When the number of tourists in Cox’s Bazar increases, the hotel-motel business begins to run rampant. Entrepreneurs compete to see who can grab the most money. But no one sees this. Since there is no list of hotel rentals, irregularities have become the norm. Tourists who come to Cox’s Bazar are being scammed by this.
Because of this, people are afraid of negative consequences for the tourist industry of Cox’s Bazar.
The current tourist season in Cox’s Bazar starts around World Tourism Day. The seven-day tourism fair and beach carnival hosted by the Cox’s Bazar County Council ended on October 3. On the occasion of the fair, several establishments, including hotels, motels and restaurants, announced special discounts. However, with the end of the fair, the residential hotels and restaurants have started doing business during the peak tourist season.
While there is a rule to pull the room rental list in residential hotels, most hotels do not follow it. Apart from high quality star hotels, low quality hotels have also increased their room rates. Most hotels in the hotel-motel zone have increased the room rent from five hundred to one thousand taka to four-five thousand taka and the room rent from two-three thousand taka to seven-eight thousand taka.
Not only that, the room rent is mandatory for two nights.
Fahim Chowdhury, who came from Uttara in the capital Dhaka, said: ‘I have come to Cox’s Bazar with my wife and children to spend consecutive holidays. The plan for many days was to visit Cox’s Bazar beach. However, I am concerned because the hotel rent is high.’
Tourist Anwar Halim said, ‘We have some friends from Dhaka from Cox’s Bazar. Green Cox and Cox Hilltop Hotel, built next to the city’s public works building, come here and charge eight and a half thousand rupees per room. We are all students, we don’t have that much money. As a result I went to another hotel without taking a room. Got a room there for a limited price (Tk4000) for one night. Room quality is not that good’.
In a residential hotel called Abhisar, the room rent has risen from 2000 taka to 7-8 thousand taka. Based on such complaints from tourists, the director of the hotel, Jasim Uddin, asked on the mobile phone, saying that they should pay 6000 taka for a single room.
When asked about the discount, he said “There is no discount at the moment”.
Liton Pal, manager of Hotel Abhisar, said: ‘The maximum room rent in our hotel is Tk 5,750 and the minimum is Tk 2,250. Charging extra makes no sense. We are tourist friendly. The fact that no room is booked for one night is also incorrect. However, as it is Friday, we have given priority to tourists who need a room for two nights to avoid losses.’
Like these hotels and motels, several other residential hotels and restaurants in Cox’s Bazar have received complaints of cutthroat trade.
In this regard, Abul Kasem Sikder, Chairman of Hotel-Motel and Guest House Owners Association, said: “It has been said in advance that there will be no extra charge for the hotel room. We are investigating the complaint against Hotel Abhisar. Actions will be taken with further comments after it is determined whether room types are being overcharged.
Executive Magistrate (Tourism Cell) of Cox’s Bazar District Administration. Masum Billah said: “Those who question the tourism industry by renting hotel rooms at outrageous prices will be identified and legal action will be taken.”