ISLAMABAD, May 27 (APP): Citing Pakistan’s serene landscape and diverse culture, President Dr Arif Alvi on Monday said ensuring quality hospitality services was important to fully exploit the country’s tourism potential.
“Pakistan has a lot of potential for hospitality industry owing to its diverse culture, landscape and religious places to attract more local and international tourists,” President Alvi said while chairing a meeting on ‘Courses on Hospitality Industry, here at the Aiwan-e-Sadr.
Tourist sites such as Mohenjo-Daro, Harappa, Taxila, Himalayan hill-stations, Buddhist sites and mountain peaks offer excellent tourist potential. However, the country lacks proper tourist facilities and needs private sector’s investment for its development.
The President called upon National Vocational and Technical Training Session (NAVTEC) and Higher Education Commission (HEC) to come up with concrete proposals for formulating a curriculum on hospitality services and online training courses, as well as its standardization.
In view of the importance of trained workforce, the President stressed that training courses be devised for tour operators and guides, hotel management and guest services.
The President encouraged private sector to invest in hospitality industry to explore and promote tourist places in Pakistan. He also assured every possible support for development of hospitality industry.
He expressed satisfaction that thousands of foreign tourists visited Pakistan every year and added that the government was taking steps to promote tourism through initiatives like e-visa, visa-on-arrival and development of new tourism sites.
As per available data, travel and tourism in year 2018 accounted for over 10 percent of the world’s GDP, created one out of five new jobs and grew by 3.7 percent. In Pakistan, the number of international tourists is expected to increase up to 1.4 million in 2019.
The meeting was attended by Chairperson HEC Dr Tariq Banuri, Chairman NAVTEC Syed Javed Hasan, CEO Serena Hotels (South Asia) Aziz Boolani and CEO Hashoo Group Haseeb Gardezi.