October 25, 2021, 11:05 am
Tarikul Islam, Khulna: Due to the corona’s influence, tourist entry into the Sundarbans has been suspended for almost a year and a half. In the last five years, the Sundarbans West Forest Department has generated revenue of Tk 4 crore 27 lakh 26 thousand 301 from 3 lakh 32 thousand 924 tourists.
According to the Sundarbans West Forest Department, the Sundarbans West Forest Division consists of Shyamnagar in Satkhira and Koyra, Paikgachha and Dakop in Khulna. In the last five years, a total of 3 lakh 31 thousand 710 domestic tourists and 1 thousand 214 foreign tourists visited the Sundarbans West Forest Department. The revenue from these tourists is TK 4 crore 27 lakh 26 thousand 301.
It is also known that 62 thousand 622 people in 2016-17 financial year, 71 thousand 214 people in 2017-18 financial year, 70 thousand 280 people in 2018-19 financial year, 65 thousand 142 people in 2019-20 financial year and 62 thousand 352 domestic tourists in 2020-21 financial year visited Sundarbans West Forest Department. Besides, 168 people in 2016-17 financial year, 327 people in 2017-18 financial year, 185 people in 2018-19 financial year, 443 pepole in 2019-20 financial year and 91 foreign tourists in 2020-21 financial year visited Sundarbans West Forest Department.
In March last year, the first case of corona virus was identified in the country. At one stage the entrance to the Sundarbans was closed. Later, from September 1 this year, the Sundarbans will be allowed to travel again.
On the occasion of `World Tourism Day-2021’, a discussion meeting was held in the conference room of Khulna Deputy Commissioner on Monday noon. Deputy Commissioner Md. Moniruzzaman Talukder was the chief guest. Speaking as the chief guest, he said that tourism makes people aware of history and heritage. Besides, tourism can make a special contribution to the economy. He also said that an effective plan is needed for eco-tourism in the Sundarbans.
The meeting was informed that world tourism had declined by 95 percent during the Corona period. In the 2016-17 financial year, a total of 222,018 domestic and foreign tourists traveled in the Sundarbans of Bangladesh and the government collected revenue of around Tk 1.96 crore from tourists.
Md. Abu Saleh, Assistant Conservator of Forests, Sundarbans West Forest Department, told this correspondent that tourists have been barred from entering the Sundarbans for a long time due to the corona. Tourists are being allowed to enter again from the 1st of this month. No foreign tourists have come yet.