STRATEGIC PLANNING OF HOSPITALITY & TOURISM: A STUDY OF COX’S BAZAR, BANGLADESH
Tanvir Mohammad Hayder Arif1, S.M. Rakibul Anwar2, Kazi Noor-E- Jannat3, Imtiaz Uddin Chowdhury4, Ummahani Akter5
1Professor, Department of Finance, University of Chittagong, Bangladesh
2Assistant Professor, Department of Business Administration, Bangladesh Army International University of Science and Technology, Bangladesh
3Lecturer, Department of Finance, Cox’s Bazar International University, Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh
4Lecturer, Department of Marketing, University of Chittagong, Bangladesh
5Lecturer, Department of Business Administration, Bangladesh Army International University of Science and Technology, Bangladesh
Strategic planning is a comprehensive process for determining what a business or tourist destination should become and the steps needed to meet that goal. Strategic planning has great significance in the industry of tourism and hospitality because it assists an administration to keep modernize with rising movements and challenges to keep the tourist pleased. In Bangladesh, the direct contribution of travel and tourism to GDP was USD 5310.4 million, 2.2% of total GDP in 2017 and is forecast to rise by 6.1% in 2018, and to rise by 6.2% pa, from 2018-2028, to USD.10,235.7mn, 2.1% of total GDP in 2028 (WTTP, 2018). Since the tourism and hospitality industry has a great impact on the economy of Bangladesh, this is obvious to conduct various researches on the reasons for the slow growth of it. Strategic planning could be a solution for prompt growth. This study evaluates hospitality and tourism strategic planning practices in Bangladesh in line with the scenario of Cox's Bazar. Cox’s Bazar is the longest sea beach in the world and it has an immense impact on the overall tourism sector in Bangladesh. This study identifies the current position of Cox’s Bazar by using SWOT, Porter’s five forces model and analyzes the planning process designed by the government for tourism and hospitality sector and suggests key measures to form strategic planning for the development of the tourism sector, especially focusing on Cox’s Bazar
Keywords: Hospitality, Tourism, Strategic planning, Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh.
JEL Classifications: L83; Z30; Z31; Z32
Strategic planning refers to the rational selection of actions from different sources of alternatives. A strategy is selected due to its potentiality of a firm in achieving goals and objectives (Getz, 1983).Strategic planning of the tourist destination’s development is the process of modeling the effective functioning of its tourist complex for a certain period. Understanding of the factors, parameters, and stages of strategic planning with the account of the specific character of the tourism industry is the basic competencies needed to manage a local tourist destination (Pechlaner et al., 2006). To make the tourist destination sustainable, strategic planning is also needed. Sustainable tourism can be achieved in two ways, first, it increases the participation of stakeholder in tourism planning and second, a need for a strategic orientation towards tourism planning (Simpson, 2001). The rising demand for tourism destination & services can only be met satisfactorily with the formulation and implementation of best and most up to date market based strategic planning.
The support for tourism development requires product-driven and target the existing tourism source market as opposed to market-driven in the nature of the tourism industry like Cox's Bazar, the longest sea beach in the world. The absence of a cohesive tourism strategy for Cox's Bazar is a major hindrance to development opportunity. A strategic framework for Cox's Bazar should focus on infrastructure and products that will encourage the growth in tourist numbers and make it a more sustainable tourist destination.
2. LITERATURE REVIEW
Strategic planning is a dominant tool of management that is used to recognize clients and their provision of his requirements. Strategic planning assists in recognizing the correct management of manufactured goods, their costs, enhancement, and position (Wilson, Thomas & McGee,1998). The layout of ‘5P' strategies has been developed, analyzed and implemented such as plan - putting down a program or system of accomplishment, Ploy – master plan to fulfill the pre-plans, Patternmaking the system to make the plan effective, Position – establishing the establishment inside the wanted advertising place, Perspective – an overall vision of the goals of the establishment. Strategic planning is a procedure whereby an establishment assesses itself to decide its future purposes and prepares plans for how greatest to attain it and it gives confidence: at what position we are at the moment? What to do in the future? And where we need to go? "It has been further described by another famous scholar as an incorporated tact or a procedure which is based on the victory of administration (O'Connor, 2000). Strategy differentiates rules and plans and goes on to utter that as rule refers to the additional or a smaller amount of enduring limitations or circumstances which impose upon the making of decisions entails that strategy is supple and that because circumstances vary and tendencies later, strategies need to be reconsidered and rationalized (Buttle 1993). Hotels, motels, tour operators and aviation show strong rivalry towards each other across the country. For this reason, it is essential that a tourist destination carries out a SWOT analysis earlier than making a strategic plan. After that, the tourist destination would be able to recognize it and can carry on with its strategic planning in the best way. Before the making of any strategy, the culture and society of the functional region should be kept in view as it holds the key to establishing the industrial progression not only at the local level but also make it grow at international level.
Chon and Olsen (1990) conclude that tourism organizations should include the strategic planning process into the structure of their operations. It helps tourism organizations to make sound management decisions with better estimates. Hospitality and strategy scholars (e.g. Phillips and Moutinho, 1999; Reichel, 1983; Schaffer, 1986) advocate strategic planning as an important tool to enhance business performance in tourism firms. However, there has been very little work on strategic planning in tourism firms (Harrington, 2004; Okumus, 2002; Okumus and Roper, 1999). Athiyaman and Robertson (1995) reveal that strategic management in the hospitality industry enhances proactive reactions to environmental changes to a reactive one. It works as a future-oriented decision making focusing on future environmental trends and the ability of the organizations to meet the objectives. Phillips and Moutinho (1999) conclude that strategic planning is to ensure the improvement of strategic performance. And a key managerial task of a manager to assess and monitor the effective planning process. Strategic planning index works as a powerful tool to diagnosis information of the hotel sector. This paper also finds out the relationships between strategic planning and business performance in the UK hotel sector and identified four dimensions to study the strategic planning process. These dimensions were formalization, participation, sophistication, and thoroughness. To put into practice strategy successfully, an administration has to think of some key regions. First of all, it has to set up how the plan will be resourced for the improvement. Secondly, it has to be established how the present civilization is, arrangement and inner systems are talented to fight with confronting the plan. Lastly, many strategies require a number of levels of inner alteration (Evans et al, 2003).
Dey (2012) finds that tourists have great importance to natural attraction with enjoying sea waves and a sunset view of the beach. In addition, they have given value to the availability of economy class boarding, safety and security, sanitation and cleaning and waste disposal facility and emergency service. So, to occupy the best position in the tourist mind, the tourism managers and marketers develop a quality service strategy by highlighting these key factors. Ali and Parvin (2010) reveal that improving the efficiency and effectiveness of services of the tourism sector and arranging better facilities for both local and foreign tourists will accelerate the growth of tourism. If the proper investment can be done and organized in Cox’s Bazar, it might have achieved greater infrastructure development especially in the area of leisure and entertainment facilities for both domestic tourists and international tourists. Besides, if foreign investors are invited to develop new businesses and facilities, and Cox's Bazar is promoted appropriately throughout the world, then it wouldn't be too long before we were having tourists from all over the world to visit the longest natural beach in the world. However, there has been very little work on strategic planning in Cox’s bazar.
From 1995 to 2013, Strategic planning research on tourism dominated by two methods; descriptive studies or conceptual studies with illustrative case studies. After that mixed-method studies use include – mail survey, focus group, analysis of primary and secondary data. This paper uses a hybrid SWOT and the analytical hierarchy process to evaluate the strategic planning of Cox’s Bazar.
4. ECONOMIC IMPACT OF TOURISM SECTOR IN BANGLADESH
Figure 1 shows that the direct contribution of travel & tourism to GDP was USD 5.3 billion, 2.2% of total GDP in 2017 and is forecast to rise by 6.1% in 2018 and to rise by 6.2% pa, from 2018-2028 to USD10.24 billion, 2.1% of total GDP in 2028. But the total contribution of travel & tourism to GDP was USD10.6 billion, 4.3% of GDP in 2017, and is forecast to rise by 6.4% in 2018, and to rise by 6.8% pa to USD21.78bn, 4.6% of GDP in 2028 (WTTC, 2018).
In 2017 Travel & Tourism directly supported 1,178,500 jobs (1.8% of total employment). This is expected to rise by 3.0% in 2018 and rise by 3.1% pa to 1,648,000 jobs (2.1% of total employment) in 2028. But the scenario is more contributory due to the total contribution of travel & tourism to employment, including jobs indirectly supported by the industry was 3.8% of total employment (2,432,000 jobs). This is expected to rise by 2.5% in 2018 to 2,492,500 jobs and rise by 2.7% pa to 3,244,000 jobs in 2028 (4.2% of total). Visitor exports generated USD 228.5 million, 0.6% of total exports in 2017. This is forecast to grow by 6.3% in 2018, and grow by 6.2% pa, from 2018-2028 to USD 444.9 million in 2028, 0.7% of the total (WTTC, 2018).
Figure 1: Contribution of travel and tourism to GDP & employment in Bangladesh. Note: collected from Economic Impact of Bangladesh, 2018. World Travel &Tourism Council
The Tourism sector of Bangladesh has a moderate growth in the last decade and the growth pace is showing some lacking in the industry. This irregular growth asking the government for structured development and the proper planning to modernize the industry (WDI, 2016).
The government ought to study this fall in tourist appearances as a warning sign and try to find out the reason for this decline. The Tourists already visited our country, pointed out some issues to deal with, such as lack of accommodation facilities as well as transport linkages. Besides, political instability is a major security concern for outsiders to visit Bangladesh. On the other side, Bangladeshis have been traveling abroad increasingly for two reasons, which are – Increase in per capita income; and the myriad of budget carriers that have opened up in Bangladesh.
Lucrative packages for traveling abroad, exclusively in the region of South Asia, have been introduced due to these budget carriers; this region includes countries such as Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, and India. Besides, this new movement has been worsened because of the increase in medical tourism to other countries like Thailand, Singapore, and India. The main reason for these dissatisfactions related to the level of medical services provided in Bangladesh, another reason would be the reasonable cost of private medical services in countries like India which makes it an extremely lucrative deal.
Dissatisfaction with the high medical cost and to get reasonable private medical services from India is the key reason of this issuance. This fact makes this deal so lucrative for the local people. This increase in outbound travel also helps us to see why local tourists prefer to travel abroad rather than within the country. This also shows that our local tourist spots/services are incompetent to interest the local tourists at large.
5. THE ANALYSIS OF INNER AND OUTER ENVIRONMENT AND THE ASSESSMENT OF RISKS IN COX’S BAZAR HOSPITALITY & TOURISM SECTORS (CHTS):
5.1 COX’S BAZAR AT A GLANCE
Now a coastal district, Cox’s Bazar, was a subdivision of the Chittagong district since 1854 and upgraded to the district in 1984. It is positioned at the border of the Bay of Bengal with an unbroken sea-beach which is certainly the longest one in the world. It is surrounded on the north by Chittagong district, on the east by Bandarban district and Myanmar, on the south by the Bay of Bengal and on the west by the Bay of Bengal. It lies between 20º43' and 21º56' north latitudes and between 91º50' and 92º23' east longitudes. The total area of the district is 2,491.85 sq. km. (962.10 sq. miles) out of which 940.58 sq. km is under the forest (BBS 2013).
Figure 2: Map of Cox’s Bazar
5.2 THE STRENGTH OF THE RIVALRY
This is significant to describe the nature of competition in the tourism business that there is soaring power in the tourism and hospitality market of Bangladesh in terms of the same services and high expenses. We can say that there is not big dissimilarity in the provision of housing and other facilities. The expensive structure is the major feature of the tourism and hospitality business (Phillips, 1994).
Near about 1500 hotel and guest houses are operating in Cox's Bazar. The Seasonality impact of Cox's Bazar's hotel industry is very high. November, December, January, and February, are the four months that reflect the peak seasons in Cox’s Bazar tourism sector. In the peak seasons, the price of hotel and guest house services is comparatively higher than other months. Most of the hotel companies depend on these four month's income. Sometimes they set prices of the hotel services above the quality during the peak season. On the other hand, during rainy seasons, there is an unhealthy competition in lowering the price of a hotel room and low-cost housing like renting homes. These unhealthy competitions reduce the revenue of the hotel and the job security of the hotel's workers.
5.3 RISK OF ALTERNATIVE GOODS
Similar to newcomers, alternative goods show a real danger for industries and associations within them (Porter, 1980). The hotels of Cox’s Bazar can select a number of substituted housings in the regions like holiday accommodation style and houses of relatives and friends.
5.4 CUSTOMER'S BARGAINING ABILITY
It has seen that the most vital determinants of consumer power are the mass and the awareness of clientele. At the same time, the consumers are knowledgeable and aware of the discrimination of the challengers. As shown in figure 3, Kippenberger (1998) describes that it is frequently helpful to differentiate potential consumer power from the buyer's wishes or inducement to utilize that power, the enthusiasm that derives chiefly from the danger of breakdown linked with the use of the product.
Figure 3: Situation Analysis, note: collected from (Kippenberger, 1998)
There are lots of resources of accommodations in Cox’s Bazar that means there are high amounts of facilities and products which buyers can select. Because of this, the people who are traveling to Cox's Bazar have an aptitude to sway setting a cost of hotel room charges by their requirement in a really spirited market of Cox’s Bazar. The customers have the ability to make helpful environmental results through good selections of their accommodations in the city. The following image represents the situation analysis of the tourism and development industry.
5.5 SUPPLIER’S BARGAINING ABILITY
The suppliers of tourism and hospitality industry sources can be categorized chiefly into three features which are resources, employment, and other provisions to provide the hub for their trade. As a result, providers have the negligible power by the bargain, as optional suppliers are in surplus. Porter described (1980) that this great quantity of optional seller reduces the power of the bargain of providers of labor. Though, the squat power of providers does not signify Bangladesh Hotels housing to have a neglectful connection with the suppliers as the dealers are also able to fix the cost of the produce. Furthermore, the squat level of the power of the bargain of providers improves more the picture of the business. With a burly hold off buying and sharing out costs, The Cox’s Bazar Hospitality & Tourism Sector (CHTS) trade can be sure of the industry’s productivity stays stable and suitable.
5.6 NEW CHALLENGER'S ENTRANCE RISK
Entrance barriers dishearten new challengers from incoming the market of CHTS. Novel housing business on the CHTS frequently boosts rivalry resulting in low productivity. There is a variety of barriers to entrance counting corporeal resources like the location which is the main critical characteristic in the business of hospitality (Chu & Choi, 2000). Such kinds of resources are difficult to replace, but a few resources are essential to run a business-like bed, welcome things and tools for kitchens. They are simple to copy resultant in the low barrier to entry. The entrance barriers are not considerably lofty in the business of hospitality (Harrison, 2003).
6. BROAD ENVIRONMENTS OF COX’S BAZAR HOSPITALITY & TOURISM SECTORS (CHTS)
6.1 FEATURES REGARDING LEGALITIES
Cox’s Bazar Hospitality & Tourism Sectors (CHTS) recognized a connection to improve their product and make stronger the company between the hospitality and tourism industry in Bangladesh. Cox’s Bazar Hospitality & Tourism Sectors (CHTS) works with Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation (BPC) to help CHT workers with purposeful and harmonized business members. For Cox’s Bazar Hospitality & Tourism Sectors (CHTS), the main demand-driven forces are the picnic, family tour, and corporate festival, on the other the main suppliers are the private sector with combinations of foreign and local ownership. Figure 4 shows that the local authority, beach management committee, district tourism committee is the key influential figure in managing tourism and hospitality activities in Cox's Bazar.
Figure 4: Demand and Supply forces of Cox’s Bazar Hospitality & Tourism Sectors Source: Own elaboration, Note: Concept from Ahmad, 2010
6.2 FEATURES REGARDING ECONOMICS
The economy of Cox’s Bazar is mainly agriculturally based. 44.15% out of 335,825 holdings are farms that produce ranges of crops, namely, local and HYV rice, wheat, vegetables, spices, cash crops, pulses, betel leaves, and others. Various fruits like banana, jackfruit, guava, coconut, etc. are also grown. Fish of different selections abound in this district, which enjoys the advantages of marine fishing. Moreover, varieties of fish are caught from rivers, tributary channels, and creeks and even from paddy fields during the rainy season. The Prawn is abundantly available in the district. Prawn farming, salt production & dry fish are important sources of income for the fishermen, especially in the islands. The district is also very rich in forest resources. Various valuable timber and forest trees are abundantly grown in this district. Apart from all these, the sea beach of Cox's Bazar is the most attractive place in the country for tourists who like to visit the place throughout the year. The business of hospitality is simply pretentious by economic circumstances. Although Cox's Bazar has no impact from the international economic slump in 2008, it faces negative impact due to nationwide political unrest in 2013, 2014 & 2015.
As a perfect Tourism destination, Cox's Bazar can open a new horizon for the economy of Bangladesh. In fact, tourism in Cox's Bazar is becoming an evolving issue both for the public and private sectors to establish their worthiness for accomplishing a successful business as well as marketing activities improvement in Bangladesh.
The connection of tourism with a great variety of economic activities has raised the interest in determining its economic influence. With the upward awareness of tourism as a source of employment in the country, development of tourism industry, its influence in the economy and its association with other factors of the economy are essential. Even though the government disregards, CHT has made noteworthy development due to the contribution of the private sector.
7. STRATEGIC PLANNING AT COX’S BAZAR HOSPITALITY & TOURISM SECTORS (CHTS)
In the beginning, the tourism and hospitality business was not very clear and the need for strategic planning was not apprehended. With the consistent evolution of the hospitality and tourism industry, the effectiveness of strategic planning was needed and implemented in it. Various scholars have given various thoughts about the integration of strategic management planning within the hospitality business. In previous, the dedication and concentration towards the discipline of hospitality and tourism have always been a fiction of strategic marketing and never been given considerable attention (Kapur& Gilbert, 1990). But recent studies focus on strategic planning more to achieve the long-term goal and objectives with sustainable tourism destination. Strategic planning helps to achieve two types of objectives; proximate objectives and distal objectives of a tourism destination.
Strategic Planning Practitioners
Strategic Planning Practices
Strategic Planning Praxis
· Attitudes towards planning
· Top manager roles
· Middle Manager roles
· Strategic planning professionals
· Formality, sophistication, comprehensiveness
· Strategic plans
· Strategy workshops
· Analytical tools
· Creativity tools
· Quality of strategic decisions
· Strategic planning effectiveness
· Strategy communication
· Shared understanding and commitment to the strategy
· Strategy thinking
· Planned emergence
· Organizational performance
· Strategic change and renewal
· Realized strategy
· Organizational learning
· Strategic legitimacy
· Dynamic capability
Figure 5: Mapping the landscape of strategic planning research, derived from (Phillips &Moutinho, 2014)
7.1 THE MARKET OF COX’S BAZAR HOSPITALITY & TOURISM SECTORS (CHTS) REGARDING COASTAL TOURISM
Each year, numerous tourists visit Bangladesh and the number is increasing each day. One important fact that Bangladesh doesn't get international tourists as much as India or Nepal, but the scenario is changing fast enough, as international relations are being strengthened now. National airport is now more integrated with other international airports with more professionalism in the service of tourism providers. Now the number of hotels is increased significantly to accommodate guests as well as the range of tourism services. Tourism service providers at the national and international levels are increasing their activities day by day to promote the tourism image of Bangladesh. Usually, tourism operators act as a guide the tourists, but local transportation facilities are also available. Airways are available in almost every head district. Aviation companies are also providing interactive packages the tourists while upholding an international benchmark of quality for their service.
7.2 POSSIBILITY AND DEVELOPMENT
Strategic organization of intimidation and breakings will oblige the business to accept new and pioneering conclusions. Clear and noteworthy results include the customer's increasing awareness of expenses, and therefore unwillingness to move for traveling. In 2015, the Cox's Bazar exposed a slight turn down. In general, reduction in the number of domestic and inbound sightseers during 2015 is mainly attributable to the political turmoil in Bangladesh. The nationwide and worldwide visitors of Cox’s Bazar refused during the toughest twelve months for the industry of tourism in Cox’s Bazar in current eras.
As a developing country, the tourism sector is also developing with the pace. As denoted before, this sector is an important source of earning foreign currency. Despite the young industry, the tourism market is booming rapidly. Recently, market gained both national and international actors to compete in the existing market, basically comprised of a national tourism market and an international business market. If comparisons with Bangladesh and other countries tourism in the South Asian tourism map, it was found that other countries are clearly ahead now, although it is true that Bangladesh has better infrastructure and ability than some other countries. Now a day's tourists are more interested in visiting Bangladesh while they are traveling to other South Asian countries (BPC 2015).
On 06 July 2015, Cabinet of Bangladesh Government approves "Cox's Bazar Development Authority Act-2015" with a view to ensuring the development of the tourist city Cox's Bazar under a master plan, land zoning and regulate the ongoing hazardous construction activities. Different Economical plan and infrastructural plans for short-term and long-term have been introduced by the government and some of them were already on started to become true. Some those plans as follows-
1. Multiplex International Airport (In progress)
2. International Cricket Stadium (Completed
3. Railway Communication (Proposed)
4. Bangladesh-Myanmar Road (In Progress)
5. Deep-Sea Port (Proposed)
But making only constructive activities may not ensure the growth of tourism, rather proper strategic planning focuses on the issues and development step by step by considering all stakeholders and strategic business unit. Due to lack of proper branding from the side of government and business unit, the tourism of Cox’s Bazar still lags behind. So, a full-pledged strategic planning process is needed to improve the condition of Cox’s Bazar as a destination of tourism.
Figure 6: Strategic planning process of tourism, derived from (Solimar Internationals, consulting and marketing firm. 2018)
7.3 STRATEGIC PLANNING AT COX’S BAZAR HOSPITALITY & TOURISM SECTORS (CHTS): MANAGEMENT OF RISKS AND PLANNING OPTIONS
Due to historic isolation, Cox’s Bazar culture and history are diverse from other parts of the country. Cox’s Bazar offers a diverse collection of natural and cultural tourist destinations, some of them are enlisted on the UNESCO Heritage List. The local transportation Cox’s Bazar is comparatively cheap and offers an adventure with the right positive attitude. Different tourist accommodation facilities are offered in Cox's Bazar. Lots of hotels, motels, restaurants, and resorts have already been established in Bangladesh and many are in a row awaiting commercial operation.
Inhabitants of Cox's Bazar are concerned with safeguarding a heritage damaged by increased salinity and climate change. Nevertheless, the supportable commercial use of these resources is often low, which affects the standard for protection, improvement, and level of global tourism interests. As a tourist destination, Cox's Bazar is fairly new to the world map and a commonly visited tourist destination, which can interest the adventure loving tourist market. To upsurge the understanding of the country's history and emerging challenges the world image of Cox's Bazaar can be provoked by different and new sustainable tourist temptations. The increasing attention on the effects of global warming can disturb Cox’s Bazar Hospitality & Tourism Sectors (CHTS) market in Bangladesh, as the country is enlisted as one of the 10 countries which are most in danger of a rise in ocean level. The potentiality of Cox’s Bazar Hospitality & Tourism Sectors (CHTS) can be technically advanced through the performance of multidimensional and inter-regional plans or cooperation with overseas travel companies.
Cox’s Bazar as the largest unbroken sea beach in the world induces the interest of the inbound tourist around the globe. Among them, India, UK, and the USA are considered major inbound nations.
Inadequate infrastructure, including local and international transportation, affects the appearances of tourist destinations and accommodations negatively. Existing local lifestyle, especially the beach life, mud roads, which are loathed during the rainy season. The need for infrastructural development is paramount especially the poor condition of roads and highways act as a significant obstacle for Cox’s Bazar Hospitality & Tourism Sectors (CHTS). Most importantly, railway communication is significantly required for the ease of transportation in Cox's Bazar. The local airport should be improved for the interest of foreign tourists. Technological development is also a high requirement. As a coastal district, the climatic changes throughout the year (and in the future) have considerable implications for traveling in Cox's Bazar since the region occasionally experiences harsh storms, floods, and earthquakes. The town also has a worldwide image of poor land with numerous natural catastrophes. Cox’s Bazar Hospitality & Tourism Sector (CHTS) is negatively affected by the lack of social and political commitment. The preservation of natural and historical attractions is just one of the challenges that the Cox's Bazar society has to face. A strong strategic planning process evaluation is needed to know the progress of project implementation. Figure 7 shows the key issues that must be considered in evaluating the tourism planning process. The Cox’s Bazar Development Authority and Bangladesh Prajatan Corporation need to assess their development activity so that they can predict the upcoming what will be the upcoming strategy.
Figure 7: Tourism planning process evaluation instrument derived from (Ruhanen*, 2004)
As a typical western mass tourism destination, CHT cannot be sold in the global tourism market. In the case of the CHT sector, the existing low inbound tourism demand shows that necessary product and promotion, expansions are highly required to match the international standard. Tourism products of CHT should be linked up at a point that Cox's Bazar is a distinct town with the modern Muslim community and an evolving region, which has been isolated historically. One such solution is the Sustainable tourism products. To travel safely and responsibly in Cox’s Bazaar, Tourists, especially foreign tourists, need a guide or high tier of knowledge regarding local culture. Several tourist products of Cox's Bazar Hospitality & Tourism Sectors (CHTS) do not match the western perception of quality characteristics and services. Traveling time and safety are significant hurdles to the target tourism market. Regarding Social insecurity, visitors sometimes feel uneasy in some situations as the local people do not have much understanding with foreign tourists. Several expats, who possess no experience with urban Bangladesh, base their perception of rural Bangladesh on their impressions of the capital city.
Compared with local and global annual investment, the domestic level of investments in travel & tourism is not exceptional. Cox’s Bazar Hospitality & Tourism Sector (CHTS) is at risk due to a short peak season and a big local market share. There is a want of educated staff. Cox’s Bazar Hospitality & Tourism Sector (CHTS) is yet young, and its evolution has been mostly left to the local market forces. Though the government and the private tourism sector are represented by various organizations in Cox’s Bazar (BPC and TOAB) the fact that remains is the development of CHT is mostly uninhibited as there is no marketing or developing policy. In the CHT business, there is a lack of information about demand, supply, and competitors. In the CHT sector, the level of co-operation and modernization is low. The CHT industry's tourism growth is harshly crippling due to the lack of marketing professionals. Therefore, marketing professionals along with the other industry stakeholder should work together to promote cox’s bazar as an attractive tourist destination to the rest of the world. It can be done by arranging joint or collaborative advertising or even participating in international tourism fair selling Cox’s Bazar as an integrated tourism solution.
This paper tries to critically analyze the Cox’s Bazar from inner and outer environmental perspective while addressing major risks and challenges faced by the tourism and hospitality sectors over there. This paper comes up with the proposition regarding how the concept of strategic planning can be incorporated in making successful tourism development in Cox’s Bazar. To do so, the paper highlights hybrid SWOT, Porter’s five forces & the analytical hierarchy process. The tourism sector in Bangladesh has gone through the slow rate of growth over the last decade. The paper stresses that the absence of strategic planning in the tourism industry specifically in Cox’s Bazar has been one of the key reasons behind this slow growth rate.
Some initiatives have been taken by the government agency to develop Cox’s Bazar as a country’s icon tourist destination though most of them focus on only infrastructural development. But solely focused on infrastructural development will not suffice as long as the government works together with all of the major tourism-service providers and stakeholders.
In comparison to Bangladesh with other countries on the South Asian tourism map, it is found some countries are clearly ahead in tourism now, although Bangladesh has better, infrastructure than other countries. From the above analysis this paper, reveals that the regulatory authority of Cox’s Bazar needs to map the landscape of strategic planning on Cox’s Bazar by taking consideration of – strategic planning practitioners, practices, praxis, proximate and distal outcomes. And the overall strategic planning process needs to include destination planning, tourism master planning, land use planning, ecological architecture and marketing planning. The tourism sector of Cox’s Bazar is yet to match with the western perception of quality characteristics and services. For creating a strong position in the global tourism market and retaining its growing domestic tourists, the tourism and hospitality sector of Cox’s Bazar has to come up with the service differentiation, competitive market offerings, and unique experiences of its longest sea beach. The paper has given further avenues of research specifically in the area of strategic marketing planning for selling and promoting Cox’s Bazar as an attractive tourist destination.
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