Shuvro Sachin, Khulna Correspondent, bdnews24.com
Published: 2020-01-16 19:35:50 BdST
The government earned Tk 20 million from the Sundarbans tourism, according to Divisional Forest Officer (west) Boshirul Al Mamun.
The number of visitors increased by 30,000 year-on-year. It was 183,000 in the previous year.
Amid an increase in the number of visitors at the world’s largest mangrove forests each year, complaints have been made by the tourists and travel agencies over the insufficient arrangements of travel to the Sundarbans.
The complaints mostly include food and accommodation, adequate security, supply of fresh water and booking complications at the forest department.
“We have to face problems in getting travel approval from the forest department. Many tourists are not allowed to visit the forest due to diplomatic complications. The number of visitors will increase if the authorities ease the procedure. It will also minimise the cost.”
She also said non-government travel agencies charge visitors exorbitant prices.
A pair of spotted deer is roaming in the Katka Wildlife Sanctuary in the Sundarbans. Bangladesh observed Sundarbans Day with a slogan, “Love Sundarbans on Valentine’s Day” on Thursday. Photo: Mostafigur Rahman
He also asked that emergency medical treatment and fresh drinking water facilities be ensured at Katka- Kochikhali area where most of the vessels carrying visitors anchor first.
Mazharul Islam Kochi, managing director of Ever Green Tours and Travels Ltd, expressed concerns over the inadequate security at the Sundarbans.
“Tourists also do not get proper accommodation. They have to spend the night on their boats. The watchtowers are also rickety and the tourist ferries are not allowed to use the forest department jetties. There is a crisis of fresh water.”
A Tk 250 million project has been proposed to revamp the Sundarbans tourism, forest conservator Md Moinuddin Khan said.
“As part of the project, four new eco parks and watch towers will be installed to draw in more visitors,” he added.