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Tourism Potential Update in Pakistan

December 9, 2023

According to a recent Gallup Pakistan report, the nation’s tourism industry is experiencing a renaissance. The research, which mostly relies on federal and provincial data, claims that the number of visitors to cultural sites increased from 1.6 million in 2014 to 6.6 million in 2018, with Punjab accounting for over 95% of this increase. Domestic travel is the main factor contributing to the increase in visitors. However, there is also a discernible increase in international visitors; at museums and other cultural locations, the number has doubled. It’s encouraging to see the increase. The authors of the research speculate that “tourism could be a potential game changer for the country’s struggling economy” in response to these data, which many would interpret as evidence that Pakistan is becoming a popular travel destination for foreigners. That may be an unduly optimistic assessment, though, given how much the nation’s diverse geography and rich cultural legacy have to offer travelers at this time.

To begin with, consider the generally unfavorable view that the world has of Pakistan and the numerous worries that visitors have about the safety of the nation. The government has frequently declared its intention to turn Pakistan into a “heaven for foreign tourists,” but it hasn’t done much to promote Pakistan as a safe and alluring travel destination. Because we were unable to sell ourselves, we were unable to capitalize on the goodwill generated by the British Backpacker Society’s ranking of Pakistan as the world’s top adventure travel destination the previous year or Forbes’ designation of the nation as one of the “coolest places” to visit in 2019.

On the other hand, nations like Malaysia and Thailand invest millions of dollars a year in marketing their tourist destinations in an effort to draw in a steady stream of foreign visitors. In fact, the current administration has made some moves to loosen limitations on overseas travel. However, that is insufficient, and further steps must be taken to counteract the officialdom’s inclination to view foreign visitors with distrust. Furthermore, in areas where they wish to encourage tourism, the federal government and the provinces must build a physical infrastructure and a hospitality sector. The nation is still not very welcoming to tourists as of right now. The government must make significant efforts in all areas to promote both domestic and international travel if we hope to see a boom in the tourism industry. If so, the idea of a “heaven for tourists” is out of the question.

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