Members of the FBCCI's Standing Committee on Hotel, Motel, Resorts and Guest House Development demanded exemption from duties and taxes to compensate for the loss incurred during the pandemic.
The businessmen claimed lower tax and VAT would help provide better services including rent at a cheaper rate, reads a press release.
Hotels, motels, resorts and guesthouses are an integral part of tourism. But the owners have to pay huge tariffs on the equipment and products they import in order to ensure modern facilities for foreign tourists. They also have to pay VAT on the service. A further 37% tax has to be paid on income.
This huge tax burden hampers further flourishment of this sector.
The members of the FBCCI's Standing Committee on Hotel, Motel, Resorts and Guest House Development made this complaint at the first meeting of the committee held at the FBCCI office on Tuesday afternoon. They say the Corona epidemic has almost destroyed the business of hotels, resorts and guesthouses, reads the statement.
So, they demanded exemption from duties and taxes.
In order to attract foreign tourists to Bangladesh, the members of the committee demanded the relaxation of the obligation to test the corona within 48 hours before the flight and the simplification of the visa process.
The committee members blamed inadequate branding for the development of tourism in Bangladesh.
The speakers urged branding Bangladesh in the tourism sector through the Tourism Board. Hence, they call for necessary allocation in the budget. Besides, recommendations for formulating a guest house development policy came up in the meeting, added the release.
FBCCI Senior Vice President Mostofa Azad Chowdhury Babu also joined the meeting virtually as the chief guest. He said hotels, motels and guesthouses were among the sectors most affected by the Corona epidemic. The sector has also been playing an important role in earning foreign exchange.
Mostofa Azad Chowdhury Babu urged the standing committee to find out the possibilities, problems and possible solutions in this sector and submit it to the FBCCI in the form of a proposal. He said the matter would be discussed in the policy-making body of the government considering the proposal.
Khabir Uddin Ahmed, chairman of the committee, said at least three of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals announced by the United Nations are directly involved with tourism. Other goals are also indirectly dependent on the development of tourism. Therefore, in order to achieve SDG by 2030, the country's tourism industry must be developed.
FBCCI Director Syed Moazzem Hossain called for ensuring quality services to tourists at reasonable prices at hotels and resorts. At the same time, he called for the apprentice programmes to create skilled manpower.
FBCCI Secretary General Mohammad Mahfuzul Hoque said that the FBCCI has been attaching due importance to the development of tourism. It has also included the tourism sector in the agenda of the Canada-Bangladesh Joint Working Group.
Also present at the meeting were Co-Chairman of the Committee Khandaker Ruhul Amin, Taofiq Uddin Ahmed, Mohiuddin Helal, AHM Aminul Islam Bhuiyan, Md. Mahbub Alam, Mohammad Jahangir Alam, Mehdi Amin Chowdhury and other members.