Promotion of Local Culture in Bangladesh
The case study demonstrates an example of sustainable ecotourism initiative that enhances respect for local culture, ecology, local community and their wellbeing in the Sundarbans Mangrove Forest region in Bangladesh. The main aim is towards developing eco-entrepreneurs to lessen their dependency on the forest resources by offering them an opportunity to explore their options as service providers to the eco-tourism value chain. An extension of this aim is to also instill a sense of respect and responsibility amongst the tourists. The overall objective is to enhance respect for local culture, community (including minority ethnic groups) and ecology in the Sundarbans Impact Zone in Bangladesh through the development of cultural tourism and entrepreneurship. The project has provided technical assistance, capacity building training and a start up funding to establish 10 ecotourism sites along the mangrove forest. Additionally, it has created income opportunities for a marginalized forest dependent population who suffers from chronic poverty and locally available materials and services were used to build ecotourism sites. The project has came up with a tourism model that encourages respect for local culture and diversity and projection of cultural heritage, as well as a platform for collaboration between various communities which has enhanced respect for each others.