BRAC Services Ltd is a unique name in hospitality sector’ -Dalton Zahir

Mohammad Zahirul Islam is known in the trade as Dalton Zahir, the head of Sales and Marketing of BRAC Services Ltd (BSL). BSL includes BRAC Centre Inn Mohakhali, BRAC CDM Rajendrapur, BRAC CDM Savar, and the Artisan boutique hotel Uttara. He has 17 years of experience in hospitality, tourism, public relations, media and communications, branding, sales, marketing and business operations. He also worked for the Rose View Hotel Sylhet, Grand Sultan Tea Resort and Golf Sylhet, Ocean Paradise Hotel and Resort Cox’s Bazar, Lakeshore Hotel Gulshan, Motorola Mobile, Apple Computer, Philips Mobile and Fujifilm Digital Camera Distribution in Bangladesh office (Jel Corp HQ in Singapore). A tete-a-tete with Zahirul Islam draws us a picture of what to expect next from BSL.

BRAC Services Ltd is a leading hospitality management company in Bangladesh, with four properties—two located within Dhaka city, one in Savar and one in Gazipur. Collectively, these four properties offer 372 guest rooms. BSL has an excellent track record for exceptional services and has an increasing contribution to the tourism industry of Bangladesh. Hotel accommodations, restaurants, conference centres, banquet halls, health clubs are some of the services we offer.

Who are your target guests and what has been the feedback so far?

BRAC is the name of a world class brand and it has incredible reputation worldwide. We are working on branding for the next few months. So far the responses from the guests have been overwhelming. They are very happy.
Truly speaking, our primary target are the corporate clients. We strongly believe we can create a competitive position in the hotel and hospitality industry within a very short time.

Are the services likely to improve B2B tourism?

Before commenting on B2B, I would like to share that UNWTO (United Nations World Tourism Organisation) advised us to promote domestic tourism. If two percent of the country’s total population travel during the tourist season, it would help increase business of the hospitality industry in more than one way. When local visitors travel more within the country, they spend more here. If they travel abroad, the earnings of the country’s hospitality industry reduce. We have to inspire more local tourists to visit different tourist’ sites in the country. There is a lack of investment to attract foreign tourists to the country. Our investment plans must be sustainable. We have to design plans to promote tourism not only during holidays but also on other days of the week.

Initiatives should be taken to encourage travellers write more travel stories. Travellers who write from their experience should be rewarded

How does our hospitality industry attract and welcome foreign guests?

Unfortunately, there is no tourism calendar, no tourism related publications, and no proper guideline in the country. Even the websites of the government tourism organisations do not have information about infrastructure like hotels and motels. The private hotel owners are disseminating information by their own efforts. If these could be done at national levels, it would attract more foreign tourists and benefit the industry a lot. To let more people know about tourism sector, the government should arrange one-to-one meeting among industry stakeholders to implement tourism plans.

How can the tourist industry be promoted?

At present, there is no authority who works to promote the tourism industry. There are various forums in the country who are working for development of tourism sector.

Initiatives should be taken to encourage travellers write more travel stories. Travellers who write from their experience should be rewarded. Positive write-ups should be published in the international field. A dedicated media should be established that will encourage to write travel stories and disseminate globally.

In the present era of social media, we have to keep writing more and more about tourism sector. We have to avoid highlighting negative news. Maybe you will find roads are broken. Maybe infrastructures are inadequate but we have natural beauty which is hard to find in any other part of the world.

Local visitors travel more within the country, they spend more here

Just a few days ago, the government announced steps to make more people skilled for the hospitality sector. How do you describe this?

Government initiatives are always welcome. But what I think, the government at first has to prepare is a list of skilled and expert people who are working in this sector and recognise them for their dedication for the industry through their lives. There are lots of people who are well known, even in the international arena. We have to honour those people. They are the real assets and can show the pathways for actual development of the industry.

There is another tourist conference ahead that will be held in Bangladesh. How do you think that will help the industry?

First of all, the guests around the world who will come here have to be informed about our tourism sector. A good number of foreign journalists will also come. The country’s tourism industry will be promoted through the news coverage made by them.

Dalton Zahir

Mohammad Zahirul Islam (Dalton Zahir) has earned 18 years of holistic and ambidextrous experience in hospitality, tourism. His creativity and strive to do innovative things placed him in a very well deserving position. He worked as a Head of Sales and Marketing of BRAC Services Ltd. as ahead of Sales And Marketing he looks after BCDM Savar, BCDM Rajendrapur, The Artisan Hotel Uttara, BRAC INN, Mohakhali. and Rose View Hotel in Sylhet. Manager, sales, and marketing at Grand Sultan Tea Resort & Golf. During his tenure, the hotel achieved World Luxury Hotel Award and Trip Advisor’s Best Guest Comment Award. He got the Manager of the Month Award by The Management. He also worked with Ocean Paradise, Lake Shore Hotel, Motorola Mobile, Apple Computer, Philips Mobile, and Fujifilm Camera Distribution for Bangladesh (Jel Corp HQ in Singapore) for more than 16 years in various capacities. Dalton, curious about the tourism and hospitality sector, has been working to explore tourism potentials focusing Beautiful Bangladesh for its different places, cultures, and cuisines. His thirst to devise tools and to draw a blueprint to attracting tourists makes him dexterous in hospitality and tourism. Besides working in a hotel as Head of Sales and Marketing, he is also curious about a number of organizations like UNWTO (World Tourism Organization). He is the Co-Chairman, Standing Committee on Hotel, Motel, Resorts and Guest House Development and Member of the Tourism Development Standing Committee of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI). Dalton Zahir also does Photography; he is the Member of Photographic Society of American, since 2008 & Bangladesh Photographic Society. He received Photography Awards for his remarkable Achievements. A travel-loving personality, Dalton visited UK, Germany, South Korea, Singapore, Poland, Denmark, Austria, Czech Republic, Malaysia, India, Nepal, China, Myanmar and the Dubai UAE. He also participated various esteem events like India’s largest event Travel Tourism Fair, ITB Berlin (World’s largest travel tourism fair in Germany), WTM London (World Travel Market, UK), Arabian Travel Market (ATM, Dubai) also participated for photo competitions of USA, Germany, and France. Among the remarkable achievements, receiving AJFB Award 2015 as the Best Tourism Promotion of Bangladesh is the most significant one. Other than Photography he also knows the nationally as Writes and in the Ekushay Book Fair Published his 6 Books other 2 Book will be published from Kolkata Book Fair. He has to Achieve remarkable 10 Awards. He also was known as Tourism Editor. With long working experience in Hospitality Industry in various capacities Dalton Well Known to the Industry as a Dynamic tourism Promoters for the Country. He is involved with national & international Tourism Events with private & Government organizations.

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