Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister Rashed Khan Menon on Sunday underlined the need for taking mega project on development of tourism like other thrust sectors in line with the government's target to uplift the country into middle income one by 2021.
"We are facing lack of huge investment in tourism sector. We have already made stronghold in domestic tourism. Now time has come to take mega project for attracting more foreign tourists," he said as the chief guest at a fellowship award giving ceremony at Jatiya Press Club here.
Bangladesh Tourism Board (BTB) and Aviation and Tourism Journalists' Forum of Bangladesh (ATJFB) jointly awarded tourism media fellowship 2017 to 10 journalists from national newspapers, television channels and online news portal.
The minister said the present government is committed for the development of tourism as it believes that tourism sector can be an effective tool to eradicate poverty from the country. "We have taken many initiatives to give a boost to this highly economically potential sector," he said.
Mentioning that neighbouring countries like India and Malaysia are making government investment for tourism development as well as branding their designations, the minister said Bangladesh is lagging behind in this regard.
Menon said he made a request to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to consider government investment in the tourism sector. "If we can take a mega project the tourism sector can be close to the RMG sector in earning foreign exchange," he added.
Menon highly praised the journalists' role in unfolding both achievements and lacking in the country's tourism sector through their objective reporting. "Constructive criticism of media helps us to identify our loopholes in tourism development," he added.
Secretary in-charge of civil aviation and tourism ministry Md Emran, BTB chief executive officer Dr Md Nasir Uddin, director Nikhil Ranjan Roy, Editor of the Bangladesh Monitor Kazi Wahidul Alam, ATJFB president Nadira Kiran and general secretary Tanzim Anwar also spoke on the occasion.
Under the fellowship programme, the journalists published or broadcasted objective stories on tourism sector's development that will help policymakers to take right steps on the growing sector.
Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister Rashed Khan Menon handed over certificates and cheques to the 10 reporters named Rita Nahar (Boishakhi TV), Ishtiaq Hussain (Dhaka Tribune), Shafiullah Sumon (BTV), Monjurul Islam (Bonik Barta), Chowdhury Akbar Hossain (Bangla Tribune online) Sohel Hossain Patwary (Daily Sun), Zulhas Kabir (RTV), Shafique Bin Saad (Channel 24), Tareque Moretaza (The Independent), and Niyamul Sadeque (SATV).-BSS