Modern Cox's Bazar derives its name from Captain Hiram Cox (died 1799), an officer serving in British India. An officer of the British East India Company, Captain Cox was appointed Superintendent of Palongkee outpost after Warren Hastings became Governor of Bengal. Captain Cox was specially mobilised to deal with a century-long conflict between Arakan refugees and local Rakhains. The Captain was a compassionate soul and the plight of the people touched his heart. He embarked upon the mammoth work of rehabilitating refugees in the area and made significant progress. A premature death took Captain Cox in 1799 before he could finish his work. But the work he had done earned him a place in the hearts of the locals, and to commemorate his role in rehabilitation work a market was established and named after him Cox's Bazar ("Cox's Market").
Today, Cox's Bazar is one of the most-visited tourist destinations in Bangladesh, however it has yet to become a major international tourist destination, with no international hotel chains operating here, due to lack of publicity and transportation.