Bangladesh tourism sector to incur TK 97b business loss, PATA forecasts

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The PATA (Pacific Asia Travel Association) Bangladesh chapter has predicted that overall Bangladesh tourism sector will incur a loss of approximately Taka 97.05 billion of business till June 2020 due to outbreak of COVID 19 pandemic.

“We have estimated the turnover of entire tourism sector, including airliners and travel and Omrah hajj agents, from February to next June 2020… and as our total business is now shut down, we are going to lose the entire business of Taka 97.05 billion,” secretary general of PATA Bangladesh Chapter Taufiq Rahman told BSS this evening.

Bangladesh PATA chapter and PATA global executive board member Shahid Hamid submitted a report that calculated estimated cost of losing business by the Bangladesh tourism sector to state minister for civil aviation and tourism M Mahbub Ali at secretariat here.

The amount was estimated by the turnover of different segments of the tourism sector, including airlines, inbound and outbound tour operators, hotels, motels, restaurants, travel agents, umrah agents and transports directly involved in the tourism sector.

“We have only estimated the business losses from the private sector … We didn’t include government owned Biman Bangladesh Airlines and outlets of Bangladesh Parjatan Corporations (BPC) and outlets of other concerned sectors,” Toufiq said.

The PATA also forecasted job cut of more than 300,000 employees of the sector as dire consequences of COVID-19.

He said different associations, including Aviation Operators Association of Bangladesh (AOAB), Tour Operator Association of Bangladesh (TOAB), Association of Travel Agencies of Bangladesh (ATAB) and Hajj Agencies Association of Bangladesh (HAAB) validated the business losses from their respective sectors.

PATA Bangladesh chapter also urged the government to allocate taka 10 billion for hotels, motels, resorts, restaurants, tour operators, tourist vehicles and vessels and private airlines as well as make a provision of providing Taka 20 billion as interest free loan as a loss recovery package for the tourism sector.

It also requested to waive the utility bills until resumption of operation.

On 13 March, the World Travel and Tourism Council said that up to 50 million jobs in the global travel and tourism sector are at risk due to the global COVID-19 outbreak.

The Bangladesh government has already formed a 14-member tourism crisis management committee headed by the Bangladesh Tourism Board (BTB) CEO to find the kind of incentives the tourism stakeholders need to tackle the crisis.

To contain the outbreak, both international and local airlines have cut almost all flights to and from Bangladesh to many destinations worldwide, including India, Nepal, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman and India.

Bangladesh also forced to imposed a ban on all travelers from Europe except the UK, till 7 April which is also applicable for other nations that restricted Bangladeshis entry to their territories over the coronavirus.

The government suspended visa-on-arrival facilities for all nationals to enter Bangladesh to prevent the killer bugs outbreak here.