Dhaka : Bangladesh stands 133rd among 140 countries in tourism service infrastructure index.
The sorry state of Bangladesh tourism sector was revealed - once again - in a recent report published by the World Economic Forum, titled "Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2019."
Among South Asian countries, Bangladesh secured the lowest position, while neighbours like Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan and Nepal secured 92nd, 109th, 112th and 126th positions respectively.
Previously in 2017, Bangladesh was in the same position, suggesting the tourism sector made no progress in the last two years, although several projects had been taken during the period to improve the sector.
Like every other year, Bangladesh celebrated World Tourism Day, but the bitter truth is that there was no clear plan about developing the sector, making lives difficult for both tourists and people depending on the sector for their livelihoods.
There is no specific data on how much the tourism sector contributes to the national economy and how many foreign tourists visit specific locations in a particular year.
Bangladesh Tourism Board has no such data.
No specific system exists to keep tourist data and track income from the sector in Bangladesh. The Special Branch of Bangladesh Police keeps records of foreigners coming into the country - although partially, but that is not for tourism purposes. Bangladesh Bank keeps information about earnings from foreign tourists.
Annually about 5-6 lakh foreign tourists visit Bangladesh, while 90 lakh local tours are organised across the country.
Almost 11 lakh people directly depend on this sector for their livelihoods while another 12 lakh are associated with the sector indirectly.
Moreover, due to a lack of focus and plan on developing skills and quality manpower, foreign tourists are having difficulties in travelling.