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It is of paramount importance for tourists to be able to move around freely without fear of harassment

It is a matter of great regret that Bangladesh, which has so much to offer in terms of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and history, has so far not been able to capitalize on these elements and establish a successful tourism sector. 

But it is possible that things will change, at long last.

Last year, Bangladesh moved up five places in the list for the most tourist-friendly nations in the world, and this was a sign of good things to come for our fledgling tourism sector.

Now, the government is trying to boost tourism, both for international and local visitors, in a planned and sustainable way. This master plan includes short-term, mid-term, and long-term propositions that will identify and develop tourism products, as well as create opportunities for investment and employment.

We must be realistic about the needs and wants of tourists, and critically examine why the sector has failed to thrive thus far.

For instance, it is of paramount importance for tourists to be able to move around freely without fear of harassment. Tourists need to be assured of their safety, and also that the infrastructure is in place for their needs to be met.

It must be noted that the things that make many urban parts of Bangladesh “unliveable” are the very same factors that deter tourists from coming here. To that end, solving problems like air and river pollution, water-logging, traffic jams, littering, and food adulteration will go a long way towards making our country more attractive to foreigners.

After all, a clean, safe environment is what everybody wants, visitor or resident.