Pata’s Bangladesh chapter has sought government support in the immediate aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic
More than three lakh tourism workers in the country may lose their jobs by June this year due to the coronavirus situation.
The Pacific Asia Travel Association's (Pata) Bangladesh chapter made the estimation after consulting with industry insiders.
It also estimates that the total turnover of the industry will be around Tk9,705 crore until June.
The association submitted the estimations in a letter to the state minister for civil aviation and tourism, Md Mahbub Ali, on Wednesday and demanded incentives for the sector.
The letter was signed by Shahid Hamid, chairman of Pata's Bangladesh chapter and executive director of Hotel Regency.
It said the tourism industry had come to a grinding halt as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
"Hundreds of travel and tour companies will close, a significant number of small hotels, motels, resorts, and restaurants will shut down, and thousands of people will be jobless in the aftermath of the pandemic," read the letter.
Toufiq Rahman, secretary-general of Pata's Bangladesh chapter, said the data in the letter had been prepared on the basis of the best available information from and within the industry.
"We have consulted with representatives of the private airlines, hotels, resorts, travel agents, tour operators and transport services directly involved in tourism," said Toufiq, who is also the chief executive of the tour operator company Journey Plus.
He said around 309,500 people in the industry might lose their jobs although total industry losses had not been estimated.
Pata's Bangladesh chapter has sought government support in the immediate aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic.
"Being an emerging sector, we would like to request Tk1,000 crore in incentives for hotels, motels, resorts, restaurants, tour operators, tourist vehicles and vessels and private airlines," it was mentioned in the letter.
"We request another Tk2,000 crore in interest-free loans, and that our utility bills be waived until the resumption of operations."
According to the Tour Operators Association of Bangladesh (Toab), around five lakh people are employed in the tourism sector.
Earlier, Toab feared that 20-30 percent of the employees would lose their jobs because of the impact of coronavirus.
Masud Hossain, managing director of Bengal Tours and also a member of Toab, said direct and indirect employment totals around 10 lakh in the tourism and hospitality sector.
"We estimate that one-third of them may lose their jobs," he said.
Founded in 1951, Pata is a non-profit association that is internationally acclaimed for acting as a catalyst for the responsible development of travel and tourism to, from and within the Asia Pacific region.