Celebration of Dhaka-OIC city of tourism inagurated by PM


Bangladesh is set to officially celebrate its capital Dhaka’s achievement as “OIC City of Tourism 2019” from thrusday, aiming at showcasing rich Muslim heritage of the 400-year old city before the global community, especially Muslim tourists.
Dhaka was chosen the “City of Tourism for 2019” by tourism ministers of OIC member states at the closing session of the 10th Islamic Conference of Tourism Ministers (ICTM) that was held here last year.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the two-day official celebration at Hotel InterContinental this morning, in presence of representatives from more than 30 OIC member states, including OIC Assistant Secretary General Musa Kulaklikaya.
The Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation and BTB arranged city tours for OIC member state representatives in the afternoon. The OIC delegation will also visit the nearly-500-year old Panam City in Narayanganj tomorrow.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has stressed the need for preparing a roadmap to promote Islamic tourism as a global brand, to unlock the potentials of its rapidly growing market.
“The value of Islamic tourism market will increase to $243 billion by 2021 with an annual 8.3% growth. So, we’ll have to take all-out efforts and prepare a roadmap aimed at promoting Islamic tourism as a global business brand, which will attract tourists further,” she said on Thursday, reports UNB.
The prime minister made the remarks while addressing the inaugural function of the two-day official celebration program of “Dhaka the OIC City of Tourism-2019” at the hotel InterContinental Dhaka.
According to a report, the number of Muslim tourists will rise to 180 million by 2020 from 156 million. By 2020, the world’s Muslim population will be 26%, she mentioned.
She said that according to Thomson Reuters report, Muslim populations globally spent a total of $151 billion on travel in 2015 — excluding Hajj and Umrah. Of the amount, OIC member states contributed $109 billion.
She said tourism was the fastest-growing sector greatly contributing to the generation of foreign exchange and employment across the world.
“There’s an urgent need to flourish our tourism sector [to attain our development targets]. In this case, Islamic tourism is the best possible area where we’ve the opportunity and potentials to work together,” she said.
Hasina said she strongly believed that OIC member states could encourage their private sector entities to invest individually and jointly in tourism infrastructure and development projects.
“Taking appropriate steps is very essential in order to promote intra-OIC tourist flows through easing visa, and for investment promotion, branding and standardization and capacity building,” she added.
She also expressed her gratitude to the OIC member states for selecting Dhaka as this year’s OIC City of Tourism and selecting Bangladesh as the chairperson of the 10th Islamic Conference of Tourism Ministers for two years.


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