Tourist-less Cox’s Bazar on 31st Night!...

Tourist-less Cox’s Bazar on 31st Night!

 HM Faridul Alam Shaheen, Cox’s Bazar

 Published: 06:44 PM, 31 December 2021   Updated: 06:44 PM, 31 December 2021

Tourists did not flock to Cox’s Bazar beach to watch the last sunset of the year

Tourists did not flock to Cox’s Bazar beach to watch the last sunset of the year

Every year, on the 31st Night (December 31), the tourist city of Cox’s Bazar attracts a large number of tourists to bid farewell to the old year and welcome the New Year. However, this year, there is no event organized in Cox’s Bazar on the occasion of 31st Night, as a result, the presence of tourists is very less than the other years. This year’s 31st Night is “unprecedented” in the history of Cox's Bazar, commented concerns.

Cox’s Bazar is without a tourist despite the busy season and the last day of the year due to some isolated incidents including “food prices, rape and snatching”, tourism concerned also commented.

Leaders of the hotel-owners’ association say “most of the rooms were not booked” even at the end of the year. But in the past, 95 percent of the rooms would have been booked in advance. 

They have raised two issues for this situation — propaganda about food prices and gang rape to a female tourist.

Cox’s Bazar is not crowded even in the busy season

The district administration and law enforcement say they are “embarrassed” by some of the “isolated” incidents. However, they are working to build a tourist-friendly Cox’s Bazar.

A tourist couple from Dhaka said whenever they got a vacation, they went straight to Cox’s Bazar without going anywhere else. But this year, they did not want to come after seeing some “sensational” reports on the news media. “We want safe Cox's Bazar. Those concerned should be more careful in this regard,” they added.

Tourists did not flock to Cox’s Bazar beach to watch the last sunset of the year

Abu Taleb, manager of Hotel Cox Todd, said 95 percent of the rooms were rented in advance around the 31st Night before the COVID period. “This year, we expected the same, however, we see a decline in the trend of tourist arrivals,” he also said, adding “those are calling, first want to know about the security system.”

Kalim Ullah, general secretary of the Cox’s Bazar Hotel-Motel Guest House Officers’ Association, said the “wrong message of overcharging” and “gang rape case” had done a “great disservice” to tourism. Traders were in constant losses due to the COVID pandemic situation. “In the season full of such incidents, we are not even getting 50 percent booking - which is unprecedented in the history of Cox’s Bazar,” he added.

Tourist police claim that there are less tourists in Cox’s Bazar this year as there was no event organized on the occasion of 31st Night

“Our rooms have been rented much less than in other years,” said Shah Newaz, manager of Hotel Grand Beach. “Hopefully, when the situation calms down everything will be normal.”

According to Cox’s Bazar Municipality, about four and a half lakh people live in the district. Apart from this, about five thousand foreigners working in hundreds of international and domestic donor agencies are living here temporarily. 64 ultramodern CCTV cameras have been installed at various places in the city for the permanent and temporary safety of tourists.

Cox’s Bazar Tourist Police’s Additional Superintendent of Police Mohiuddin Ahmed said there were fewer tourists on the beach as there was no event on the 31st. However, there has been some arrival of local tourists. Even then, the adequate tourist police are deployed for the safety of tourists.

Cox’s Bazar Additional Superintendent of Police (Administration) Rafiqul Islam said, “We are working along with the tourist police in the beach and tourist zone. We have arrested several accused in isolated incidents. However, work is underway to find a way out of this situation.”

Cox’s Bazar DC Mamunur Rashid said there was no event organized in this year’s 31st Night. We have taken seven steps to improve the quality of tourism services. Concerned parties have been instructed to prevent any untoward incident.