Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Travel: There, and back again

Faisal Mahmud

Tour packages are hot on the Eid shopping list this year
Even the dilapidated highways and lack of tickets couldn’t curb the enthusiasm of travel-minded Dhakaites. After all, Eid, with its week-long vacation is a grand occasion to escape from the mad rush of the city.
Officials of travel agencies said packages for Cox’s Bazaar have remained as popular as ever and according to estimates by different travel agencies, over 60,000 people from the capital will visit the beaches this year.
Minhaz Uddin of Starline tours and travels said that they have sold more than 300 tour packages to Cox’s Bazaar and 70 more to Sundarban. “Its not only the locals, but lots of foreigners are also visiting these places,” he said.
He said that despite rainy season, most of the hotels of Cox’s Bazaar are booked. “Cox’s Bazaar is the most popular tourist destination in the country and it is in everyone’s list as a first choice on any occasion,” said Minhaz.
Shumon Hemayetul Islam, manager (operations) of Foring-The Travellers said their Eid package is completely booked. The tour operator which recently became famous for offering weekend trips to Dhakaites now has its package for ‘Beautiful Sylhet’ on offer.
“We look after the utmost comfort of the people who take our trip. So we cater to a small number of people. There are lots of operators offering tour packages to Cox’s Bazaar or Sundarban. We preferred to take the road less travelled.”
Islam said, in their package, tourists will visit some of the hidden treasures of the Sylhet region, including Bichanakandi, Pangtumai and Ratargul. “We just don’t offer tour packages to make profit; our vision is to promote the lesser known but beautiful places of the country. Eid is a great opportunity to so that as many people prefer to utilise the Eid vacation in travelling.”
Meanwhile, all the bus tickets of September 1 and 2 of S. Alam Paribahan and Dolphin Paribahan’s Dhaka-Bandarban route are sold out before mid-August. “For the last five years, each and every ticket to Bandarban for the two after days after Eid-ul Fitr have been sold out, as young people go to Bandarban during Eid vacation for trekking and adventure,” Monsur, counter manager at Dolphin Paribahan said.
Mohammad Golam Morshed, a private bank employee was found looking for a ticket to Bandarban. “My Eid celebration begins on the day after, when I, along with my trekking buddies head towards the hills of Bandarban,” said Morshed.
“My job is very hectic so Eid vacation is my getaway from all the mundane things that I have been doing on a regular basis.”
Meanwhile, cashing in on the young and upwardly mobile crowd, several travel agencies in the city are selling a good number of foreign packages at a discounted rate.
Dipon Ahmed, chief marketing officer of HRC Travels, said: “This year we have already sold 164 packages on the Dhaka-Katmandu-Dhaka route and 118 for Dhaka-Bangkok-Phuket-Pattaya-Dhaka.”
Ashraf Emon, accounts manager of Amazing Tours and Travel said that their Dhaka-Bangkok-Dhaka and Dhaka-Kualalampur-Dhaka packages, at a rate of Tk24,000 and Tk30,000, have proven to be major hits.
“We have sold hundreds of those packages,” he said.
Things to consider when planning a vacation:
  • Where to stay?
  • What to eat?
  • Is the destination safe?
According to the Tourist Plus website, before going to any place, eight aspects have to be kept in mind:
  • local security: safety of the tourist spot; risks associated with sightseeing
  • food
  • accommodation
  • transport
  • medical facilities for tourists
  • availability of technology
  • time management.

Shared From: http://www.dhakatribune.com/weekend/2015/jul/16/travel-there-and-back-again

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