PM for tapping potentials of Islamic tourism
Published : Friday, 12 July, 2019 at 12:00 AM Count : 125
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday put emphasis on preparing a roadmap to promote Islamic tourism as a global brand to tap the potentials of its rapidly growing market.
She stressed on this while inaugurating the two-day official celebration programme of 'Dhaka the OIC City of Tourism-2019' at Intercontinental Hotel in the city.
The Prime Minister said, "The value of Islamic tourism market will increase to US$243 billion by 2021 with an annual 8.3 per cent growth. So, we'll have to take all-out efforts and prepare a roadmap aimed at promoting Islamic tourism as a global business brand, which will attract tourists further."
In the programme, Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdur Momen, State Minister for Civil Aviation and Tourism Md Mahbub Ali, Chairman of Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Civil Aviation and Tourism Ministry RAM Obaidul Muktadir Chowdhury, OIC Assistant Secretary General Musa Kulaklikaya and Civil Aviation and Tourism Secretary Md Mohibul Haque also spoke.According to a report, the number of Muslim tourists will rise to 180 million by 2020 from 156 million. By 2020, the world's Muslim population will be 26 per cent, she mentioned. A Thomson-Reuters report says, Muslim populations have globally spent a total of $151 billion on travel in 2015 (ex
cluding Hajj and Umrah). Of the amount, OIC member states contributed $109 billion, the Prime Minister noted.
Sheikh Hasina said tourism is the fastest-growing sector greatly contributing to the generation of foreign exchange and employment across the world.
"There's an urgent need to flourish our tourism sector (to attain our development targets). In this case, Islamic tourism is the best possible area where we've the opportunity and potentials to work together," she said.
The Prime Minister said she strongly believes that OIC member states can encourage their private sector entities to invest individually and jointly in tourism infrastructure and development projects.
"Taking appropriate steps is very essential in order to promote intra-OIC tourist flow through easing visa, and for investment promotion, branding, standardisation and capacity building," she added.
She expressed her gratitude to the OIC Member States for selecting Dhaka as the OIC City of Tourism 2019 and selecting Bangladesh as the chairperson of the 10th Islamic Conference of Tourism Ministers for the two years.
Hasina thanked the OIC Secretary General, the UNWTO Secretary General, tourism ministers and heads of delegations, heads of different institutions, and all other delegates and officials for attending this celebration programme.