Tourism sector in Bangladesh has experienced massive growth in recent years. Majority of growth is contributed by local tourists. It is believed to be a major tourist destination if properly advertised. Nonetheless, few government and private initiatives have been taken to attract foreign tourists.
Though small in area, Bangladesh is quite rich in heritage with numerous historical and archeological sites. It has the longest natural unbroken sea beach and five World Heritage Sites. Among those are famous eighty one domed Shat Gombuj Mosque in Bagerhat, made by great Muslim saint Khan Jahan Ali in the 15th century; world’s largest Mangrove forest Sundarbans which is also renowned for its world famous Royal Bengal Tiger.
There are several exotic archaeological sites in the northern parts of Bangladesh, including the temple city Puthia in Rajshahi; the largest and most ancient archaeological site, Mahasthangarh in Bogra; Among the best known Buddhist viharas in the Indian Subcontinent and one of the most important archaeological sites in the country, Paharpur in Naogaon, declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985; Kantaji Temple, the most ornamental terracota Hindu temple in Bangladesh and many rajbaris or palaces of old zamindars.
In the north-eastern parts of Bangladesh, is a favorite hub because of its wide range of natural diversity consisting of green carpet of tea plants on small hillocks, natural falls and haors. Natural reserved Lauchara forest is also a great attraction. Migratory birds in winter, particularly in the haor areas, are also very attractive in this area.
Bangladesh government is planning for construction of the largest deep sea port in South Asia at Sonadia Island. The 500 billion taka project will be completed in multiple phases and enable Bangladesh to service the whole region as a maritime transport and logistics hub. India, China, Bhutan, Nepal and other neighboring countries will be able to take full advantage of the strategic location and Bangladesh’s LDC status for exporting their goods, which are manufactured in Bangladesh.
Furthermore, with $7.5 billion a new international airport will be constructed. The airport is being modeled on Thailand’s Suvarnabhumi Airport in size and capacity.
To ease the chaotic traffic congestion in the capital Dhaka the government plans to construct more expressways, freeways, flyovers. There is a plan to build an overhead Rapid transit called Dhaka Metro, but the progress is slow and controversial because of contracts and agreements.
Recently the government of Bangladesh signed a deal with a Chinese company to provide high-speed modern DEMU trains and is also going to construct metro rail system and high-speed electric powered intercity rail network. More airports, bridge (such as the multi-billion Padma Bridge project) national highways are also being constructed to facilitate trade and regional development.