The planned Naf Tourism Park (Jaliardwip) is getting ready to welcome tourists from across the world next year as work on this world-class tourist spot in the middle of the Naf River in Cox's Bazar is progressing fast, a top official said on Tuesday.
The Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA) is developing Jaliardwip, an island of 291 acres of land, as an international standard tourism park as part of its master plan to develop 100 special economic zones across the country.
"The Naf Tourism Park is expected to be ready next year. The first park of its kind will open a new era of tourism for Bangladesh as it will have all facilities that a world-class tourism park has for entertaining tourists across the globe," BEZA executive chairman Paban Chowdhury told BSS.
Jaliardwip lies near the river border of Bangladesh and Myanmar. The lofty hill and river have created a perfect condition for the island to be a world-class tourist destination. The island is 450 kilometers away from capital Dhaka and 185 kilometers from Chittagong city. But it is only 60 kilometers from Cox's Bazar airport.
The facilities will include a five star hotel, a hanging bridge, 9.5 kilometers of cable car network, a floating jetty, a children's park, an eco-cottage, an oceanarium and water-restaurants, he said, adding that the park is expected to create direct and indirect jobs for 20,000 people.
Chowdhury said construction of a hanging bridge and land development work will be completed by this year. There is a plan to invest around Tk 2500 crore for the overall development of this park, he added.
According to BEZA, UNICONSULT- a German based consultancy firm, carried out the feasibility study and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Socio-economic Impact Assessment (SIA) have been done by PricewaterhouseCoopers, India.
The Department of Environment (DoE) has provided environmental clearance for the development of the Tourism Park.
UNICONSULT in its study said around 250,000 tourists will visit Cox's Bazar in fiscal year 2018-20 and at least 30 percent of these tourists will visit Naf Tourism Park.
BEZA is implementing a tree plantation programme in the island. Work on installation of power supply in the island is progressing fast. A design has been finalized to construct a ring embankment to protect the island from cyclone.-BSS