Seminar on ‘Sustainable Tourism: Practices and Lessons’

AIUB’s HTM Department has organized its second seminar this semester under the title ‘Sustainable Tourism: Practices and Lessons’ that took place on the 23rd in our Auditorium. Our guest speaker was Mrs Majbritt Thomsen, originator and owner of the Online Views on Tourism Project (www.viewsontourism.info). She has written academic papers, technical reports and conducted research on tourism issues extensively. She is also a consultant to a member of projects. Please check her site online for more info.

Mrs Thomsen has dealt on important issues in today’s tourism development with many examples and lessons that we can learn. Important point raised was that we should not always blame and wait for government to do things, but tour operators and other organizations in tourism, and also the tourists themselves, can do many things to achieve sustainability of our present tourism resources. We can achieve this through awareness campaigns and education. The actions should  involve keeping the tourism related areas, free from pollution and other hazards,  limit  unplanned development for the sake of tourism, which is already happening in Cox’s bazaar, and  involvement of local population in implementing tourism activities where developments are taking place.

As a foreigner in Bangladesh, Mrs Thomsen has pointed out the types of tourism that foreigners really are looking for when they come to Bangladesh: Cultural tourism, Nature tourism, Heritage tourism, Religious tourism, Volunteer tourism, Pro-poor tourism, Adventure tourism, and just to see everyday life of Bangladeshis. And that our Sundarbans is very likely to become one of the sustainable world icons but not Cox’s Bazar and St Martin as people normally think in Bangladesh.

The seminar was attended by several guests from other organisations, such as Bangladesh Tourism Foundation, Dhaka University and www.tobangladesh.com site. Our honorable Dean Dr Charles C Villanueva opened the ceremony with his inspiring and motivational speech, and after the formalities of presenting the certificates of appreciation & tokens, the seminar continued for another hour with more questions and comments from students and guests of the seminar. Thanks to Mr. Ehsanul Huda Chowdhury, Department Head, faculty members & Mr. Mostofa Jaman, Junior Executive, for their sincere support & providing logistics. For any more information regarding HTM Major or tourism issues please contact Mrs Nozima Saidkasimova, faculty of HTM at snozima@aiub.edu.