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WOW! MY PAKISTAN – Revival of Pakistan Tourism

June 19, 2019 Headline News No Comments Email Email

According to Forbes, Pakistan is among the ten coolest destinations to visit in 2019. “What’s hovering between charming sleepiness and overdeveloped soullessness? What must we see before it changes forever? What will transform us?” Anna Abel.

Since 9/11, Pakistan was blocked from the radar for travelers, depriving nature lovers to enjoy some of the most spectacular mountain places on Earth. A wonder place, etched in history back in time 500BC emblazoned on World Heritage Sites, ancient Buddhist pilgrimage sites, colorful cultures and traditions, coastal holidays, desert safari, mountaineering, trekking and nature tourism. The opening of the Kartarpur corridor (November 2019) will encourage religion tourism.

In a drive to speed up the Prime Minister’s initiative to revive Pakistan Tourism,

a big step has been implemented to easing visa facility and waiver of NOC and restrictions giving freedom of movement to tourists.

Back to back tourism forums took on stage (April 2019) with an objective to develop positive relationships with multi-pronged strategy to enhance the tourism of Pakistan.

Mrs Shirin Walji of Travel Waljis Group was presented with a Lifetime achievement Award. Travel Waljis was the first Gov.license holder Tour Operator Company. Some of the pioneer personalities in travel and tourism present at the two forums included Ashraf Aman (Pakistan’s first climber K2 mountain), Zahoor Durrani (Pioneer in Train Tourism), Qaiser Khan (Pakistan Guides-pioneer in hunting expedition), Sajjad Shah (Pakistan International Paragliding), and other distinguished personalities in Industry.

Both events, with repetitive discussions (due to too many participants on each panel) on a wide spectrum of tourism failed to deliver immediate solutions to make Pakistan a friendly and affordable destination.

Key issues were not addressed during the forums and no concrete solutions (with exceptions) were concluded to making Pakistan a friendly-competitive destination:

-Incentive to local and international entrepreneurs to invest in low cost airline (LCC) and world bran resorts;

-Quality and affordable hotels;

-Dynamic marketing strategy involving experiential marketing at regional events, and adopt innovative marketing approach via mobile apps, blogs and internet;

 

-Initiate FAM Trips to International Tour Operators and travel media to visit and promote Pakistan.

-Develop Environmental-Friendly infrastructure and management of scenic places from degradation and preservation of indigenous culture. Tourism authority needs to implement special Environment Police to strictly maintain natural and heritage tourism products through imposing heavy fine on-spot to visitors and locals found littering.

-Creative tourism: Dark Tourism, MICE, Medical-Wellness tourism, Winter tourism.

Pakistan tourism work force lack the vision in branding Destination Pakistan through experiential marketing within the Asia-Pacific region while the west issued negative travel advisory since 9/11. To put Pakistan on tourist’ map, the country needs to attend regional events like PATA Travel Mart (September), ITB-Asia (Singapore in October), Arabian Travel Market (Dubai in April), IT&CMA/ CTW (held annually in Bangkok in September).

 

Upcomming Event:

  • Shandur Polo Festival, Chitral 7-9 July, 2019

SHANDUR POLO – PAKISTAN 07 – 09 JULY, 2019, Shandur Pass, Chitral.

  • Pakistan International Paragliding Cup, Muzaffarabad 27 Sept – 01 Ocrober 2019

According to UNWTO:  “Facilitating safe and seamless travel is key to strengthening tourism as a tool for sustainable development. We welcome #Pakistan‘s recent decision to increase their Visa Openness with E-Visas and Visas on arrival for 50 countries!

WRITTEN BY: Words and Photos: Saifuddin Ismailji

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