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A Revolution in Tourism: Government of Gilgit-Baltistan and Code for Pakistan Volunteer Tourism

December 6, 2023

In partnership with the civic-tech non-profit Code for Pakistan, the Gilgit-Baltistan government and its Performance Management & Reforms Unit (PMRU) recently revealed the debut of their Volunteer Tourism platform. With the help of this innovative project, voluntourism—an endeavor to promote responsible tourism in the area and provide travelers with fresh, fulfilling opportunities to engage with and support local communities—begins in Pakistan.

The GB Volunteer Tourism program fosters a relationship between visiting volunteers and locals by offering a distinctive platform for valuable and enduring volunteer experiences. With aspirations to extend into other fields of collaboration, the program targets keen travelers who are visiting and willing to offer their knowledge and talents.

Head of PMRU and Additional Secretary of Education, Mr. Sajad Khan, reaffirmed in his statement: “GB Volunteer Tourism is a commitment to long-term development and sustainable tourism; it is not about the short-term goals.”  The project intends to promote independence within local communities, empower volunteers, instructors, and students, and aid in the economic development of the area.

This initiative’s creation and introduction are the result of a powerful team effort. The project was initiated by the former Commissioner of Diamer, Altamash Janjua, and was first supported by the former Chief Secretary (CS), Mohyuddin Wani. It was then given ongoing priority under the new CS. 

Abrar Ahmed Mirza, the present chief secretary of GB, stated: “We welcome tourists from all over the world to Gilgit-Baltistan. In addition to showcasing the natural beauty of our area, we also wish to promote more environmentally responsible travel practices. We think that every traveler has the power to influence environmentally friendly travel strategies and contribute to the preservation of Gilgit-Baltistan’s natural treasures for future generations.

“For a decade, Code for Pakistan has been steadfast in its mission to improve public services and enrich community life throughout our nation,” stated Sheba Najmi, the founder of Code for Pakistan, who came up with the idea for the GB Voluntourism project based on her own rich experience as an international volunteer tourist. Observing the Gilgit-Baltistan Government’s dedicated and honest efforts, I’m incredibly happy and hopeful about the future of Pakistan, especially with the PMRU, being the pioneer in volunteer tourism there.

Volunteer applications for the GB Volunteer Tourism project are now being accepted.

Our Featured Article:

Read More: Promoting Responsible Tourism in Pakistan’s North

Read More: Sustainable Tourism Foundation Pakistan

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