Academic journal article UTMS Journal of Economics

Swot Analysis and Strategies to Develop Sustainable Tourism in Bangladesh

Academic journal article UTMS Journal of Economics

Swot Analysis and Strategies to Develop Sustainable Tourism in Bangladesh

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

Bangladesh is a country of natural beauty that covered around 147,570 km2 (BBS 2015) with evergreen hills, luxuriant tropical rain forests, and rich cultural heritage and ethnic diversity (Islam and Nath 2014). The country is rich with prolific biodiversity and ecosystem. From a tourism perspective all these ecological and cultural products are marketable and saleable to both domestic and international tourists. But the fast-growing tourism industry is also a major source pressure on the environment and natural resources (UNEP 2005). This is especially true for developing countries where tourism development is taking place rapidly in ecologically fragile areas with modest concerns on the environment (Aminu et al. 2013). Being a developing country with a density of 1236 population per sq.km (World Bank 2017) and fragile ecosystem, Bangladesh is at high risk to grow unplanned tourism industry. In fact tourism was viewed as a 'clean' industry during the twentieth century that could generate capital for countries (Hanna et al. 2015), latter on mass tourism became a concern for environmental sustainability. As a result the concept of sustainability in tourism emerged which is ascribed as a remedy for all the problems of contemporary tourism (Butowski 2012) to reap optimum benefit for present without jeopardizes the need and demand of future. Sustainable tourism can become a useful tool to generate employment, combat poverty and simultaneously protect biological diversity and cultural environment involving local communities (UNEP 2005).

World Tourism Organization (WTO) defines sustainable tourism as tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment and host communities (UNWTO 2017). This is not a type of tourism instead a condition of tourism that is based on the principles of sustainable development (UNEP and UNWTO 2005). This concept has gradually become an important determinant of tourism development, nevertheless it is considered as more important for destinations that depend on nature as their major tourist attraction (Larson and Herr 2008). Sustainable tourism approach may offer a higher quality tourist satisfaction, improved quality of life for local citizens, conservation of environment, and enhancement of cultural pride (Ap and Crompton 1998; HigginsDesbiolles 2004; Levy and Hawkins 2009).

Literatures on sustainable tourism in Bangladesh are very scanty. Most of literatures emphasized on economic aspect of tourism. Rahman et al. (2010) studied on identifying problems, potential and future prospects of tourism industry in Bangladesh. Haque et al. (2016) emphasized on developing for developing sustainable ecotourism inside the Sundarbans Reserve Forest, Bangladesh. Salam, Lindsay and Beveridge (2000) in their paper proposed for using geographical information systems (GIS) technology to minimize adverse impact of tourism in the reserve forest of Sundarbans. Ishtiaque (2012) proposed a model of tourism development in Bangladesh. Rahman et al. (2013) conducted their study to understand the visitors perceptions at Kaptai National Park in Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh. Rahman (2010) in his dissertation explored socio-economic impacts of tourism in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh. Wakil (2014) studied on how environmental sustainability can be achieved through developing ecofriendly tourism industry in coastal zones of Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh. From the existing literatures, despite of studies on tourism industries in Bangladesh, SWOT analysis and sustainable tourism development in Bangladesh never carried out concurrently. With this view this study was an effort to identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of tourism industry in Bangladesh using SWOT matrix. Reihanian et al. (2012) studied on developing sustainable tourism in Boujagh National Park of Iran using SWOT analysis. …

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