Bangladesh tourism industry here has suffered a loss worth more than Tk1,000 crore, according to Bangladesh chapter of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA).

In the five months from February to June, the loss might pile up at Tk9,700 crore, estimated the PATA, warning that around 3 lakh of the people involved in this sector would lose their jobs if the situation prolongs any further.

Cancellation of bookings, travel bans and suspensions, the shutting down of hotels and layoffs due to the pandemic have already dealt a heavy blow to the tourism sector and the people directly involved with it.

Different components that are directly involved in the tourism sector, for instance, hotels, motels, resorts, tour operators, travel agents, are bearing the brunt of the pandemic’s impact.

Industry leaders said even if the pandemic is over, it might take around two years for the tourism industry to recover from this hit.

Moreover, in the post-pandemic period, restrictions might be imposed on passenger travelling on international routes, resulting in the decline of tourists, they observed.

As per PATA Bangladesh chapter, around 90 percent hotels in Cox’s Bazar have been shut. Failing to pay salaries, hotel authorities there have sacked many of their employees.

“ We earned profit over Tk 60 lakh only during Eid vacation, but this year the hotel is empty,” Abdus Salam, Manager of Hotel Saikath told Business Mirror.

Since people have a shortage of money, he said, his organisation is looking forward to arrange small tours inside the country after the situation starts returning to normalcy.

Asked how the tourism sector can recover the loss, PATA Bangladesh chapter Secretary General Taufiq Rahman said though tourism sector is the worst hit by the pandemic, it will recover after other sectors start recovering.

Though the government has announced different stimulus packages, he doubted if the government help would reach the small and medium entrepreneurs in tourism sector.

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