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The Financial Express

Cox's Bazar tourism faces Tk 500m loss in 3 months

| Updated: January 11, 2022 09:57:02


Photo shows a number of tourists strolling along the Cox's Bazar sea beach — FE Photo Photo shows a number of tourists strolling along the Cox's Bazar sea beach — FE Photo

The tourism business in Cox's Bazar has incurred a loss of Tk half a billion in the past three months due to the non-achievement of targets.

From October to December, the tourism sector expected a business of at least Tk 5 billion (500 crore) from Cox's Bazar, the longest sea beach in the world.

However, businesses in the sea beach area faced huge losses for a small number of visitors during the ongoing peak tourism season, said people related to the sector.

Abul Kashem Sikder, general secretary of Cox's Bazar Hotel Motel Guesthouse Owners' Association, said, "This time, Cox's Bazar tourism sector had to encounter a loss of around Tk 500 million."

On the occasion of celebrating Thirty First Night and New Year, more than 100,000 tourists visited Cox's Bazar. The number is five times less in comparison to previous years, said business insiders.

According to them, the situation has arisen due to some recent incidents including the gang rape of a woman, security concerns, and stories about excessive costs of having a meal in Cox's Bazar hotels and restaurants.

On December 23, a 25-year-old woman was allegedly raped several times by members of a criminal group during a family trip in the resort town.

The leaders of Cox's Bazar Hotel Motel Guesthouse Owners' Association said that tourists did not come to Cox's Bazar as expected this season.

Many hotels are now almost empty without any visitors and pre-bookings, they added.

On this, the district administration and law enforcement agencies said they are somewhat embarrassed and working to build a tourist-friendly Cox's Bazar.

Mohiuddin Ahmed, Additional Superintendent of Police, Cox's Bazar Tourist Police, said, "We are working hard for the safety of each and every tourist."

Cox's Bazar Additional Superintendent of Police (Administration) Rafiqul Islam said, "Police along with the tourist police are also vigilant on the beach and in the tourist zone."

"We have already arrested several accused in those incidents," he added.

Cox's Bazar Hotel Motel Guesthouse Owners' Association general secretary, Abul Kashem Sikder, said, "The wrong message of keeping extra food price and the rape incident caused great loss to the tourism industry.

"Businesses have been seeing constant losses due to coronavirus-induced lockdowns. Meanwhile, we did not even get 50 per cent hotel booking on New Year's eve. We expected a business of at least Tk 5 billion (500 crore) from October to December. But on the contrary, the loss was Tk half a billion," he added.

He also informed the Financial Express that now even in the busy season, tourists are not coming to Cox's Bazar.

Asked about this, Deputy Commissioner of Cox's Bazar, Mamunur Rashid, said, "We have taken a number of steps to improve the quality of tourism services in Cox's Bazar."

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