Development of Coastal Zone Tourism in Bangladesh

Published: 2021-06-30 23:10:06
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Category: Holidays, Asia

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Today’s new phenomenon or core interesting area is marine or coastal environments. Around the marine environments, people’s activities as well as research are swelling. Coastal areas are intermediate areas between the land and sea characterized where have a very high biodiversity as well as diversify biodiversity and it includes some of the richest and most fragile ecosystems on earth, like mangroves and coral reefs. At the same time, coasts are under very high population pressure due to rapid urbanization processes. More than half of today’s world population live in coastal areas (within 60 km from the sea) and this number is on the rise. coastal areas are those which are most visited by tourists and in many coastal areas tourism presents the most important economic activity. To explore coastal zone as a major tourism, it is designed by various tourism activities as well. In perspective of Bangladesh is one of the Southeast Asian countries enriched with enormous potentials in marine environments. Bangladesh is mainly renowned as a densely populated country as well as natural scenic beauty country and in this perspective, Bangladesh is promoting itself as a beautiful Bangladesh. The greatest natural resources in Bangladesh are 36000 sq kilometer of coastal area, 118813 sq kilometer of maritime boundary. Coastal area provides accommodation to 36.8 million people and 4.5 million people directly depend on maritime resources. Economic opportunities have been opened for Bangladesh by international maritime court verdict on delimitation of its maritime boundary.
In 2014, International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) was in the favor of Bangladesh. After the verdict settlements of international maritime disputes with India and Myanmar, Bangladesh unlocks the potentials of the blue tourism. But the government of Bangladesh only makes a few progresses. Bangladesh is located at the head of the Bay of Bengal and the country has a long coastline of approximately 710 km. The Bay of Bengal has the continental shelf up to 50 m depth with an area of about 37,000 km2. The Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of Bangladesh lies from the base line to 200 nautical miles seaward. The Coastal Zone Policy, 2005 considers three indicators for determining the landward boundaries of the coastal zone of Bangladesh, which are: – influence of tidal waters, – salinity intrusion, and – cyclones/storm surges (ministry of water resource). The coastal zone also contains several ecosystems that have important conservation values. The Sundarbans: The Sundarbans mangrove forest, one of the largest such forests in the world (140,000 ha), lies on the delta of the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna rivers on the Bay of Bengal. It is adjacent to the border of India’s Sundarbans World Heritage site inscribed in 1987. The site is intersected by a complex network of tidal waterways, mudflats and small islands of salt-tolerant mangrove forests and presents an excellent example of ongoing ecological processes. The area is known for its wide range of fauna, including 260 bird species, the Bengal tiger and other threatened species such as the estuarine crocodile and the Indian python. St. Martin’s Island: St. Martin’s Island is the right place to calm down of cox’s bazar. This coral island is about 10km (6mi) south-west of the southern tip of the mainland is a tropical cliché, with beaches fringed with coconut palms and bountiful marine life. This island has the most amazing blue water. Swatch of no ground: The Swatch of No Ground) is Bangladesh’s first marine protected area. It is in the Bay of Bengal at the head of a submarine canyon. It spans approximately 672 square miles (1,738 square kilometers) and is more than 900 meters in depth in some locations. The area is a key breeding and spewing ground for dolphins, whales, sharks and turtles. The marine protected area was established for the long-term protection of cetaceans that inhabit waters offshore of Bangladesh.
From above information, it is clear to all that Bangladesh has a unique and diversify marine areas which is not utilized as its opportunity in tourism. Tourism is potential sources of economy as well as growing demand for Bangladesh and marine environments is also a main area of tourism which is only use for scenic beauty, but it hasn’t used in diversify tourism activities or other recreational ways and is concentrated on some specific area such as cox’s bazar and Saint Martin. And these areas are used highly and above the carrying capacity as well as without concerning about sustainability and prospects as well. But marine environment can be created as a several recreational activities which may create new form tourism or new stream of tourism such as adventurous tourism, educational tourism etc.
On the other hands swatch of no ground which is waiting with blessed of natural attractions as well as unanimous natural resources which is under exploring stage and Isabella intuitions works on it to identify the resources and its opportunity for future using which can be contributed on country’s national economy as well as country’s GDP. Swatch of no ground is unknown to many people beside it is a quires location for some people who feel adventurous to know it. It has the potentiality to promote itself as an adventurous and marine recreational activity such as – scuba diving and snorkeling; – wind surfing; – fishing; – observing marine mammals and birds; – cruise ship and ferry industry, sea kayaking, sailing, motor yachting, maritime events etc. Because of its diversify ecosystem and the deepest zone as well as a major marine protected area, the plan for developing recreational activities are not an easy matter. It should be developed recreational activities by concerning SDG goals as well as Bangladesh’s National Sustainable Development Strategy (NSDS) that it can be cleared to all impacts of its recreational activities on economic, socio-economy, environmental as well. First and foremost, work to do research on swatch of no ground recreational opportunity that it can be evolved its diversify opportunity to all that people get a new opportunity to participate in recreational activities of it’s at the time of their leisure. Through recreational activities of swatch of no ground, it is also open shutter for attracting foreign tourists by making its adventurous activity. It is known to all that two-thirds of our world is made up of water, which is why travel operators are starting to integrate underwater attractions into travel. It’s the next frontier in the travel industry, as the area underneath our oceans has largely yet to be explored. There is already an array of underwater restaurants, resorts, tours, and transportation available around the world today — and that’s bound to grow even more in the future where our country lag to use our marine. On the other hand, many people are travelling every year from our country to other country for various purposes and tourism specially getting adventurous tourism is one of the purposes to travel people outbound. And a statistic shows that outbound travelers in Bangladesh from 2013 to 2021. The number of outbound travelers from Bangladesh was projected to reach approximately 2.6 million trips in 2021, up from an estimation of 2.3 million in 2016(Bangladesh bureau of statistics, January, (2017).
There is a big market exiting in our country, but we can’t use because our country can’t create the tourism environments which it should be for a tourist. Underwater tourism can be or must be a way of attracting our domestic people who love experiencing marine environments as well as it can be an opportunity to pull the foreign tourist to experience our marine resources or its diversify eco system. It is known to all that Bangladesh is called river irrigated and so it should be used for our tourism which may help to recover our river life line as well as it can be made a source of revenue. Most of us know a lot less about the underwater environment – and its current state – than adverse impacts above ground, where we encounter pollution and its effects on nature daily. This has led to a lack of awareness of underwater issues, such as contamination and other negative environmental impacts which can adversely affect coastal and marine life. In this context, the project is not only fostering the development of underwater tourism but is promoting educational aspects, too, which include the creation of an equipment hub and developing underwater experiences.
Although Bangladesh is a riverine country with a large coastal area having hundreds of thousands of people depending on seas for their livelihood but very little was done to serve this population let alone to exploit this opportunity. Scuba diving is widely popular sector for example: Thailand, Malaysia and Australia etc. especially Thailand works on scuba diving which is the one of the major economic sector. In perspective of Bangladesh which has the Bay of Bengal, cox’s bazar, Saint Martin and700 rivers including tributaries, which have a total length of about 24,140 km. Bangladesh has predominantly four major river systems – (1) the Brahmaputra-Jamuna, (2) the Ganges-Padma, (3) the Surma-Meghna, and (4) the Chittagong Region river system. However, Brahmaputra is the 22nd longest (2,850 km) and the Ganges is the 30th longest (2,510 km) river in the world. Besides it, Bangladesh government started to work on blue economy to booster our economy as well as government give a concern on developing tourism in a way that it can be attracted people both domestic and foreign.

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