Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister Rashed Khan Menon on Monday said the government has embarked upon a mega tourism development project centering the picturesque Patenga sea beach here and the beach town of Cox's Bazar.
"Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has a dream to create jobs for everyone and this dream can be materialized largely through the tourism sector", he told a press conference jointly with Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu.
The press conference was called at Chittagong Circuit House this afternoon on the eve of the launching of a three-day United Nation's World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) meeting in the port city.
The tourism minister said Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation (BPC) has taken initiative to build a five star hotel at Parky Beach of Anowara upazila in the district.
"Besides 14 five star hotels in Bangladesh and many international chain hotels are being registered to extend their service and business to promote tourism in Bangladesh", he said adding that a tourism village would be set up in Cox's Bazar for the foreign tourists.
The 29th meeting of the UNWTO Commission for East Asia and the Pacific and the UNWTO Commission for South Asia (CAP-CSA) UNWTO Regional Forum on Crisis Management is being held at city's Hotel Radisson Blu.
Menon said considering the importance of tourism sector, Bangladesh Bank has included tourism in its CSR Policy.
Terming tourism as a major wheel-power of any country's economy, the minister said the tourism industry directly influences 109 industries.
Citing an international report he said a total of 11 lakh 38 thousand 500 direct and 23 lakh 46 thousand indirect job opportunities were created in Bangladesh in 2015, which is 4.1% of the total employment.
Speaking at the press conference Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu said militancy and terrorism are the greatest enemies of tourism sector.
"In spite of those two hurdles, Bangladesh has progressed a lot in tourism sector as the government is determined to build up Bangladesh as a tourism friendly country", he said.
The ministers later unveiled the cover of a book on the tourism in Chittagong division jointly published by BPC and Department of Films and Publications (DFP).
Civil Aviation and Tourism Secretary SM Golam Faruk, Chief Executive Officer of Bangladesh Tourism Board Dr nasir Uddin, BPC Chairman Akhtaruzzaman Khan Kabir, Additional Secretary of Civil Aviation and Tourism Ministry Mohammad Imran, among others, were present at the Meet the Press.
UNWTO meeting is taking place in Chittagong coinciding with a UN General Assembly declaration dubbing 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.
The event will be a landmark for the country's tourism industry as it is the first ever event of the world's highest tourism organisation in Bangladesh.