More than 2 lakh local and foreign tourists visited the Sundarbans in fiscal 2017-18, helping the government earn Tk1.97 crore in revenue from the world's largest mangrove forest.
The information was revealed during a discussion meeting organised to mark the World Tourism Day at Khulna deputy commissioner's conference room on Monday.
The world tourism sector saw a 95% decline due to the coronavirus pandemic, mounting the global economic losses to $4 billion by the end of 2021.
Every year, the United States earns $211 million, while India gets $27 million from the tourism sector. Other countries like Hong Kong, Bangkok, Macao, and Singapore gets 5%-9% of their national earnings from the tourism sector.
Speaking as the chief guest, Khulna Deputy Commissioner Md Moniruzzaman said, "Tourism makes people aware of history and tradition. At the same time, tourism can play a special role in a country's economy. We need to represent the historical places of Khulna before everyone in a bid to increase the attraction for tourism in Khulna district.
"We also need to devise effective plans for environment-friendly tourism in the Sundarbans."
Dr Abu Naser Mohsin Hossain, divisional forest officer of Sundarbans West Forest Department, presented the keynote speech at the programme.
Among others, the archaeology department's Regional Director Afroza Khan Mita, Khulna Press Club President SM Jahid Hossain, Freedom Fighter Md Alamgir Kabir, and Nazmul Azam David, general secretary of Tour Operator Association of Sundarbans, spoke at the meeting with Additional Deputy Commissioner of Khulna Md Yusup Ali in the chair.