A tourism businessman said he was denied loans from some banks because he was in the tourism business
The tourism industry is worried over whether or not it will get any facility from the declared stimulus packages as it had bitter experience in getting loans from banks in the past.
Tourism industry representatives expressed this during an online session "Declared incentives: Role of Banks" organised by Pacific Asia Travel Association (Pata) Bangladesh chapter on Sunday evening.
The Pata initiated a weeklong discussion on the travel and tourism industry from April 16 to 22 titled "Pata Talk During Lockdown".
Mohsin Iqbal, the owner of amazing tours, said, "I was denied any loans from some banks as I was in the travel business. Banks do not usually trust this industry for issuing loans. I am not sure what the banks will do in case of Covid-19 stimulus packages."
Echoing the same doubt as Mohsin Iqbal, Masud Hossain, managing director of Bengal tours, said, "We saw when the government announced any financial package, big industries are benefited differently. But the hospitality and tourism sector always remain deprived."
Earlier, Tour Operators Association of Bangladesh (Toab) President Md Rafeuzzaman told the Business Standard, "Prime minister has announced a loan facility of Tk30,000 crore for the affected industry and service sector as working capital under the financial assistance package-1. As a service sector, we want the loan for the next two years in easy conditions."
"The tourism industry is entitled to get the facilities from the declared packages. However, as bankers, we check the background, transaction, credit history, account relationship and capacity of a customer before issuing loans," said Syed Mahbubur Rahman, managing director of Mutual Trust Bank Limited.
As the chief guest of the session, M Shahadat Hossain Taslim, president of Hajj Agencies Association of Bangladesh (HAAB), said, "Hajj and Umrah are parts of religious tourism and our representatives do not have any bad loan record."
The Bank should give easy access to the industry under the packages, he added.
Shahid Hamid, president of Pata Bangladesh chapter, presided over the programme while Monsur Ahmed Kalam, president of Association of Travel agents of Bangladesh was the guest of honour.
Toufiq Rahman, secretary general of Pata Bangladesh chapter was the moderator.
More than one hundred people related to the industry participated in the session.