Coastal and Marine Tourism/Eco-Tourism in the Future
Having the world's largest unbroken sea-beach and vast coastline, Bangladesh has an immense potentiality to develop sustainable coastal and marine tourism. In Bangladesh, coastal and marine tourism is already in operation, though on a limited scale. But the growth of tourism in this country is lagging behind compared to the world as a whole. The contribution of this sector in the economy of Bangladesh is still below the mark. Therefore, the economy can be benefited by harnessing opportunities pertinent to the country’s coastal and marine tourism. To attract the local and foreign tourists, the country can improve the existing tourist sites. It can also develop new tourist spots in the coastal and marine areas. Introduction of new tourism products such as cruise to Swatch of no ground from Chittagong and Khulna, exclusive tourist zones for foreigners, surfing zones, community-based ecotourism, underwater tourism, and sports tourism in the coastal and marine areas can be thought of. In the process of developing tourism, proper planning, budgetary allocation, community participation, awareness building, coordination between agencies and proper marketing strategies are among the important factors. By developing the proposed tourism in marine and coastal areas, Bangladesh can increase GDP, generate more jobs, reduce poverty, earn foreign currencies, gain socio-cultural benefits, conserve environment, and protect coastal areas. In addition, development of coastal and marine tourism can create the opportunity to promote local culture and heritage by integrating local communities into the development process. Finally, government can play a vital role in promoting coastal and marine tourism by providing some special services including on arrival visa and one stop service to the foreign tourists.