Pakistan has tremendous tourism potential

July 21, 2015 By:

Islamabad

World Tourism Day is celebrated by United Nations on September 27 each year to raise awareness about tourism at the international level. This year draws special attention to the role of tourism in contributing in Community development.Capital Development Authority, in collaboration with Alpine Club of Pakistan held a meeting to celebrate the day in a befitting manner at the Pakistan-China Cultural Centre, Islamabad which was chaired by Mohammad Azam, Secretary Ministry of Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage, Government of Pakistan.

It was attended by large number of tourism industry personnel, CDA officials and Alpine Club of Pakistan members. Deputy Director General Tourism, Environment and Sports in his opening remarks highlighted importance of the day and displayed sights of various scenic areas of Pakistan.

 

Lieutenant Colonel (r) Manzoor Hussain, President ACP, in his keynote presentation highlighted the immense tourism potential of Pakistan, due to its geographical diversity. He described various tourism products which are, and can be offered by Pakistan. However, at the same time he presented data about dismal visitations to Pakistan as compared to rest of the world and South Asia.

 

He emphasised involvement and empowering of local communities in preserving their tourism assets, which in turn can bring development and prosperity to these very communities, helping poverty alleviation. He presented case studies of Kalash Valley, Kaghan Valley, Khunjerab

 

and the recently established Central Karakoram National Park.

 

He also highlighted the important factors needed to empower and involve local communities in promoting tourism. In the end he listed difficulties being faced in promoting foreign tourists inflow, besides the much haunted law and order situation, prominent being absence of Tourism coordinating agency at federal level after devolution of Ministry of Tourism and delay in issuance of visa to the intending visitors.

 

Dr Maria Sultan, Director General SASSI, in her address highlighted the importance of tourism in the modern era as a tool for economic multiplier. She emphasised on change of mind set and shifting of strategic priorities towards the tourism. She supported the case of empowering the local communities in preserving their tourism assets.

 

Arif Aslam, Chairman Shangrilla Hotels, in his address lamented the various negative factors hindering inflow of foreign tourists. He advised shifting of tourism focus and polices towards promoting domestic tourism. Asif Shahjehan, Director General Tourism, Environment and Sports, while thanking the participants and the speakers highlighted the various projects being planned and implemented for the promotion of tourism in the Capital Territory.

 

The chief guest, the secretary Ministry of Information, agreed with several observations made by the speakers and emphasised that efforts

 

be continued at all levels in promoting tourism, irrespective of the impediments involved.

 

He emphasised that our rich historical and archaeological heritage must be highlighted at the international level and narrated his personal experiences and efforts made in this direction during his foreign assignments in Germany and USA.

 

He arranged exhibition of Gandhara civilisation in USA which lured a large crowds who showed their keen interest in the archaeological heritage of Pakistan. He emphasised incorporation of Sofiasm in the tourism products. He assured Ministry’s and his personal support in resolving various impediments being faced by the tourism industry.

 

In the end the Mohammad Azam inaugurated the photo exhibition, specially arranged on the occasion by Karrar Haidri, the Press Secretary and member of ACP Executive Council.

 

The exhibition displays various enchanting and scenic spots of various parts of Pakistan ranging from the mountains and valleys of Gilgit-Baltistan to other parts and plains. The chief guest appreciated the skills of the photographer Karrar Haidri in capturing these luring and beautiful photographs.