OIC tourism meet kicks off with official session


DHAKA, Feb 5, 2018 (BSS) – The 10th Session of ICTM (Islamic Conference of Tourism Ministers) began in the capital today with finalizing agendas for the OIC tourism ministers, who will sit together tomorrow to discuss various issues regarding Islamic tourism.

“Today, we the senior officials of participating OIC states finalized the agenda for the conference that will be officially inaugurated by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina,” CEO of Bangladesh Tourism Board (BTB) Dr Nasir Uddin told BSS after the senior official session.

High level representatives, including 15 tourism ministers of 30 OIC member states, will join the main discussion under the 10th ICTM theme “Promoting Regional Integration through Tourism” after the inauguration session.

Referring to the tradition of declaring two cities of OIC member countries as “Capital of Islamic Tourism” at every meeting of ICTM, the BTB chief said the name of Dhaka would be proposed this time to select as a capital of Islamic tourism either for 2019 or 2020.

“We are 98 percent hopeful to achieve the title of Capital of Islamic Tourism for Dhaka that is popularly known as the city of Mosques” he said.

The last 9th session declared Madina and the Iranian Tabriz city as the capitals of Islamic tourism for 2017 and 2018 respectively.

Dr Nasir said the BTB proposed a Taka 130 crore project for conserving and protecting Muslim heritage of Bangladesh as well as seeking support from OIC in setting an institute here for creating skill human resources for the travel and hospitality sector.

The BTB has also proposed for being the host to organize the 5th OIC Tourism Fair here in 2020.

The OIC ministers will adopt a Dhaka declaration tomorrow including the Bangladesh proposals, BTB officials said.

OIC Secretary General Dr Yousef bin Ahmed Al-Othaimeen will present his report to the Ministers of Tourism of the OIC Member States.

The report includes the implementation of the OIC Framework for Development and Cooperation in the field of tourism in terms of promoting Islamic tourism, celebratory activities of Islamic tourism capitals, promotional tourism activities, organising tourist exhibitions, establishing tourism portal, tourism capacity building programmes, tourism publications, and tourism statistics and studies, official sources said.

The conference will discuss the development of Islamic cultural and heritage tourism, the strategic roadmap for the development and promotion of Islamic tourism, and a study on branding Muslim-friendly tourism in the global market.

Apart from the core agenda of ICTM – development and promotion of Islamic culture and heritage – the tourism ministers’ session will also review progress of the tourism projects in different countries those are being implemented in line with joint cooperation on Islamic tourism.

With a market potential of more than 50 Muslim countries and no less than 1.6 billion Muslims, tremendous opportunities await those who are willing to meet the demands for Muslim-friendly tourism products and services.