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EXPLORING THE SOCIO-ECONOMIC IMPACTS OF TOURISM: A STUDY OF COX’S BAZAR, BANGLADESH

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posted on 15.09.2022, 14:53 authored by Masudur Rahman

This study evaluates the socio-economic impact of tourism development on the local  community  in  Cox’s  Bazar,  Bangladesh.The  country wants  to  utilize tourism  as  an  economic  development  tool  to  reduce  poverty  and  stimulate socio-economic wellbeing. Tourism has profound impact on the local community of the destination as it brings economic and socio-cultural changes.The  significant  positive  economic  impacts  are  increased  employment  and earning   opportunities,   enhanced   standard   of   living,   more   investments, infrastructural  development,  and  new  business  linkages  and  opportunities. However  some  negative  economic  impacts been  identified, like  increased income  disparity,  increased  land  price  and  rent,  price  hike  of  essential  goods and services, seasonality effects and leakage of earnings. A frustrating finding is  that  majority  of  the  tourism  assets  and  well-paid  jobs  are  enjoyed  by  non-locals  whereas  the  local  community  does  not  enjoy  its  rightful  share  due  to uneven  benefit  distribution.  The  positive  socio-cultural  impacts  include  women empowerment,  more  participation  in  education,  limited  outward  migration,  and enhanced social safety and security. Some negative socio-cultural impacts are displacement  of  poor  from  their  land,  increased  social  gap,  frustration,  social disorder and loss of cultural originality. Unfortunately the local community is not fully  aware  of  the  value  of  their  cultural  heritage  and  so  they  try  to  imitate tourist’s  socio-cultural  traits.  A  major  difference  from  other  tourism  impact studies is tourism   does   not   contribute   in   raising   crime,   gambling,   and prostitution in Cox’s Bazar. The   local   community   is   involved   in   tourism   activities   but   has   minimal involvement  in  the  decision  making  process. This  study revealsthat  the  local community  is  totally  excluded  from  the  policy  formulation  process  and  policy makers do not consider the socio-economic impacts of tourism development on the  local  community.Local  community  is  benefiting  from  tourism  development but  significant  scope  exists  to  increase  their  active  participation  and  equitable benefit  sharing. Some  recommendations  are  made  forthe  Development  of Tourism  in  Cox’s  Bazar  to  maximize  positive  impacts  and  minimize  negative impacts along with some insights for further research in this field.  

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School of Management

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Doctoral

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PhD

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