Tourism minister Rashed Khan Menon said Thursday Bangladesh could work with India to promote the World Heritage Site Sundarbans Mangrove Forest as 35 per cent of it is located in West Bengal.
This will further advance the Bangladesh tourism sector, the minister said.
Bangladesh has already taken steps to work with West Bengal and Tripura for the tourism development of Bangladesh. Among those, a facility has been created to travel various tourist attractions of India by waterway from the Sundarbans via West Bengal.
He was speaking at the inaugural session of a three-day "Biman Bangladesh Travel and Tourism Fair (BBTTF)" as the chief guest in the city's Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC).
A total of 13 countries have been participating in the fair to help boost the tourism sector.
Tour Operators Association of Bangladesh (TOAB) has organised the 7th edition of the event in partnership with the national flag carrier Biman Bangladesh Airlines.
"Tourism generates employment opportunities along with economic development. So, we have to develop skilled workforce for the tourism sector," Menon said.
Referring to the successful arrangement of recent IPU conference in Dhaka, Menon said: "There is no doubt that foreign tourists would visit Bangladesh."
He laid emphasis on branding Bangladesh tourism abroad. Some 50 exhibitors from 13 countries, especially from South and South-East Asia, are showcasing their offer and packages for in and outbound travelers.
The participating countries are: Bhutan, Nepal, Singapore, Thailand, Myanmar, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the Philippines, Turkey, Cambodia, India and host Bangladesh.
Tour operators of Indian Assam, West Bengal, Odisha, Kashmir and Tripura states would also take part in the fair.
West Bengal tourism minister Goutam Deb and Secretary AK Battachariya attended the inaugural ceremony as the guests of honour.
Tourism Secretary SM Golam Farooque, Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation Chairman Aparup Chowdhury, Bangladesh Tourism Board CEO Dr Nasir Uddin, Biman Bangladesh Airlines CEO AM Mossaddique Ahmed, Master Card Country Head Syed Mohammad Kamal and TOAB President Toufiq Uddin Ahmed were also present.
Apart from the tour and travel operators, airlines, local and international hotels and resorts, banks, liberation war museum, educational institutions as well as Nepal Tourism Board, Nepal Association of Tour and Travel Agents (NATTA) and Tourism Authority of Thailand are also attending the fair. In the three-day BBTTF, several seminars would be organised to materialise the scopes and potentialities of the country for tourism sector.
On the first day, a seminar titled "National Crisis: Tourism and Role of Stakeholders" was held while another seminar "Regional Tourism Initiative: what Next?" would take place on the second day and "Young Tourism Professional: Future Face of Bangladesh" on the final day.
The BBTTF will remain open for visitors from 10am to 8pm until April 22 and the entry fee is Tk 30.