ISLAMABAD, Dec 5 (APP):Prime Minister Imran Khan Thursday stressed on the need for an effective coordination among all the departments at the federal and provincial levels to fully capitalize on the tourist potential of country.
Chairing a meeting regarding promotion of tourism, the prime minister recalled that international investors from different parts of the world had expressed keen interest for investment in the development of tourism sector of Pakistan.
He noted that Switzerland, Turkey and Malaysia had been earning huge revenue from the tourism industry. Pakistan had diverse and rich tourism potential in terms of mountain tourism, adventure tourism, desert tourism and religious tourism, he said.
The tourism potential, he said, could be translated in revenue generation, employment opportunities and creation of economic activities thereby contributing towards the socio-economic development of the country.
The meeting was attended by Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mehmood Khan, Special Assistant on Overseas Pakistanis & Human Resource Development Sayed Zulfiqar Abbas Bukhari, Special Assistant on Information & Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, KP Minister for Tourism Muhammad Atif Khan and senior officials.
The meeting reviewed the progress achieved so far on the earlier decisions for the promotion of tourism in the country in terms of the identified properties of Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation and their opening for the general public particularly in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The prime minister said the government rest houses, which had been built on tax payers money, should be a source of income instead of lying useless. “Pakistan is emerging as an attractive destination on the international tourism map owing to its beautiful natural landscape; we must strive to capitalize this potential through expediting the infrastructure development, provision of services and facilitation,” he added.
The meeting was informed that efforts were being undertaken to hold an international tourism conference in Pakistan in the coming years to further broaden the scope of tourism industry in the country.
The prime minister directed to develop the tourist infrastructure and services while keeping in mind the preferences and priorities of tourist groups from different parts of the world and adherence to ecotourism principles.
It was reiterated that there should be a single authority to supervise the restoration and renovation of the existing tourist infrastructure in the country.
The prime minister directed that all forms of tourism in the country must be focused simultaneously owing to seasonal constraint in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and northern parts of the country.
The prime minister especially highlighted the potential of religious tourism in Punjab and parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The meeting was informed that special facilities were being extended for the monks at Peshawar Museum, and the Sikh visitors were also being facilitated for visits to parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Special tourist apps were also being introduced for technical facilitation to the tourists.
The meeting was told that measures were being taken for development of new tourist destinations in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The prime minister directed to expedite the legislative framework and fast-track the development of tourist infrastructure and services across the length and breadth of the country.