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High ticket costs keeping Bangladeshi tourists away, says High Commissioner

Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Saturday, 10 February 2018 00:00

By Chathuri Dissanayake

Comparatively high travel costs are preventing Bangladeshi tourists from visiting Sri Lanka, Bangladesh High Commissioner in Sri Lanka, Riaz Hamidullah, said on Thursday. 

Pointing out that India received more than 1.5 million Bangladeshi tourists last year alone, Hamidullah said that Sri Lanka was overlooked as a travel destination by the growing middle class in his country due to high airfares. 

“This has been a concern raised by a lot of people. The airfares are higher compared to a trip to Singapore, India, Malaysia and Indonesia which are also favoured travel destinations,” he highlighted.

“India received over 1.5 million Bangladeshi tourists last year and they brought more than $ 5 billion to the Indian economy. But Sri Lanka is being overlooked due to high airfare.” 

The High Commissioner urged authorities to view the issue at a broader level rather than narrowly focusing on the earnings of one airline. 

“If you reduce the price the airline will be able to earn more through volume. The Tourism Ministry needs to look at this in a more holistic way to focus on the sector not just one business,” he said. 

Hamidullah was confident that if this barrier was addressed then Sri Lanka would be able to attract Bangladeshi tourists without engaging in major promotional activities. 

“No need to carry out promotions, Bangladeshi tourists know what Sri Lanka offers,” he stated. 

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