BANGLADESH has begun offering visas on arrival (VoA) for business travellers with immediate effect, opening the door to more foreign investment.
The new facility is available to citizens of the US, Canada, Australia, Russia, China, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain and the European Union countries.
Valid for 30 days and free of charge, the VoA is issued at all international airports and land border posts. However, travellers may be required to show a letter of invitation from their business partners or inviting organisations, a return flight ticket, and must be able to show they are carrying at least US$500.
VoAs for transits will also be offered for US$20 at the country’s airports for a maximum transit period of 72 hours.
Mozzamat Nazmanara Khanum, deputer secretary, Bangladesh’s Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism, said: “VoAs will facilitate a larger number of arrivals to Bangladesh and business travel will be combined with some tourist activity too. A larger number of visitors will be exposed to our country’s cultural and tourist attractions. We believe the gateway has been opened.”
Akhtaruz Zaman Khan Kabir, CEO, Bangladesh Tourism Board, said: “VoA is a positive step towards increasing footfalls in business travel and MICE. Our infrastructure is growing to accommodate more visitors with additional branded hotels and conference facilities. We hope to see more arrivals soon.”
JW Marriott is set to open a 700-key property near Dhaka’s international airport in 2Q2014, while a 300-room Marriott is under construction in the capital.
International inbound arrivals to Bangladesh grew from 3.2 million in 2005 to six million in 2012.