The visa system should be simplified for foreign tourists in Bangladesh, said State Minister for Civil Aviation and Tourism Md Mahbub Ali.
Today, Saudi Arabia is giving visas easily. They are discussing how to entertain tourists without a visa, he said while speaking at a seminar organised by Aviation and Tourism Journalists Forum of Bangladesh at Bangabandhu International Conference Center in the Capital on Saturday.
"They [Saudi Arabia] are much more conservative than us," he said. We have come a long way since independence. So we have to come forward in this regard," he said.
ATJFB General Secretary Ziaul Haque Green moderated the programme.
"We have enthusiasm. Now we need to attract tourists from abroad. We have new hotels. For this, tax exemption facility is needed for investment. We need to be generous when it comes to visas," he said.
The junior minister said, "There is no shortage of tourists in the country, the number is even exceeding our capacity. Now we need to attract foreign tourists."
Citing the example of different countries of the world, the minister said, "We also feel that we need foreign tourists. The motels of our tourism corporation that were built 50 years ago, you think about how tasteful they are in this time. But we have also managed and paid crores of taka in taxes to the government."
Speakers at the programme suggested an action plan considering the media as a stakeholder in the promotion and development of tourism in Bangladesh. The media workers have also been advised to make a specific action plan for policy makers and businessmen in this sector to establish proper partnership in tourism development.
On the other hand, the state minister urged the media workers to play a positive role.
ATJFB President Tanzim Anwar, Civil Aviation and Tourism secretary Mokammel Hossain, spoke at the programme, among others.