Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina pressed for building a road map and all-round effort by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) nations to make Islamic tourism a world trade brand to attract more tourists worldwide.
She made the remark while inaugurating a two-day official celebration of “OIC City of Tourism 2019” at Hotel InterContinental on Thursday morning.
Quoting a report from Thomson Reuters the Prime Minister said, “The market of the Islamic tourism industry was $151 million in 2015. Of them, OIC member countries’ held $109 million. The market would be $243 million in 2021 by increasing 8.3 per cent annually.”
The number of the Muslim population has been increasing significantly and it would be 26 per cent of the world population next year according to an OIC report in 2018.
Sheikh Hasina urged the OIC nations to facilitate VISA and increase investment to boost tourism flow.
The premier also described some of Bangladesh’s initiatives in the tourism sector.
She said, “After the liberation war Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman introduced Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation in 1972, which is still present to expedite the growth of tourism in the country. It is doing an outstanding job in terms of profit.”
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said the government will improve a part of the 127-kilometre-long beach of Cox's Bazar for the tourists from Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) member states.
“New water routes will be improved to ease the movements of the tourists. Government is also working to transform the Cox's Bazar airport into an international one,” she added.
Representatives from more than 30 OIC member states, including OIC Assistant Secretary-General Musa Kulaklikaya, were present in the event.