A stakeholder workshop was organized by the PPP Office jointly with Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation (BPC), the Implementing Agency for the proposed Development of Integrated Tourism and Entertainment Village at the Cox’s Bazar project on 26th February 2015 in Cox’s Bazar. The objective of the workshop was to create awareness on the project and to receive feedback from the local stakeholders on the proposed concept and structure. The workshop was organized at the Hotel Shaibal and was attended by members from government bodies, private sector and local industries.
The workshop was chaired by Dr. Md. Nasir Uddin, Joint Secretary and Director Commercial, BPC. At the outset, Md. Faruque Ahmed, General Manager, Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation, welcomed all attendees and provided a synopsis of the project. He highlighted the need for development of a world-class tourism complex in Cox’s Bazar, which can anchor the development of the region. Mr. Abul Bashar, Deputy Manager, PPP Office, Prime Minister’s Office spoke about the proposed implementation modality of the project on PPP basis. He also added that private sector participation is required for quality development of tourism in Cox’s Bazar and underlined the role of BPC and private sector in implementation of the project.
The Transaction Advisor of the project, Feeback Infra (P) Ltd. delivered a presentation outlining need for the project, its impact on regional development and socio-economic growth of Bangladesh and components of the proposed project. The strengths and opportunities of the project were particularly highlighted during the presentation. It was mentioned that Cox’s Bazar with its world’s longest uninterrupted beach front of 120 km and other mixes of eco-tourism and heritage tourist destinations offer unique attractiveness to both domestic and foreign tourists. It was particularly highlighted that apart from lack of standard accommodation facilities to support the influx of foreign tourists, currently, there is a dearth of activities for the tourists beyond a one or day period. Also, the quality of services needs significant improvement to attract larger volume of foreign tourists. In order to boost the concept and experience of the tourists visiting Cox’s Bazar, BPC has envisaged the development of an integrated tourism and entertainment village, spread over 98 acres of its land in the existing Shaibal hotel complex. The vision of BPC is to develop “An Iconic Tourism Project, acting as an Anchor to the development of Cox’s Bazar as a World-Class tourism destination, improving overall tourism quality of Cox’s Bazar.”
In the presentation, the proposed project was outlined as a mixed use development with focus on cultural wealth and diversity of Bangladesh. The project will include a cultural centre, comprising of museum, cultural promenade, live entertainment amphitheatre, amusement park, comprising both dry and wet sections, premium hotel & resort and retail promenade with food & beverage section. It is proposed to be implemented on a PPP basis and is envisaged to be the largest one-of-its kind tourism projects in Bangladesh.
The presentation was followed by a question-answer session where the participants raised some queries and also provided few suggestions on the concept and the Transaction Advisors addressed various queries on project impact and implementation. The discussion was followed by dinner and ended with a note of thanks delivered by the representative of the PPP Office.