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Topic: Attractive Tourist Destination: marketing Plan : A study on Sylhet

Introduction
Bangladesh is a country of natural beauty. She is blessed with endowment of almighty. The
seven Bangladeshi Division offers both individually and combining a variety of natural and
cultural destinations suitable for tourist attractions Tourism is one of the fastest growing and
single largest industries in the world. The contribution of tourism industry in the global as well
as individual perspective is really amazing. Many countries of the world at present depend
mainly on tourism as a major source of foreign exchange earning.
Sylhet is a major city in north-eastern Bangladesh and it was granted metropolitan city status in
March 2009. Sylhet is located on the northern bank of the Surma River and is surrounded by the
Jaintia, Khasi and Tripura hills. The city is approaching a population of 500,000 people and
when the population growth is compared with other parts of Bangladesh, Sylhet has low
population growth and density.[citation needed] It is one of the largest cities in Bangladesh. The
Sylhet region is well known for its Hills, hillock, tea gardens, waterfall, forests, beautiful tea
plantations and lots of Haors and for that Sylhet is always a favorite tourist spot to the people.
The duty of proper authority is to make it handy for the interest group both from home and
abroad. Mere some initiatives can prove all these potentialities as a fruitful dream. Proper
nurturing of natural beauty can attract people from across the world.

2.1 Places of Interest in Sylhet
Jaflong
Jaflong is one of the most attractive tourist spots in Sylhet division. It's about 60 km far from
Sylhet town and takes two hours drive to reach there. Jaflong is also a scenic spot nearby amidst
tea gardens and rate beauty of rolling stones from hills. It is situated besides the river Mari in the
lap of Hill Khashia.
River of Jaflong The Mari river is coming from the great Himalayas of India, which bringing
million tons of stone boulders with its tide. You can watch the stone collection from the river in
Jaflong as well as you can enjoy the boating in the river Mari. Jaflong is totally a hilly area of
real natural beauty where hills are greenish with the forests.
Lots of wild animal lives in this forest, so you need to be careful to enter in the forest alone. You
can see the lifestyle of Tribe Khashia in Jaflong. If you intend to visit Jaflong it is advisable to
start from Sylhet in the early morning so that you can comeback by evening covering the other
tourists spots of nearby areas of Jaflong. The other tourist areas nearby Jaflong are Tamabil,
Sripur and Jaintapur.
Sripur
Sripur is another beautiful tourist spot where you can see the waterfall with great tide falling
form the hills. Besides the enchanting views of the area, one can also have a glimpse of the
waterfalls across the border of India. Very Big stones sometimes are coming in this waterfall in
Sripur. After completion of visiting Jaflong and Tamabil you must visit Sripur on the way to go
back to Sylhet. It's only 7-8km from Jaflong on the same road to Sylhet a sub road entered into
Sripur waterfall. Here you can see the stone collection and orange garden if you go inside Sripur
crossing the hills.

The Shrine of Hazrat Shah Jalal
Shrine of Saint Hazrat Shah Jalal is the most historical interest in Sylhet town. Today, more than
six hundred years after his death, the shrine is visited by innumerable devotees of every caste and
creed, who make the journey from far away places. Legend says, the great saint who came from
Delhi to preach Islam and defeated the then Hindu Raja (king) Gour Gobinda, transformed the
witchcraft followers of the Raja into catfishes which are still alive in the tank adjacent to the
shrine Swords, the holy Quran and the robes of the holy saint are still preserved in the shrine.

Tamabil
Tamabil is the border area with India and is 05 km before Jaflong. If you intend to visit Shilong
of India then one will have to cross this border by completing your customs formalities.
Jointapur's Rajbari
Jaintiapur is only 5 km. from Jaflong, a scenic spot amidst tea gardens. At about 35 km.
northwest of Sylhet town, linked by rail, road and river is Chhatak, the seat of Assam Bengal
Cement Factory, Chhatak is famous for orange garden. After complete Sripur on the way back to
Sylhet don't miss to visit Jointika in Jointapur. Jaintapur was the capital of Jainta Kingdome at
18th century. Jainta Rajbari was the palace of Kings of Jainta, it's just adjacent of Jainta Bazar.
Though the condition of this king's palace is already damaged enormously but a huge number of
tourists visit here due to the historical background of Jainta Kingdom.
A lots of picnic parties goes to Jaintapur forests and also other areas of Jaflong, Sripur and
Tamabil to enjoy a full day in the nature. So if you are planning to visit Jaflong you must cover
up all these four places at a time and by the evening you come back to Sylhet for your night stay.
Generally winter is the best season to visit Jaflong but if you want to enjoy the real beauty of
wild waterfall then you should visit Jaflong in Monsoon.
Temple of Sri Chaitannya Dev
About 500 years old famous about 45 km southeast from Sylhet town. The place is revered from
being the ancestral home of the famous Vaishnava saint. Yearly fair is organized on the full
moon day of the Bangla month Falgun. Hundreds and thousands of devotees from home and
abroad attend this colorful fair.
Shahi Eidgah
Three kilometers to the north-east of the circuit house, the Shahi Eidgah was built on a hill by the
Mughal Emperor Aurangazeb in the 17th century. It looks like a grade fort but is actually meant
for Eid congregations, the two biggest Muslim festivals.
Lala Khal
This wide canal is a common tourist destination as the water here appears in different colors at
different points.
The Museum of Raja
Located at the heart of Sylhet, the museum's mission is to preserve and share the rich history of
the great Mystic poet Dewan Hasan Raja.
Tilagarh EcoPark
Located about 6 km from Sylhet city. It is a tropical evergreen and semi-evergreen bio-
geographic zone.
Tribal Village
Several aboriginal tribes live high up on the hills and practice age-old rituals, customs and
traditions. With prior permissions it is possible to visit them during yearly festival periods. The
Manipuri Tribe is famous for dancing, singing and traditional weaving and the Khashia tribe is
famous for betel leaf cultivation.
Malinicherra Tea Garden
A very old tea garden established during 1854. It was the first tea gardens of Bangladesh.
2.2 Attractions
Manipuri Dance
An interesting feature of Sylhet region is the lifestyle of tribes such as the Tipperas, the
Monipuris, Khasis and Garos who still live in their primitive ways in the hills, practicing their
age-old rites, rituals, customs and traditions. During festivals such as, Rash Leela (Full-moon
night in February) and Doljatra, the attractive young girls dressed in colorful robes, dance with
the male members of their choice & love. The Monipuris perform their famous dance, based on
allegorical love themes of the ancient mythology.







3.1 Present Condition of the Tourism Industry of Sylhet
Infrastructure facilities
Infrastructure facilities are not adequate for the tourism sector in Sylhet. Infrastructure, such as
accommodation facilities are not satisfactory in Sylhet. Some accommodations are highly
expensive and are not affordable by average domestic and international tourists and some are in
poor condition. Transportation linkage to different tourism spots by road, rail, air and water is
not efficient. A master plan of national transportation network is seemingly not in place
supporting the national tourism policy and existing tourism attractions of the country. A brief
description of the transportation facilities and the accommodation facilities are given below
Transportation Facilities
A precondition of tourism industry is good transportation. In Sylhet , there are adequate public
transport systems, but most of the roads to the tourist spot was not good. The condition of the
road in the rainy season becomes more worst. So for that after arriving Sylhet, it becomes
difficult for the tourists to reach in targeted destinations. If some vehicles could be introduced,
for the newly tourist spot, tourists could communicate and hire those vehicles which could
reduce their pain and costs during tour.
Accommodations for Tourists
For tremendous progress in tourism industry, a parallel linkage development in accommodation
facilities is utmost necessity. The hotel business in Bangladesh is being flourished major tourist
spot like Coxs Bazar and other important tourism city. But in Sylhet there is lack of high quality
accommodation facilities. There is only one 5 star hotel in Sylhet named Rose View.
Security for Tourists
Security is another important aspect for the development of tourism industry. For ensuring safety
and security of tourists, a new wing of Bangladesh Police has started to serve. Moreover, mass
people of Bangladesh have to come forward to ensure the security of foreign tourists and tourist
from different region of Bangladesh. In Sylhet in every tourist spot, local people act as a tourist
guide and also helped people in many ways.

Tourist Operators and Tourist Guide
There are so many tour operator businesses in Bangladesh. They arrange different tour packages.
Some mentionable tour operator is The Guide Tours Ltd., Himalayan Travel and Tourism,
Journey Plus, Ras Holiday, River and Green Tours, Saint Martin Tourism Ltd., Speed Holidays,
Unique Tours & Travels and Mangrove Tourism mentionable. Availability of tourist operator
and guide may encourage tourists to tour around the country. Availability of tour operators and
guide may encourage people for tourism. In Sylhet there is a lack of tourist operators and tourist
guide. So that, people from other region and other country face some problem while they are
visiting Sylhet.

4.1 Recommendation to Improve Tourist Attraction
A study recommends that Bangladesh should ensure proper maintenance of the archaeological,
historical and natural spots (Ali & Mohsin, 2009). This is quite applicable in case of Sylhet. It
contains adequate resources but the proper integration, presentation, and communication are
required. The respondents believe that there is enough room for development of tourism sector of
Sylhet. To attract tourist in the region, along with the the Government initiatives The Local
authorities may also take some steps to make the tourist spot of Sylhet lucrative and attractive to
the tourist of other region and to the foreign tourist. Local Authorities like Sylhet City
Corporation take some steps in this regard. They can some marketing plan to market the tourist
spot of Sylhet. These are described below:
Building network: In Bangladesh, though there are some tour operators organizations, their
level of reciprocal cooperation is very limited. The connections with the operators of
neighbouring countries are very weak. A tour operator said, all over the world, the practice of
networking is being effectively used by the tourism stakeholders but we have failed to create it
with the neighbouring countries. For promoting Sylhet increasing network with UK, China,
India, Nepal, Maldives can really be helpful.
Re-organizing the resources: The tourism resources, transport facilities, accommodations all
are available in Sylhet but those facilities should be integrated properly to offer tourism products
of this region. For example, bus runs between Sylhet City and Jaflong regularly but the schedules
are not designed according to the convenience of the tourists. On the other hand, there are so
many quality hotels in the district headquarters but not available near to the attractive spots like
Madhobkunda or Jaflong. So, re-organizing the tourism resources into tourism supplies can add
much value.
Establishing information centers: A good number of tourists appear in Sylhet City at each
weekend to say prayers to the shrines. There is no particular place where they can ask for useful
information so that the leisure time can be used more efficiently. For this, they simply walk
around the shrines or pass idle time in the hotel room. To expedite the trend of touring,
establishing information centers can really be helpful. Initially at least two information center
can be established in Dhaka and Sylhet. A tourism researcher said, theoretically Bangladesh
Tourism Board should do it but if they are reluctant, the SylhetCity Corporation should do it. At
least having a center near the shrine of Hazrat Shahjalal (R) can add much value to the tourism
promotion of Sylhet.
Regular promotion on domestic and international media: All over the world, the local
governments are much powerful and generally they promote their own tourism products to earn
much revenue and boost name and fame. In Bangladesh, the trend of centralization is practiced
highly and the local governments are unable to do so. Sylhet can start this venture. Regular
promotion of tourism products in local and international media has a great and positive impact.
Especially promotion through the UK based Bengali channels (e.g. channel S, Bangla TV) can
play significant role.
Improving local transportation system: There are adequate public transport systems
throughout the region. The quality of road, rail and air communication is also comparatively
better. After arriving Sylhet, it becomes difficult for the tourists to reach in targeted destinations.
If some vehicles could be introduced, tourists could communicate and hire those vehicles which
could reduce their pain and costs during tour.
Organizing events, festivals: New urban generations are being deprived from the traditional
fairs and exhibitions of Bangladesh. In the developed countries, there are schedules for fairs and
exhibitions throughout the year. In Sylhet, some fairs and exhibitions can be arranged which will
present the heritage of this area as well as attract the tourists from different parts of the country.
For example, this region is very famous for folk and spiritual songs; a three day long Folk
festival can be arranged each year so that performers and audiences can attend and contribute.
Like this, annual exhibition can be arranged for the hand-made products of the ethnic groups
(e.g. Monipuri, Khasia) of this region. Kite festivals, sports tournaments, food festival etc can
really attract tourists from home and abroad if the events are managed and promoted properly to
the target groups.
Removing Bureaucratic Barriers and Corruption
Bureaucratic barriers has made the progress of Bangladesh slower and in some sectors, growth is
almost negative. Corruption is pervasive. Getting any approval, giving speed money is must.
Discriminatory power of the Government officials encourages them to be corrupt and whimsical.
Implementation of Tribal Tourism
A large number of tribal population lives in Sylhet. They have completely different culture and
life style. Many curious tourists interested in their culture and life style may be attracted by
promoting tribal tourism.

Conclusion
Since tourism is a profitable sector, in the long run, sustainable tourism development in the
country as well as in Sylhet may be possible through adopting appropriate policies and strategies,
knowledge sharing and cooperation. The prominence of the great spiritual leaders, natural
resources, investment opportunities, immigration and media issues everything can be helpful to
brand this city successfully. To expand tourism in Sylhet, new destinations based on regional
settings should be identified and preserved for developing attractive tourism sites both for
domestic and foreign tourists. Such places should be kept free from any illegal encroachment,
chaos and pollution. The success of tourism development depends, however, on the cooperation
of various players involved in the sector from public and private sectors. If the policymakers take
proper steps and encourage private initiatives with the public ventures, within few years Sylhet
might achieve a distinguished brand image as a successful tourism destination in home and
abroad.

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