A five-day exhibition on ‘Bangladeshi Souvenir Products for Tourists’ was inaugurated by Mr. Ghulam Muhammed Quader, MP and Honorable Minister, Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism (MOCAT), at the Drik Gallery on 5 February 2011. Mr. Jalal Ahmed, Vice Chairman, Export Promotion Bureau and Mr. Fazle Karim, Head of IT, Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand were special guests at the occasion.
Nine national leading craft brands and design houses lead by Chandra Shekhar Shaha, a renowned designer of Bangladesh have jointly organized this exhibition after a recent exposure visit in OTOP (One Tambun One Product) craft villages in Thailand.
A variety of souvenir products reflecting Bangladeshi culture and heritage are displayed at the exhibition.
Tourism industry in Bangladesh is rapidly growing. Around 20% of tourist expenditure goes into shopping. Domestic tourist segment is also rising very rapidly. According to a secondary survey conducted by Katalyst, there are currently approximately 1.8million domestic tourists in Bangladesh including the expatriate community. The upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 will further boost this number. This will give the tourism industry a huge opportunity to promote Bangladeshi Souvenirs among the tourists as well as help the rural and sub-urban artisans to increase the sale of their products.
With Katalyst’s support, this is the first time, AIT had organized a training program for the local designers. Mr. Fazle Karim, in his speech, stated that he was very happy see so many new products at the exhibition, which took place just after six weeks of the training. The Vice Chairman of Export Promotion Bureau offered full support to the artisans for the expansion of their market. The Honorable Minister, MOCAT, mentioned that ‘the private sectors are capable of making a dream come true because they have the right incentives to grow’. The Minister also offered support to make these products available at tourist spots.