Atikur Rahman, a banker, and his wife visited international tourism fair ‘Biman-Dhaka Travel Mart-2024’ on the concluding day on Saturday.
They were looking around different pavilions and trying to choose packages offered by tour operators and airlines.
Atikur told The Business Post that they have married recently and planned to travel abroad. So, they came here to know about travel packages as it will help them take decision.
A businessperson named Salam bought 10 tickets from Biman Bangladesh Airlines at a big discount. He was very happy to get around Tk 35,000 to Tk 37,000 discount.
Not only Atikur and Salam but many others also visited the three-day travel fair which was held at the ballroom of Sonargaon Hotel in Dhaka.
The organisers claimed that around 15,000 to 17,000 people visited the fair and tour operators and airlines had business of over Tk 15 crore.
The organiser of the fair and editor of The Bangladesh Monitor Kazi Wahidul Alam told The Business Post that the tourism industry is booming. “But unfortunately, we are not getting benefit from it. Our neighbouring countries, including Nepal, Bhutan, Maldives, Sri Lanka, and India, are all getting benefits. Due to our policies and lack of initiative, we are lagging behind, but we have potential.”
“Hotels, resorts and airlines are highlighted through organising such fair. Tour operators and airlines have benefited here through marketing and branding and customers get a variety of benefits. By doing this, both sides are in a win-win situation,” he added.
Kazi Wahidul Alam also said that they are marketing and branding tourism and airlines business through this fair. About 15-17 thousand visitors came to this fair.
Tour operators and airlines who participated in the fair said that Tk 15 crore worth of products was sold in this fair.
Dollar crunch and jet fuel price and travel tax hikes have put air travel out of reach in recent times. It has increased the price by 10-20 per cent depending on the routes. The domestic airlines offered 12-15 per cent discount at Dhaka Travel Mart.
US-Bangla Airlines General Manager (Marketing Support and Public Relations) Kamrul Islam told The Business Post that they usually promote their products in such travel fairs. “We inform visitors about upcoming routes and various tour packages through this fair.”
He said that they were also selling packages in instalments. “That's why many middle-class people are interested in traveling through this system. We got good response at this fair.”
Shafiul Azim, Managing Director and CEO of Biman Bangladesh Airlines, the title sponsor of the fair, told The Business Post that middle class families want to go on vacation. “We gave them a chance. We offer 15 per cent discount on every route. We got a huge response.”
He also said that Biman's sponsorship of this fair was a branding and marketing strategy. “We know that money brings money. Our tourism and aviation are growing sectors. Now is the high time to invest here. If we don't do this, returns will not come in that sense. We are getting good returns by investing here. We have sold tickets worth about Tk 3 crore at this fair.”