The Financial Express

App-based domestic tourism

| Updated: October 12, 2021 21:27:21

App-based domestic tourism

Finding the intensity of the corona pandemic get lighter with every passing day, the sector of domestic tourism is gradually reverting back to the pre-pandemic buoyancy. A large number of venturesome tourists from Dhaka and the other areas are set to visit the popular, attractive spots. The mangrove forest of the Sundarbans is among the chief tourist destinations; it has been so since its rising popularity decades ago. The country's two beaches are highly popular, though. As seen in Bangladesh tourism in general, tourists in droves move about the sites seemingly confused and puzzled. Most of them have a sketchy idea about a particular tourist spot.

Thanks to its vast forest expanse filled with big and small rivers, canals and the proverbial maze-like interior, the trees and bushes featuring movements of wildlife including deer, monkeys and man-eaters, the Sundarbans visitors are mostly seen completing their tours amateurishly. As a result, they remain deprived of enjoying the serene yet majestic beauty of the spot. This drawback also applies to the spots in CHT hills, those in the Moulvibazar and the adjoining areas, and also in many other emerging tourist-dominant swathes. Amid this disorganised situation, the government tourist authorities, especially the Forest Department, have taken up an app-based Sundarbans travel management programme. The Khulna region's forest conservation authorities have termed the programme, a pilot project, helping build the Digital Bangladesh.

True to its probable functions, set to be launched in December, the smart app-based automation mechanism will complete the necessary travel-related formalities of the prospective tourists at home, prior to their arrival at the spots.  Called 'Sundarbans', the app is expected to save not only the time of the tourists; the authorities hope it will also ensure a hassle-free booking process, thus enabling the forest department to offer better services to the Sundarbans travellers. By accessing the app, tourists from any part of the country, even from overseas, can glean all necessary information about the mangrove, largest in the world. Using the app, aspiring tourists can learn in detail about the genuineness and experience of tourism agencies. Moreover, by utilising the 'Sundarbans' app, the interested tourists can have detailed ideas about specific attractions and the launch fares. Apart from all this, the app is set to provide information about the facilities they will be provided according to the duration of their stays in the forest. As per the newly set rules, two hundred tourists can travel together every hour under the one-day tour package to a preferred site. Likewise, the tour agencies will arrange tours for 200 and more per hour, which can reach up to 1,600 tourists eying separate sites in eight hours every day. According to insiders, the tourists have been kept at specific numbers for fixed hours to maintain the forest's biodiversity.

There are also three-day tour packages which will take tourists to the southern coastal fringes of Bangladesh, the attractions being the unforgettable trips to Katka, Dublar Char, Hironpoint etc. Similar tour automation apps can also be applied to the country's other tourist attractions -- tour-related experts and the tourism media observe. The imperative stems from the fact that despite being a small country, Bangladesh can take pride in its amazingly rich biodiversity. Few countries in the world have an incredibly long unbroken beach, the world's largest mangrove forest, over 700 rivers, vast water bodies and hilly forests. The smart apps like 'Sundarbans', will, undoubtedly help the domestic tourism thrive.

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