous and to learn some new wisdom. Thus we should try to make the experience more and more positive and add new activities for the tourists to enjoy," added Rahman.

Cox's Bazar should be placed on the world map. "We could promote the tribal culture of the area."

Further plans of NOVOAIR

NOVOAIR plans to connect Kolkata to Cox's Bazar after the airport develops like it is said to. "If we can tap that market, it will be possible to bring at least 8 lac tourists from there. But aforementioned development activities must be carried out prior to that."

Ishwardi, Kuakata, Bagerhat, Thakurgaon and North Bengal are promising destinations, said Mofizur Rahman. Since many of these do not have an airport already or at least an operational one, it will be long to tap these markets.

"We plan to connect Ishwardi to the network as well as increase frequencies to Barisal and Rajshjahi," Rahman further mentioned.

Private airlines are always one step ahead than the government, they are proactive. Whereas the national tourism bodies should lead and the private sector is supposed to support. "We not only work for profit but also for the betterment of the country," concluded the Managing Director.

The roundtable discussion with media representatives was part of NOVOAIR's efforts to celebrate its seven years of successful operations.

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