Vol. 5 Num 926 Sat. January 06, 2007  

Record number of tourists flock to Rangamati

A record number of tourists have thronged here to enjoy the beauty of the hill town during the Eid holidays.

Tourists from Dhaka, Chittagong and other parts of the country started flocking here since the first day of the week-long Eid vacation.

At least 12,000 tourists arrived here everyday during the last couple of days, sources in Bangladesh Porjatan Corporation (BPC) said. They booked different residential hotels, motels and guest houses resulting in brisk business by their owners.

During a visit to two private tourist spots, Peda-Ting-Ting and Tuk-Tuk-Eco-Village this correspondent found a large number of visitors and tourists roaming there.

On contact, BPC manager Sunirmol Talukder said to this correspondent that all of their motels having a capacity of 62 people each are booked by tourists.

'I have never seen such onrush of tourists in my lifetime,' he said, adding we have earned a lot of money during the last six days (January 1-6). We earned about Tk 3 lakh in the last five days from January 1 to 5, he said. I am optimistic that we shall be able to earn over Tk 2 lakh in the coming three days, Sunirmol said further.

However, Yasifuzzaman, a tourist who came here with his family from Mohammadpur, Dhaka, expressed disappointment saying BPC did not build any recreation centre for the tourists. But he praised the panoramic beauty of Rangamati.

Another tourist, Salma Rahman who came here with her husband, five-year-old son and other family members from Gulshan, Dhaka, expressed her satisfaction over the arrangements. She said that everything is all right. But she expressed her unhappiness due to the two-day countrywide blockade programme called by Awami League led grand alliance on January 7-8. The blockade compels her to return to Dhaka sooner, she said.

BPC leaseholder Mosu said we could not satisfy the tourists for not being able to provide sufficient boats to them. At present, there are only 60 tourist boats, he said. We have taken double the rent of boats from tourists, he said further.

Goutam Dewan, owner of Peda-Ting-Ting, a private tourist spot, said we incurred loses during the last one month due to lack of tourists. But now the situation has reversed and we earned a good profit, he said.

'Our three 14-bed cottages, Tannyabi, Radhamon and Dhanpudi were fully booked since the Eid day,' he said.

Saiful Islam, owner of Sufia Hotel said a good number of tourists arrived here to enjoy the Eid holidays, but they are leaving before the nationwide blockade.

'More tourists might have come here if the political situation remained stable', he said.

Tourists enjoying the beauty of Rangamati hill town from the 'Hanging Bridge' of Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation. A record number of tourists thronged here during the week-long Eid holidays. PHOTO: STAR