- Covid-19 caused Tk18,000cr losses for the tourism sector in Bangladesh in 2020.
- Government has allocated Tk3,688 crore in FY21 budget to revive the tourism sector
- Cox's Bazar is facing an environmental disaster because of the presence of a large number of Rohingya
- The state minister for foreign affairs called on world leaders to come forward to resolve the Rohingya crisis
State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam has said the development of the local tourism could be one of the possible ways to deal with the damage caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
He also said the global trade needs to be further consolidated by establishing a sustainable and stable supply system in the countries included in the Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) with the support of the international trade organisations.
He made the statement on Thursday at the 17th Foreign Ministers' Meeting of the ACD with the theme "The New Normal and Safe and Healthy Tourism."
The virtual meeting was chaired by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, said a press release from the foreign ministry.
Shahriar Alam said the Covid-19 crisis caused a total loss of about Tk18,000 crore for the emerging tourism sector in Bangladesh in 2020.
He also mentioned the government has allocated around Tk3,688 crore in the budget for the fiscal year 2020-21 to revive the tourism sector. He also mentioned that Bangladesh's traditional handicrafts, natural resources and religious and cultural sites have enriched the tourism industry.
At the meeting, the state minister called on world leaders to come forward to resolve the Rohingya crisis. He noted that the permanent solution to the Rohingya crisis lies in their repatriation.
Cox's Bazar, an important tourist area in Bangladesh, is facing an environmental disaster because of the presence of a large number of Rohingyas, said the state minister.
He said the government of Bangladesh under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is committed to establishing Bangladesh as a regional hub by giving the highest priority to "connectivity and regionalism."
Speakers at the meeting emphasised the need for considering the tourism sector, which has been hit hardest by the epidemic, as an essential pillar in the process of economic recovery.
The leaders at the meeting agreed to continue cooperation in the ACD region by ensuring a sustainable economy, international trade, safe travel and tourism.
The foreign ministers of Cambodia, Bhutan, Nepal, Thailand, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Kazakhstan, Laos, Iran and state ministers for foreign affairs of Malaysia, Japan, Vietnam, China, Russia and the United Arab Emirates were also present at the meeting.