08 January, 2019

Author and copyright: Abu Md Sayem ACCA CPFA,
Director, Kazi Zahir Khan and co. Chartered Accountants.
SBL faculty at Edbase Professionals

Relevant field: Strategic Business Leader

The people of Bangladesh are now traveling more than ever to the tourist spots within the country. Two major changes contributed to this new trend, first, the government investment in infrastructure is giving access to places which otherwise was inaccessible to most of the people. Secondly, the access to the internet for general people has exposed these places to the mass. To get a better impact, therefore, this is the high time we start branding our tourist destinations in a positive light to the internal and external tourists and also educate the general public about the effort that has been taken to make it possible. On another note, there is a pressing need to educate local tourists about the importance of preserving the of the tourist sites to ensure sustainability. For these purposes, all available digital marketing tools and platform should be used. The digital campaign will certainly help with the branding of tourist spots and making people aware of amenities built by government for easy access to those spots and make overseas tourists aware of what Bangladesh has to offer to cater their leisure tourism related needs.

Moreover , the following Issues have been
faced by the tourists:

1.E-services: a number of tourists have complained on not getting proper services from the online travel agency or with the broken links available on the Bangladesh tourism Board.

2.Tourist Guide: there are barely good tourist guide available.A huge number of tourist guide should be employed.

3.Language barrier: often one do not get a multilingual aid who can actually help them in communicating with locals.

4.Expensive: at times people make a fool out of the foreigners and charge them high while they shop. A lot of them complained on this.

5.Pollution and Population: One of the problems is the chaotic capital city of Dhaka itself where over 10 million people live. At times it becomes suffocating and its very dirty at majority places.You can not expect a overall hygiene environment.

6. Negative social effect, Interaction with tourists can also lead to an erosion of traditional cultures and values as we have different values.

Major procecess improvements proposed:

1. Bangladesh’s existing mainstream tourist attractions include historical and monuments, resorts, beaches, picnic spots, forests and tribal people, wildlife of various species. Activities for tourists include angling,water sking, river cruising, hiking, rowing, yachting, and sea bathing.

Name of the division Location in Bangladesh Places to visit :

Barisal ( Southest): Kuakata , backwater riverine tourism

Chittagong (Southern): Patenga Sea Beach, War Cemetery, Port, Cox’s Bazar, St. Martins Island, Himchori and Inani Beach, Parki beach, Lalmai, Moinamoti and Shalbon Bihar, Chittagong Hill tracks (Rangamati, Khagrachari, Bandarban and Kaptai)

Dhaka Capital city: Shaheed Minar, Jatiyo Smritisoudho, Ahsan Manzil, Jatiya Sangshad Bahavan

Khulna( Southwest): Sundarban

Rangpur (Northern): Kantagir Temple, Sayedpur railway junction

Sylhet (Notrheast): Jaflong, Ratargul, Madhabkunda waterfall, Satchari National Park , Bisanakandi, Srimongal, Lawacherra Rain Forest

These existing tourist destinations can be re-rebranded and reclassified under following headings along with the existing location based classification:

* Family and kids friendly destinations
* Hiking and Camping destinations
* Archeological and educational Destinations
* Business tourism destination s

Apart from existing ones bacbackpacking tourism should be promoted officially for destinations such as,

* Tanguar Haor
* Barisal floating guava market tour
* Bhola and Char kukri mukri
* Nijhum dwip
* Rangamati to langdu by launch
* Shita kundu eco park
* Hiking from cox’s bazar to teknaf
* Thanchi Remarcri
* Hiking till Boga lake
* Hiking till keokaradong

2. Recommended itinerary should be created to satisfy the needs of diffrent market segments and make it digitally available for each for each destination and type of tourists ( e. g. family with elderly and kids, students, foreigners etc.) and for different tenure (like 1 day, 2 day, 1 week etc.)

3. The virtual guide should be given access to tourists to guide them when they are traveling without tourist guides

As mentioned earlier, the heart of the activities ideally should be the massive campaign using all possible and available digital platforms to achieve the objectives. The rationale behind using digital campaign and outline of the platforms are discussed here.

Why should digital platforms play the leading role in improving the process?

Digital Marketing is the most efficient and economic media to create awareness and branding this modern world. The reason is it is the most efficient and economical way to communicate information to a target group of people. Hence, most of the efforts we are proposing to fulfill our objectives are based on digital platforms. This will involve:

* Attractive website
* Search engine optimization of the website
* Google AdSense
* Google ad words
* Dedicated YouTube channel
* Paid optimization of YouTube channel
* videography using modern drones and world class editing of those for using in digital platforms
* infographics,
* blogs run by experienced people in the
* Forums participated by paid moderators
* Digital wallpapers,
* social media campaigns,
* Mobile apps with Live Chat boxes

Objective and planned outcome of the process improvement and exploiting digital marketing tools:

1. To develop awareness about the available tourist facilities and venues in home and abroad to general potential tourists.

2. Educating the mass on responsible and environmentally sustainable tourism to ensure SDG 14,15:

3. Rebranding and promoting mainstream tourist destinations on digital platforms to attract more visitors from home and abroad by making them aware of the effort government made to make the destinations more accessible, attractive with implementation of new projects

4. Popularize emerging tourist destinations ( non traditional ones) to tourists to diversify tourism around the country to take pressure off from few destination only and to highlight the country in a balanced manner in terms of tourist destinations.

5. Focusing on making people aware of the importance of helping foreign tourists as ambassadors of the country and

6. Making foreign tourists aware them of the steps taken to eradicate specific issues they highlighted on different travel blogs and forums.

Hope authority will be enlightened someday on this issues and proposed solutions.

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