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Prospect of Sustainable Tourism in Bangladesh

A Views On Tourism Project presentation UIU / JCI seminar 21th June 2010

Personal profile
Majbritt Thomsen
MA Tourism
Marketing, policy, organisation

Danish expat since late 2007 BD travel experience Royal Danish Embassy, DANIDA report on BD tourism potential Business studies BD tourism Interaction tourism sector
Huge number of visionary people, resources, organizations and initiatives in Bangladesh

Views On Tourism Project

Photo: Up-comming Panigram Eco-resort, Jessore

The Views On Tourism Project

Voluntary initative since 2008
Encourage an active sustainable tourism movement in Bangladesh All players can make an impact! Tourism knowledge and inspiration National, regional and international resources This presentation is available Tourism network and discussion forum for people interested in a sustainable tourism development in Bangaldesh LinkedIn an international professional network

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World best practice and theory
Understanding tourism challenges Sustainable tourism
Practices and lessons

Status and sustainable tourism potential How to develop national tourism through knowledge and network

Summing up

Understanding tourism demand Without tourists no tourism!

World tourism demand since 1950

Push-factor why leave home? Regional outbound anno 2008 Economic factors
More wealth

Social factors
More time

Demographic changes
Family size, population increase, urbanisation, increased life expectancy

Technological factors

Western Europe Dominates Tourism Flow Outbound Strong Outbound Flow from Asia-Pacific Economic Stability in Eastern Europe Favors Outbound Flows Wealthy North Americans: Passionate Travelers
Source: Euromonitor International's Tourism Flows Outbound World (2008)

Political factors
Freedom of mobility

World tourism destinations

Pull-factor where to go?

Accessibility to markets Affordability Availability of attractions Availability of services Cultural links Geographical proximity to markets Peace and stability Positive market image Pro-tourism policies

International arivals 2008 France 79.3 milion USA 58.0 Spain 57.3 China 53.0 Italy 42.7 United Kingdom 30.1 Ukraine 25.4 Turkey 25.0 Germany 24.9 Mexico 22.6
Source: UNWTO

Understanding travel motivation

Physical motivators
Refreshment of body and mind; health, sport and pleasure.

Cultural motivators
Desire to see and know more about other cultures

Interpersonal motivators
Meet new people, visit friends or relatives

Status and prestige motivators

Personal development or education
Theory: McIntosh, Goeldner and Ritchie (1995)

A new world view

Dominant western environmental paradigm
Humans are separate from nature superior to nature Reality is objective can be compartmentalised The future is predictable The universe has order The importance of rationality and reason Hierarchical structures Competitive structures Emphasis on the individual Facilitation through capitalism Linear progress and growth Use hard tecnology Patriarchal and male

Source: Weaver & Lawton (2002)

Green paradigm
Humans are part of nature and nature are equal Reality is subjective integrated and holistic The future is unpredictable The universe is chaotic The importance of intuition Consensus-based structures Cooperative structures Emphasis on the communal Facilitation through socialism Maintenance of a steady state Use soft tecnology Matriarchal and female

The new traveler stereotype

Green consumer Searches for authentic and Knowledgeable about meaningful experiences environmental issues Searches for physical and Conscious of social justice mentally challenging experiences concerns Wishes to have a positive impact Motivated by a desire for selfon the destination fulfilment and learning Source: Weaver & Lawton (2002) More independent-minded and quality conscious Carefully assesses tourism products in advance Preferes flexible and spontaneous itineraries Sensitive to local cultures

Changed world demand for nature

Historical tourism development 1980s increased tourism demand for more naturebased travel adventures 1994: 40-60 % international tourists (528.4 million) were nature tourists Now: Nature-based tourism is one of the fastest growing sectors of the world's largest industry

Eco-tourism demand
More than a niche market! Environmentally minded travelers Hard core eco-tourism
Nature - the reson to go! Nature professionals or people with serious interests

Soft eco- tourism

Nature important, but not main holiday motivation or activity

Understanding tourism sector

Most important supporters of tourism demand and supply Attractions Tour operators/planers
Often motivation for visit Almost exclusively product packaging and distribution High influence on tourism demand and hence sector succes and failure

Most visible sub-sector

Most important element in destination development

Public sector and policy

Crucial management organisations

Multiple SMEs and tourism related stakeholders

Different agendas, resources and focus on tourism

Tourism development is complex!

Tourism often praised as an effective development tool, especially in rural areas and the developing world Positive and negative destination impact on:
Environment Society and culture Economy
Tribal people in Bandarban

Positive tourism impact


Source: Why Tourism Matters campaign Washington State, USA

Direct / indirect revenue for country, community and private sector

Society / Culture

Protect environment and preserve nature

Preserving local culture and heritage Social wellbeing and stability Promotion of cross-cultural understanding

Negative tourism impact

Increased local living cost External money flow

High pressure on environment ressources Disturb fauna and flora

Society / Culture
Lost of cultural values and traditions Prostitution and crime

Destination impact from tourism

Most vulnerable destinations
less developed areas rapid tourism development

Tourism in developing world

Industry focus often inbound tourism (expect high income) Inbound tourism
Few in numbers Potential negative social implications when huge cultural gab

New discussion: Long-term social and economic benefit best from national tourism?

Sustainable tourism is the solution!

One definition: Tourism that meets the needs of present tourists and host regions while protecting and enhancing opportunity for the future Source: UNWTO A tourism value
Development: Balancing the needs of tourists and destination New tourism management: cooperation government, tourism sector and all stakeholders

Sustainable tourism values and principles

Economic goals Economically viable industry

Economically viable businesses

Economic benefits to locals and other stakeholders

Environment economy integration

Environment and
ressource goals Maintain or expand biodiversity Minimal resource degradation Resource benefits Acceptance of resource values Matching of supply and demand Intergenerational equity Adaptive design

Community based economics

Social goals

Conservation With Equity

Planning Education Health Employment Community benefits Visitor satisfaction

Source: Hall (1998)

Best case: Bhutan national strategy

National tourism status: Successful poverty alleviation through tourism development Core development values: Brutto National Happiness Pro-poor tourism development Long-term sustainability Restricted level of tourist activity Management: Department of Tourism Coordination Tourism advisor since 2002: SNV (Dutch NGO) Department of Tourism, Regional Trade and Industry Office, Association of Tour Operators, Nature Conservation Division

Eco-tourism - a sub-category
One definition
Ecotourism is a responsible travel to natural areas that covers the environment and sustains the well being of local people (Epler Wood, 1996)

Ecotourism can become an important tool to preserve and develop remote areas

7 characteristics of eco-tourism
Involves travel to natural destinations Minimizes impact Supports human rights and democratic movements Respects local culture Provides financial benefits and empowerment for local people Builds environmental awareness Provides direct financial benefits for conservation
Source: The International Ecotourism Society (TIES)

Best case: Ecotourism in China

Meilixueshan Conservation Area

Principle tourist attractions

Mountain, glaciers and waterfalls along a Tibetan pilgrimage route Tibetan cultural and religious heritage

Trekking through forest and traditional Tibetan villages Tibetan-run guesthouses or homestays Local Tibetan guides

Development partners
Deqin County Government The Nature Conservancy, world conservation organization

South Asian tourism cooperation!

Regional tourism status in 2007
Inbound tourism India, Nepal and Bangladesh Total arrival: 5,7 million Total income 12,3 billion UD$ Already a multicountry activity 1/3 Indian tourists, visit primerly Nepal 46 % Bhutan tourists also visit Nepal and/or Indian Source: ADB (2009)

The South Asia Travel & Tourism economy 2010 is: Number 10 in absolute size worldwide Number 1 in long-term (10-year) growth
Source WTTC (2010)

Best case: Regional cooperation

Asian Development Bank project
Target markets Subregional tourism Thailand, Korea, China, UK, cooperation 2009-2014 France, Germany, Italy, India, Nepal & Bangladesh USA, Canada and Australia Governments co-investment Sustainable heritage tourism development (UNESCO) Bangladesh: Heritage Highway Site access and condition Protect, manage and promote heritage

Bangladesh - tourism demand

Forecast WTTC Travel & Tourism economic Impact Bangladesh 2010
3,9 to 4,1 % GDP from 2010 to 2020 2010: 265,9 billion Taka 2020: 788,4 billion Taka

Who are the present tourists?

National / international tourists Demographic and geographic profile Travel motivation and satisfaction Product consumption

Who are welcome?

National, regional or international tourists Mass tourists, high spenders, long time travelers Leisure or business tourism? Who supports positive development?
Photo: a group of tourists in Sundarbans

International tourism image?

Destination image: Sum of beliefs, ideas and impressions that a person has of a destination Kotler et al. (1994) Different image sources News/NGO:
Only focus on the negative stories?

International tourism focus: New7Wonders

Lonely Planet: 2009 top ten interesting travel destination 2 new travel guide books

The personal experience:

Hear stories from people who lived in Bangladesh Travel Bangladesh: visit, business, expat, work, tourist

Best tourist attractions

Sustainable products
Eco tourism Cultural tourism Nature tourism Heritage tourism Religious tourism Adventure tourism Volunteer / study tourism Pro-poor tourism The everyday life

Sustainable world icons?

Coxs Bazar - not likely Sundarbans potential Other possibilities

The tourism industry

National status:
Bangladesh is still one of the countries in the South Asian region with the fewest arrivals and the lowest revenue earned from the tourism industry. Never the less, tourism has since the 1990s been a small but rapidly growing sector of the Bangladeshi economy. Royal Danish Embassy (2008)

New sustainable tourism visions

ADB: Heritage Highway USAID/IPAC: Teknaf Peninsula CommunityBased Ecotourism Strategy Katalyst: Tourism capacity development Government
National tourism policy National Tourism Board

Succes depend on longterm sustainable tourism strategies, knowledge and cooperation!

Present tourism organisation

Bangladeshi tourism is a scattered industry
Huge competion for the existing markets Lack of cooperation on all levels Goal fast economic groth Focus existing problems Blame between government and tourism industry

Many isolated sustainable tourism resources, visions and initiatives United forces will make a sustainable tourism movement

Cooperation in tourism!
Advise The stakeholders must truly want sustainable tourism development and be prepared to cooperate and communicate When setting up partnerships structures share income and risk Invite an expert on tourism to participate at the earliest posible date
Source: GTZ Sustainable Tourism as a Development Option

Cooperation in tourism
- an overview of the stakeholders
Organisations of the Private sector: multilateral and Tour operators bilateral co-operation Travel agencies

Public sector:

Incoming agencies Tourism officials Employees in tourism Community and regional Tourism experts administrations Business associations Ministries of Economic and Suply industry, souvenirs Foreign Affairs Advertising and marketing Ministry for Environmental Hotels, B&B Tourists Affairs and Nature Transportation compagnies Conservation Agriculture Restaurents Agriculture NGO/SHO (Non-governmental and self-help organisations): International nature conservation organisations Guides National NGOs Organisations of indigenous peoples Source: Local NGOs GTZ Sustainable Tourism Local SHOs/co-operatives as a Development Option

New tourism management

Industry should: Adapt strategic thinking to develop tourism with benefits for everyone Extend and diversify product offerings to improve return on investments and social value Lead innovative management and help spread best practice through corporate social responsibility Source: WTTC (2003) Potential Bangladeshi players: International

Associations: TOAB, ATAB, TGAB, Bangladesh Tourism Foundation Best practice players: Panigram, Guide Tours World brands in BD: Radisson, Emirates, Intrepid Travel Individual tourism players

New tourism management

Government should: Potential Bangladeshi players: Show leadership defining International management structures UNWTO, UNESCO, OECD, PATA Elevate travel and tourism Regional cooperation to strategic national level Bhutah, Nepal, India, Add sustainable travel and Myanmar tourism into all policies and National decision-making Government High involvement: All relevant ministries Attractions, regulation, Municipalites research, planning, Bangladesh missions abroad promotion etc.
Source: WTTC (2003)

National tourism board Parjatan

New tourism management

All stakeholders should help: Cooperate in identifying opportunities for growth Focus on building travel and tourism that open up prospects for people Work together to remove obstacles to growth Potential Bangladeshi players: International
Bimtec, SNV, USAID

Development: Grameen, Katalyst, JCIB Conservation: Urban Study Group, Nishorgo, Contic Media: tourism and general Private sector: Chambers of commerce and industry, investors and banks Higher education: service schools and universities

Source: WTTC (2003)

Summing up
General sector obstaceles National tourism obstacles

Tourism development goals

Sustainable tourism values National and regional cooperation

Active sustainable movement

Long-term sustainable values Knowledge sharing and cooperation on all levels Goal: new tourism management

The Views On Tourism Project

Communication platform for sustainable tourism movement