27 August, 2008
The Cox’s Bazar oriented tourism scenario has much changed in the last one and half decade. The place along with St. Martins was used to deal with a crowd that was considerably seasonal. But now, it can be merely stated that there’s no specific season in there. We have official weekends of two days. But whenever this is extended with a day or two, it becomes tricky for Cox’s Bazar hotel managers and officials to take a break in the rush of incoming phone calls for room reservation. Occasions of two Eid days and Durga Puja also send a huge crowd to hit Cox’s Bazar and St. Martins.
People’s mentality over tourism has changed. Affordable families of a tour now no more like to pass the leave of four days at a row at home. Their preference is Cox’s Bazar and St. Martin. This change of people’s mentality has urged the situation for Cox’s Bazar to become what now it is. But the stance of the government and its change has not been clearly visible.
To elaborate on possible governmental efforts over Cox’s Bazar, we have to throw light distinctively. There are a lot of grounds which government has to take care of. First of all there is the security which is considerably impressive. The law & order management strategy constantly changes with the rush of crowd as we can recall the deployment of extra 6,000 troops by police in last October, when the town was nearly shattered by an estimated 2 million tourists in a week. Several high ranking officials of Police including the Inspector General himself paid their visits to look after the management and that is appreciable.
Still there are ‘but’s over governmental efforts. If we focus on the accommodation structure, we see that the timeline between 80s and the mid of 90s, the tourist accommodation of Cox’s Bazar was solely controlled by hotels and motels owned and governed by Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation (BPC). Privately built hotels were nothing to tell about. But after the time started to change, BPC was not the one to contend with that change. Rather BPC has lost control from some of their major institutions. We recall the Silver Spoon, Inc. takeover of Motel Probal in late 2002. A large area inside Motel Probal acquisitions has been fully utilized by Silver Spoon, Inc., where they had set bar-b-q cottages, punting facilities etc. Now private investments are always welcomed, but we also should ask BPC that why they couldn’t do what Silver Spoon, Inc. did. BPC however retook the Motel Probal in 2005, but they couldn’t urge the ground to be under their influence long lastingly. Presently the Cox’s Bazar tourism is nearly in its height and BPC should now think about the opportunity which they have gradually forgone.
What Cox’s Bazar and Saint Martin need is a full government patronage, especially over the beach management, intra city communication (both transportation and streets), tourism promotion that is marketing the spot and attracting more and more investors, Bangladeshi investors should be prioritized.
Cox’s Bazar doesn’t enjoy that much of governmental patronages, whatever that stands upon is mostly private investment and finance. Still it is world’s one of the notable tourist spots on the earth having pure aesthetic attractions. There are few rated beaches in this world, most of them in United States & Australia, one in Thailand, one in Malaysia and some others in Europe. Cox’s Bazar is not contained by that list. But the difference is made only by the lovers of Cox’s Bazar, whoever loves it, enjoys going there for more and more times and the attraction doesn’t fade. This is the specialty of Cox’s Bazar. In 2005 I met a guy in the Seagull beach, who was visiting Cox’s Bazar with his wife. He told me he has visited 6 of the world’s ranked beaches, those are in Australia, but Cox’s Bazar is the one most exclusive to him and he was visiting it for 13th time then.
About the unquestioned adoration of Cox’s Bazar lovers, it’s not like it is loved because it belongs to our country. It’s adored because of the atmosphere and the pure aesthetic attraction that has been told earlier. The Cox’s Bazar oriented tourism is now to be considered in a larger scale. Government tourism policies and BPC strategies of 90s were may be suitable for the then circumstance, but the situation has gone through a promotion. Cox’s Bazar and Saint Martins Island, which is now formidably occupying the top of the ‘World’s New Seven Wonders’ list, evaluation over them will be a confused, if they don’t get enough attention of the government.