Bangladesh lifts pandemic curbs, resumes tourist visas for foreigners
Sep 26, 2022 - 08:36 PM
DHAKA, Bangladesh (AA) – Bangladesh on Monday announced it will resume issuing tourist visas, ending the restrictions imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The decision is part of the government’s measures to revive the tourism industry, which has suffered significant losses due to the coronavirus crisis, said Md. Mahbub Ali, the state minister for civil aviation and tourism.
Special attention is being paid to ease the on-arrival visa process for foreign tourists, he said at an event in the capital Dhaka.
Bangladesh has already unveiled a Tourism Recovery Plan that aims to bring back domestic and international visitors.
The South Asian country has more than 1,600 tourist spots, including the world’s longest natural sea beach, majestic mountains, the largest contiguous mangrove forest in the world, and ancient archaeological sites.
Many of these, though, have not been able to reach the desired level of popularity, mainly due to a lack of infrastructure and insufficient services.
Bangladesh allocates less than 1% of its annual budget for the tourism sector, which suffered losses of more than $2 billion during the pandemic.
According to official statistics, Bangladesh’s major tourist sites attracted some 1.64 million tourists during 2018-19, including around 291,000 foreigners.