Cox’s Bazar sea beach suddenly teeming with tourists

Tourists throng on sea beach at Sugandha Point in Cox’s Bazar on 25 Saturday 2023.
Prothom Alo

More than 200,000 tourists visited the seaside town of Cox’s Bazar over the last weekend, hoteliers said on Sunday.

Cox’s Bazar Hotel Owners’ Association general secretary Selim Malik told Prothom Alo there had been no rush of tourists in Cox’s Bazar over the past 10-15 days with 5-10 thousands tourists arriving in beach town daily.

Then a sudden rush of tourists began on 24 February with at least 50,000 tourists arriving at Cox’s Bazar while at least 200,000 tourists arrived over the following two days, he added.

The number of tourist will begin to decline after they will start leaving the town from Sunday afternoon, Selim Malik said adding, 30-40 thousand tourists will continue to visit Cox’s Bazar daily until the month of Ramadan begins on 23 March.

Visiting the sea beach at Sugandha Point on Saturday afternoon, a large number of tourists were seen there. This correspondent talked to a tourist family. Businessman Nurul Azim from Dhaka’s Uttara visited Cox’s Bazar along with his wife and daughter.

He said hotel rates and food prices in Cox’s Bazar were much higher than in other places. As a result, many tourists cut short their trip. He checked in at a hotel in Kalatali area and booked a double-bed air conditioned room for Tk 5,000 a night, Nurul Azim said hoteliers totally forget about their offers during the rush season of tourists and try to attract tourists during off-season. No one monitors this.

Amid the rush of tourists, hotels, motels, guest houses and cottages are offering up to 50 per cent discount.

Hoteliers said there are more than 500 hotels, motels, guest houses, resorts and cottages in beach and town area with a capacity to accommodate 210,000 tourists daily. However, 95 per cent of hotels and motels remain closed during Ramadan as less tourists visit Cox’s Bazar during this period and renovation and cleaning work are carried out at hotels and restaurants during the closure time.

No one pays attention to increasing facilities for tourists amid the boom of tourism, Cox’s Bazar Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Abu Morshed Chowdhury said adding, if a tourist stays at a mid-quality hotel for 2-3 nights, the cost including foods and others stands around Tk 10,000 and that means there was a business of Tk 2 billion against 200,000 tourists.

Cox’s Bazar Restaurant Owners Association general secretary Rashedul Islam there are 500 restaurants in Cox’s Bazar and 120 of these restaurants display food prices while the remaining ones charge at their will as they have no registration.