Ensure planning makes tourism sustainable

It is vital to ensure development is both environmentally and financially sustainable

The cabinet’s approval of the Cox’s Bazar Development Authority Act is an important step forward.

It is overdue for there to be an active master-plan and framework in place to oversee the development of Cox’s Bazar.

With its unusually long sandy beach and closeness to other areas of interest to visitors, it has huge potential to keep growing as a major tourist destination.

We welcome the government’s move to encourage public-private partnerships to develop new infrastructure and facilities under a comprehensive 10 year master-plan.

Past lack of oversight and strategy has allowed a lot of unplanned development and poorly managed operations to undermine the resort city’s attractiveness, and worsen local pollution.

There is enormous potential to add to the large numbers of domestic tourists who regularly visit Cox’s Bazar, as seen by the interest being received in the plan from foreign investors.

It is vital to ensure new development is both environmentally and financially sustainable. In a country with land area as small as ours, tourist destinations have to put a premium on protecting the environment and history, which draw visitors to them.

The government must ensure that, in tandem with improving amenities and transport links for tourists, it encourages all visitors and locals to respect the environment and maintain the area’s attractiveness.

This should include more action to prevent litter on beaches and eliminate harassment of tourists to make the resort more welcoming to visitors.

Cox’s Bazar is a major part of the country’s tourism sector. Our expanding economy means the sector should keep growing and employing many hundreds of thousands of people. It is essential we protect its brand image by making respect for people, places, and the environment an integral part of the future development.

Source: Dhaka Tribune