Bangladesh and Sri Lanka are considering a ship service to promote regional tourism.

Dhaka-Colombo mulling to launch cruise service
Dhaka-Colombo mulling to launch cruise service

In order to promote travel between the two countries, a tourist agreement has been drafted, and it is expected to be approved in the not too distant future.

Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, according to media reports, are exploring the idea of establishing a cruise service between the two nations in order to enhance regional tourism.

According to BTB sources, the Bangladesh Tourism Board (BTB) recently organized a virtual conference with key stakeholders that was broadcast internationally.

Several countries have signed tourist memorandums of understanding (MoUs) with the Bangladesh Tourism Board, according to Dr. Jabed Ahmed, Chief Executive Officer of the Bangladesh Tourism Board. As part of our tourism engagement with Sri Lanka, we are also prepared to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the country.”

According to the author, one of the deal’s criteria would be the development of a cruise line as part of the blue economy. “When examining the cruise line’s financial feasibility, we may integrate India,” he asserts.

“If we succeed in building ocean cruises in the region,” he says, “other enterprises will seek to establish cruises in Bangladesh.”

According to the Sri Lankan daily Daily Mirror, an agreement was struck on November 1 at the Ministry of Tourism in Colombo at a meeting between Bangladesh High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Tareq Md Ariful Islam and Sri Lankan Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga. The encounter paved the way for the establishment of a cruise service linking the two countries.

The two nations agreed to sign a Memorandum of Understanding earlier this year during Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa’s visit to Bangladesh.

Tareq Md Ariful Islam stated that a draft of the tourist memorandum of understanding has been completed and would be signed shortly.

Sri Lankan Minister of Tourism Prasanna Ranatunga stated in a statement that regional forums such as the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation and the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation should pay greater attention to the South Asian tourism industry.

Additionally, he urged that a summit of South Asian tourism ministers should be convened to develop a unified tourism action plan for these countries.

Tareq Md Ariful Islam, Bangladesh’s High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, stated that the assistance of individuals working in the tourism industry in Sri Lanka is critical for the rebirth of Bangladesh’s tourism industry, and he requested the assistance of the Sri Lankan tourism minister in this endeavor, which he received.

Sri Lanka is prepared to take the initiative at any time, Prime Minister Prasanna Ranatunga stated.

With the support of the Bangladeshi tourism business, Journey Plus, the first-ever international cruise ship visit to Bangladesh was slated for 2017, followed by a second visit in 2019.

“We surmounted several difficulties in order to establish Bangladesh as a global cruise destination,” says Tawfiq Rahman, Journey Plus’ CEO. Despite our best efforts, we were unable to enlist the authorities’ cooperation. As a result, we took no further measures to plan a visit of this nature beyond 2019.”

This year, Journey Plus hosted the ‘Silversea Discover Expeditions,’ which brought 162 international visitors from 17 different nations to Maheshkhali Island and the Sundarbans in Bangladesh. They were on board the Asia Expedition Cruise from Colombo to Kolkata at the time.

Journey Plus struggled for years to persuade Silversea, a luxury cruise line headquartered in Monaco, to this region and build new routes that included Bangladesh.

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