July 14, 2024, 7:40 pm

Rajib Kanti Roy

2024-03-29 06:53:56 BdST

Cox’s Bazar desolate despite discount offers

Tourist city Cox’s Bazar has worn a barren look following the beginning of Ramadan as the tourists are not visiting the beach city being busy in performing rituals of the holy month.

After failing to attract them offering numerous discounts hoteliers are taking this as an opportunity to repair and redecorate hotels, motels, cottages and restaurants to welcome holidaymakers during the upcoming Eid vacation.

The tourist season has finished and the month of Ramadan has begun. Since the first day of holy month, Cox’s Bazar is almost devoid of tourists.

There is hardly any booking in more than 500 hotels, motels and cottages in tourist zone Kalatali. Most of the food shops and restaurants in tourist zones are closed due to lack of customers.

On Wednesday, only about 1,000 to 1,500 tourists were seen on the five kilometers of beach area from Kalatali to Labani Point. According to hotel owners, around 20,000 tourists used to visit the beach city everyday immediate before the Ramadan. Tourists have started to decrease since then due to fasting.

Now there are about 2,000 tourists in all hotels and motels. The entire month will be spent like this, they said.

Chief executive officer of Seagull Hotel Sheikh Imrul Islam Siddiqui said now a very few tourists are staying in Cox’s Bazaar. Their number will decrease further in the next week.

“Most of our rooms remain empty during the month of Ramadan. Our hotel has a total of 179 rooms. Some 90 percent of these rooms are now vacant though we offered up to 45 percent discount. We have decided to redecorate rooms as tourists will start coming from the day of Eid. The loss of this one month will be recovered during the holidays,” he said.

To attract tourists even during the month of fasting, hotel-motel owners have announced special discounts of up to 70 percent against room rent in over 50 posh hotels, guesthouses, cottages and resorts including Seagull Hotel, Ocean Paradise, Saiman Beach Resort, Hotel Long Beach, Hotel Cox Today, Hotel Kallol, Mermaid Beach Resort, and Hotel Media International.

Abul Kashem Sikdar, President of Cox’s Bazar Hotel-Guest House Owners Association, said, “The number of tourists decreases in Cox’s Bazar during Ramadan. Many people wish to travel to Cox’s Bazar but due to high cost cannot afford that at other times of the year. Keeping this in mind, special discounts have been offered against room rent in almost all hotels in the city throughout Ramadan.”

Yet most rooms of the hotels remained vacant and some hotels were locked, while maximum of the restaurants were closed on Wednesday. A few restaurants opened in the afternoon only to sell iftar items.

There were hardly hundred tourists in Kalatali Point of the beach at noon. The situation of Sugandha Point was more or less similar. The Seagull-Labani Point beach area to the north was also devoid of the usual hustle and bustle.

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