ISLAMABAD, Sep 27 (APP): The nation on Sunday marked the ‘World Tourism Day’ with resounding commitments and vows to bring economic prosperity in rural areas, besides ensuring preservation of the local culture and heritage.
The day was also observed across the globe under the patronage of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) that declared its theme as ‘Tourism and Rural Development’ this year.
A number of tourism related events were arranged by the public and private sector organizations to mark the day amid strict implementation of the anti-coronavirus SOPs (standard operating procedures). President Dr Arif Alvi, in his message on the World Tourism Day, said the promotion of tourist activities in rural areas could help increase the volume of national economy and put the country on the road to development and prosperity.
“The sector is not just a leading source of employment, particularly for different segments of rural society especially for youth and women but also provides opportunities for regional integration and socio-economic inclusion for the most remote areas.” Prime Minister Imran Khan, in his message, said emphasis was laid on the development of rural areas in various initiatives taken by the Government of Pakistan for promotion of tourism.
“Several new destinations have been explored for tourists in rural areas of the country which is expected to uplift the economic and social status of local population,” he added.
Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar said tourism played a vital role in the socio-economic development of the country. The Almighty had blessed Pakistan with many beautiful tourist destinations.
He also inaugurated tourism application which was meant to provide complete information to the tourists about 511 tourism destinations across the province. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Secretary Tourism, Sports, Culture, Archeology, Museum and Youth Affairs, Abid Majeed said the restoration of tourism and holding of tourism related activities at new places was the top most priority of Khyber Pakthunkhwa Government. He said efforts were underway to bring all new tourists sites at national mainstream through public private partnership at every district of the province.
“ Undoubtedly, the COVID-19 has put really bad impact on tourism sector but the present government is fully prepared to reverse the situation by introducing bundle on new initiatives for tourism promotion in Pakistan,” said National Tourism Coordination Board (NTCB) member Qamar Abbas Naqvi. He said Prime Minister Imran Khan was fully committed to developing the tourism sector, with major focus on rural areas that possessed most of the tourist sites in the country.
Travel enthusiasts and nature lovers also shared posts of scenic places of Pakistan on social networking sites to highlight tourism potential of the country and called for improving tourist services at the tourist spots. #TourismDay2020 and #Tourism remained top trends on FaceBook, Twitter and Instagram as thousands of people tweeted regarding the day.
“The beauty of nature will leave you speechless once you start travelling but it will make you a story teller once you finish travel,” Abdul Sammad tweeted.