WRITTEN BY CH. FAISAL MEHMOOD
Very encouraging reports about the high arrival of tourists at places like Naran, Kaghan, Hunza, Chitral, Nathiagali and some part of AJK regions are pouring in constantly which is something to be celebrated by people like us, who has waited long to hear that Pakistan tourism is improving fast. All hotels in these regions are fully booked till end of August even some local people are renting out portions of their houses to tourists and earned their livelihood through tourism once again after long time.
In last, couple of days the new Prime Minister of Pakistan has spoke about improvement in domestic tourism. Preoccupied with many issues, we are happy that Prime Minister has in his mind the tourism industry of Pakistan and its chronic issues.
Much more happier is the Prime Minister Azad Kashmir, Raja Farooq Haider Khan, showing great gesture, he decided to welcome the tourists personally and by doing this he has admitted the socio-economic importance of tourism for his part of Kashmir.
MD Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) has also told that thousands of domestic tourists, had been booking their hotels, motels and rest houses at hilly picnic spots such as Murree, Ayubia, Bhurban Patriata, Abbottabad, Swat, Rawalkot, Neelum Valley, and Gilgit-Baltistan. These areas are likely to receive huge number of local tourists this year also.
It is evident that the local tourism is picking the momentum, an encouraging development that will gladden the hearts of all our compatriots. This suggests that finally the fate of the tourism industry in Pakistan is taking a turn for the better.
It is beyond any doubt that Pakistan has a great potential of tourism of all shapes like camping tourism, expedition tourism , adventure tourism, leisure tourism and of course religious tourism .
With better security conditions, with improved road infrastructure and with the efforts of various governmental tourism organisations and of course with the consistent efforts and unflinching faith of Holiday Weekly domestic tourism of many regions is improving fast. As is said, necessity is the mother of all inventions similarly here in case of domestic tourism demand will lead to new and expanded hospitality sector and other necessary tourism infrastructures in near future provided the relevant governments lend good incentive to the comparatively weak tourism industry of Pakistan.
With healthy flow of domestic tourists and with improved security situation, supported by good infrastructure and by setting up department of Tourism and hospitality in all Pakistani universities we might succeed to turn the things in the favour of Tourism Pakistan and we surely succeed to win back some couple of thousands of International tourists in the near future.