Consultation Workshop with BIMSTEC on Tourism Strategy
25 Nov 2020
The Consultation Workshop with Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) on Tourism Strategy was held virtually on 25 November 2020. The workshop, organized by the Asian Development Bank, discussed “Leveraging Thematic Circuits for a BIMSTEC 2030 Strategy,” a study formulated to provide guidance for an action plan for advancing tourism in the region.
In his opening remarks, BIMSTEC Secretary General Mr. Tenzin Lekphell stated that while institutions, mechanisms, and policies are in place, implementation of programs and activities in the tourism sector had been slow. He urged member states to revisit and update the Plan of Action for Tourism, approved 14 years ago, to advance proposals regarding a BIMSTEC travel pass, visa exemption scheme, information center, and tourism fund.
- discussed the current status of tourism, measures taken to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, and action plans adopted to revitalize the tourism sector in the BIMSTEC subregion;
- highlighted the need for a strategic action plan for the subregion to aid post-COVID-19 recovery of the tourism sector, with a focus on sustainability, health, hygiene, and safety;
- discussed the need for stakeholders to explore new approaches to products and services to respond to an increased demand for wellness;
- discussed the need to explore new approaches to experiential, cultural, and ecological tourism; and
- agreed on the next steps of the study.
The meeting was attended by more than 40 participants from BIMSTEC member countries, comprised of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Thailand.