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Government Urged to Promote Tourism in the Country

August 22, 2023

ISLAMABAD: [From] On Thursday, experts and professionals from the tourism industry called on the federal and provincial governments to promote tourism in the country, citing its abundance of natural beauty, cultural diversity, and rich history as reasons for doing so.

Speakers from the tourism industry, including tour operators, travel agents, academia, and civil society, proposed the formation of a national tourism board at a discussion on the ‘Challenges Faced by the Tourism Industry of Pakistan’ that was hosted by the Pakistan Tourism Forum. This board would include representatives from provincial tourism corporations, the Azad Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Department, the Gilgit-Baltistan Tourism Department, and private trade bodies.

“Soft policies should be made for international tourists so that they can easily travel to the destinations of their choice,” said Ashraf Aman, the first Pakistani to climb K2, who was also the first person to climb any mountain in Pakistan.

After the meeting, he had a conversation with Dawn in which he shared his opinion that the northern regions of the country have the potential to draw a significant number of tourists provided that adequate accommodations are made for them. During the conversation, Sirajul Mulk, a member of the royal family of Chitral, stated that the most significant obstacle in the way of the country’s efforts to promote tourism is bureaucracy.

“If it is difficult to revive international tourism due to the current state of law and order, why isn’t domestic tourism being promoted?” he questioned. “If it is difficult to revive international tourism due to the current state of law and order…”

The Foundation for Sustainable Tourism The President of Pakistan, Aftab Rana, has voiced his concern about the deteriorating condition of the tourism industry in the country. According to him, Pakistan’s government has not provided the necessary assistance for the country to fully realize its potential in the tourism industry.

Because the tourist business in Pakistan has not been given importance by the Pakistani government in terms of promotion, the industry as a whole has suffered.

According to Amjad Ayub, the President of the Pakistan Association of Tour Operators, the Federal Ministry of Tourism was devolved after the 18th Amendment, and that means that the provinces are now responsible for the development of tourism. According to him, however, there is an absence of coordination between the central government, the provinces, and the business sector.

The Comparative Report of the World Economic Forum indicates that the number of tourists visiting Pakistan is at an all-time low. On the Transparency and Trade Competitiveness Index, Pakistan is currently ranked 125 out of 141 countries.

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