Toab seeks financial assistance from the government to cover the business losses
The tourism sector of Bangladesh will incur a loss of around Tk5,700 crore due to the outbreak of Covid-19, Tour Operators Association of Bangladesh (Toab) forecasts.
Toab President Md Rafeuzzaman, in a letter sent to civil aviation and tourism ministry senior secretary Mohibul Haque on Monday, sought financial assistance from the government to cover the business losses.
Toab also put forward some recommendations -- emergency, short and long term -- before the government for the country's tourism sector.
"Around 40 lakh people are employed in the sector which includes tour operators, travel agents, hotels, motels, resorts, airlines, transportation, cruising and guiding of tourists. We have estimated the losses of around Tk5,700 crore after consulting the members concerned," read the letter.
Md Rafeuzzaman said, "We have estimated the losses for the period between January and December this year. We urge the government to give immediate financial assistance to Toab members."
"The prime minister has announced a Tk30,000 crore support package for affected industries and service sector organizations. Low-interest loans as working capital will be distributed under the financial assistance package-1. As a service sector, we want the loan for the next two years in easy terms", he added.
Toab also recommended making sufficient allocations for the tourism and hospitality sector for the next three fiscal years and demanded a VAT waiver for the industry players.
"If any member of Toab dies of Covid-19 we demand Tk30-35 lakh for his/her family," read the Toab letter.
The government should create a fund of Tk500 crore for the branding and publicity of the tourism sector as a long term initiative, it added.
Earlier, Toab expressed its fear that 20-30 percent of tourism employees might lose their job due to Covid-19.