Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Time Disappearing

The last week before departure is always a blur of preparations and taking care of final details. I picked up my new eyeglasses today, Ambien for sleeping through jet lag, and a new notebook and pens for all my notes.

I heard from my supervisor today in Washington. He wanted to make sure I had received everything I need. He let me know that Bangladesh is completely and totally "dry." There is no beer or wine or any spirits available even in hotels designed for foreigners. He mentioned that there is one Duty Free shop right before the immigration desk if I want to have a little supply of my own, for private use while traveling! Interesting detail. He lived in Bangladesh for 5 years, and he said when he forgot to mention this to other consultants, they were a bit peeved! I appreciated his thoughtfulness.

I received some exciting and interesting maps of my project area. There has been initial zoning work done, some early trail design, and work on interpretation centers. Apparently, some Indian consultants have already been to the site to help develop interpretation of the parks.

I was sent statistics on the visitor numbers for the parks for 2007 and 2008 along with how much each visitor paid for entry fee and other goods, such as T shirts and hats. This is outstanding information, and vital to understanding how tourism is impacting the region and its potential for benefiting the parks.

I have also received word that I can meet with a gentleman from a local university who is writing his masters thesis on tourism in Lawachara National Park. I will be visiting this park my first week to learn more about how tourism is being managed in Bangladesh's parks, before proceeding to the Teknaf Peninsula where I will review the strategy for the entire region.

My visa arrived today for 6 months, multiple visits. That is always a very important moment.

I am rushing to complete work with partners on many other projects before departure. I may now write again only after I begin my journey! Time is disappearing as my flight is only 48 hours from now.

1 comment:

  1. In case you have not seen it, you are quoted in an Orlando Sentinel story today about the Forever Florida zipline - here is link,0,4449518.column

    I look forward to the next installment of your journey.


Thank you for your comment. For more information on the work of an ecotourism consultant, visit EplerWood International's website at