APP35-20 RAWALPINDI: December 20 - MD Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation Ch. Abdul Ghaffor Khan addressing a press conference. APP photo by Javed Qureshi

RAWALPINDI, Dec 20 (APP):Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) will organize a three-day international conference on tourism on from January 29 in federal capital under the auspices of World Tourism Organization (WTO) which
would be attended by around 150 countries.
Addressing a press conference here on
Wednesday Managing Director, (MD) Chaudhary Abdul Ghafoor said, Secretary
General WTO would also visit Pakistan next year. The conference would be a great achievement
which would help promote soft image of Pakistan in the world, he added.
He said, PTDC was keen to promote tourism, strengthen the
position of PTDC and to make performance of the corporation a role model.
Tourism activities in the country were gaining momentum
and foreign tourist arrivals were also gradually increasing, he said adding, all
out efforts were being made to create image of the country as a peaceful and
tourist friendly country.
Ch. Ghafoor said, various steps had been taken for promoting
tourism. He said, PTDC was also making efforts to establish a special tourist
satellite TV channel. The city tour bus service was introduced. The quality of
PTDC services had also been improved considerably.
He said, the corporation was encouraging the local and
foreign investors to come forward and invest in the sector.
The MD informed that efforts were being made to
facilitate pilgrims coming to Pakistan to visit religious places of Hinduism,
Buddhism and Sikhs as religious tourism would never end.
He further said, “We are also trying to facilitate domestic
tourists, overseas Pakistanis and foreign tourists.”
“I have divided tourism into different sectors like
Religious, Economic, Agriculture, Sports, Culture and Medical Tourism so that solid
steps could be taken to promote all sectors,” he said.
He urged the media particularly electronic channels to
promote tourism by highlighting tourist and cultural places of Pakistan so that
the number of foreign tourists could be enhanced.
To a question he said, the National Tourism Strategy Workshop was organized in which all the stakeholders participated and presented their recommendations.
He said, PTDC was going to adopt a comprehensive strategy to
promote tourism at national level.
To another question, he expressed the hope that the government would soon release
funds to improve the financial situation of the corporation for which efforts were
underway.
He said, PTDC had filed a petition in the Islamabad High Court against devolution of PTDC and hoped, the tourism would remain a federal subject.
“We are also going to sign MoUs with Airlines like PIA, Turkish Airline, Thai for promotion of tourism in the
country,” he added.
A magazine titled “Amazing Pakistan” has been published to highlight tourism activities of Pakistan in General and
apprise Diplomatic Missions, Tour Operators Association, Provincial Tourism
Departments, Airlines and other stakeholders of PTDC’s initiatives taken for
promotion of tourism in particular, he informed.
Multi-national companies are also being approached to get PTDC motels and other sites up gradated/beautified, he said adding, the PTDC had also proposal to had prefabricated houses erected on
the existing sites of PTDC and the lands to be acquired on lease on joint
venture/BOT basis. For beautification/branding of PTDC Motels, interested
parties had been invited to get the work done on sponsorship basis, he added.
The Corporation has also constituted Vigilance/Monitoring Committees to improve performance of the departments.
PTDC had a plan for establishment of tent accommodation of about 300 tents at existing facilities of PTDC Motels and wanted to make prefabricated resorts besides tent village, the MD said.