WRITTEN BY CH. FAISAL MEHMOOD
As we earlier wrote, the Tourism industry worldwide has been developing faster and deeper since the turn of the present century. Not only have the very concept of Tourist Products obtained new meanings, the various sectors serving those products have also acquired different profiles and different dynamics. Historical and archaeological products, which previously sufficed for marketing of destinations, are now considered ‘static products’; rendering them unsalable, except with activities contrived around them. The current ‘in thing’ for attracting tourists is what experts call ‘Contrived Products’.
Changes in the transportation sector have been the more visible and more influential. From being a ‘developing’ country’s answer to earning foreign exchange and delivering income to poorer communities, Tourism has become the Visitor Economy even to highly developed countries, as we keep on repeating in our pages . The Marketing approaches to promoting Destinations and Products have also changed. Tourist supply markets and civil aviation hubs have changed locations not from one country to the other but from one continent to the other. Grouping of countries have become regional compulsions and the means to socio-economic fulfillment.
Yet, though much talked-about, Globalization remains to be perceived as the reality that it has actually become. And where is Pakistan in all this? Isolated. Bypassed.
And why? Because our politicians in office are devoid of know how – forget vision – and, armed with singular haughtiness, disdain even available opportunities to learn, however now our politician and provincial tourism ministers are responding positively to the idea of PTM and are lending their support to the team of Pakistan travel Mart, a brainchild of a leading travel trade businessperson of Pakistan, who is whole-heartedly putting all his efforts and resources to make it a established Travel & tourism brand of Pakistan. Holiday weekly too, whole-heartedly supportthe PTMteam and appreciate their efforts and work, particularly their presentation at DOTW function held in Karachi last week. We also expect from allthe stakeholders of Public and private sector to support the organizers of PTM to make it major turning point for Pakistan tourism industry.
Fact of the matter is that we have to take some extra ordinary steps to bring our domestic and international tourism at par with the world and established PTM can prove a big leap forward.
However, the problem, we repeat, is with our politicians not knowing the economic social and diplomatic values of Tourism. They continue to swear by the ‘18th Amendment’ which removed any federal dispensation for Tourism and our Planning Commission, which should be thinking out of the box with vision, has no Tourism section.