Cox’s Bazar , believed to be the longest, unbroken sandy beach of the world, with the length of 125 kilometers stretching from Cox’s Bazar to bordering town Teknaf.
It is also said that, it is the unofficial capital of tourism in beautiful Bangladesh .
The irony of fact is, despite being one of the finest destinations in the world, our beloved Cox’s Bazar fails to bring millions of tourists, travelers across the globe.
There are many reasons and flipsides for this failure indeed.
Our neighboring tourist places like Nepal, India, Maldives even Sri Lanka ahead of us in dragging the numbers of tourist paying visits to those places every year .
For years, the experts, tour operators, tourism ministry kept its best effort to identify the challenges and the problems. Some of the findings so far have been gathered are , security, lack of entertainment , privacy, communication etc.
The private tour operators, hotel owners, businessmen, restaurant owners brought incredible changes in to the tourism sector, tourism went in to a different height, flourished a new hope to this industry , since privatization took place rapidly in the era of capitalism our hopes were high but then again all went in vein.
Our prime minister, Sheikh Hasina shifted the international cricket Stadium from Chakoria to Cox’s Bazar, upgraded the international airport, but the main focus on communication still remain at large.
The roads, abbeys, alleys of this tourism city Cox’s Bazar are in full decay, thousands of holes can be found in our highways and main road , streets.
Our joy knew no bounds when we came to know about Cox’s Bazar Development Authority , albeit this department still struggling to make things easier for all of us, but with the promise from its Chairman , Colonel Furkan Ahmed we can hope the best for now . We also have the similar expectation to the Mayor of Cox’s Bazar municipality Mujibor Rahman.
Moreover the expensive plane ticket of Cox’s Bazar made the tour impossible for the middle class tourists across the country to Cox’s Bazar .
Then recently a new phenomenon, the killing Covid19, made the situation worse in this sector .
The tourism industry in Cox’s Bazar has been struggling in many ways, then Corona Virus or Covid 19 strikes this sector like the last needle of the coffin.
Thousand had to leave the city immediately and many more were barred to come inside it caused a huge financial disaster .
As far we came to know, almost 5 thousand employees lost their jobs and 4 thousand crore taka in loss alone in tourism industry since the Covid 19 commenced.
The miseries continued when this city is declared as the ‘ redzone’ and lockdown prevailed.
This lockdown forced the peopled to stay home and they couldn’t even go to sea for their own refreshments , which many say was a great decision to be made to keep the people safe from the deadly virus .
When situation normalized and lockdown shifted partially , the tourism has not seen the green light yet. As a result it continued to be ruined further without any contingency plan. The shops, the market places, the offices and private businesses have been on operational again by taking healthy tips and safety measures as advised , but for the tourism it did not occur.
Our people in our city live on tourism, fish, salt and agriculture , majority involve in tourism though. If there is no alternative , in the long run, this sector will lose its appeal and businesses .
Our humble request to the authorities is, please take no time to drive this industry affluent and profitable so that we can all survive and dream for a dramatic change.
The writer is the English correspondent of Cox’s bazarnews.com