Dhaka, Jan 30, 2024, By Manir Hossain
The Bangladesh Civil aviation and tourism minister Muhammad Faruk Khan today said Bangladesh and India will take initiative to organise joint tourism fair for increasing tourist inflow between the two neighboring countries as well as promote regional tourism.
This was revealed when Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Pranay Verma called him in the secretariat here. We have discussed on increasing tourism cooperation between Bangladesh and India, especially how to attract more tourists from India. We have decided to hold joint tourism fairs and take steps to further ease the visa procedure, Khan told reporters after emerging from the meeting.
The minister hoped that the existing friendship between Dhaka and New Delhi would be more concreted with the cooperation in the civil aviation and tourism industry. We want the continuation of Indian cooperation in the overall development of Bangladesh and India, we also discussed the new scheme for future, he said adding that the Indian side suggested some proposals in this regard during the meeting.
Besides, the minister said he also discussed enhancing air connectivity between Bangladesh and India.
Responding to a query Khan said that he would discuss with foreign and home ministries on easing the visa issuance procedure including the provision of on-arrival visa for the intending foreign tourists to Bangladesh.
Regarding Biman's performance, the minister said currently the national flag carrier is running in profit while the government is working on purchasing new aircraft.
In reply to another question, the minister said that he has already directed concern authority for allocating dedicated counters for expats and valiant freedom fighters.
After the meeting, the Indian high commissioner said several Indian entrepreneurs showed keen interest to invest in Bangladesh’s tourism industry. We are influencing and facilitating them (Indian investment), Verma told reporters. The envoy also stressed for launching new air destinations between two friendly nations to boost tourism and leisure businesses. Especially India is interested in establishing air connectivity among India’s North-Eastern states and Bangladesh, said the high commissioner.
Replying to a query, the envoy said India issued 1.6 million visas for Bangladeshi nationals last year while New Delhi is considering to issue on arrival visa for Bangladeshis in future.