RAWALPINDI: National Tourism Strategy Roundtable Meeting was held at Flashman’s Hotel Rawalpindi, where Managing Director, Pakistan Tourism Chaudhry Abdul Ghafoor Khan was the Chief Guest. Tourism Stakeholders, tour operators, hoteliers, tourism think tank members, Heads of Tourism Department from different universities, and prominent figures attended the meeting.
While speaking to the occasion, Chaudhry Abdul Ghafoor said that the work in this sector has been started the first time since 1991. In the context of the 18th constitutional amendment, provincial autonomy is very optimistic, but the tourism sector should remain under supervision of the federal government, because tourism in all countries around the world is a federal responsibility.
After restoration of peace in the country, the situation has changed resulting in foreign tourists arrival increase in Pakistan. This year, compared to last year, the number of domestic and foreign tourists has seen a significant increase, while the image of Pakistan has also improved globally.
Managing Director PTDC added that there is lot more to do to promote tourism and infrastructure development in our country. The tourism industry should be given the status of an important sector of the national economy, which is essential for our society, our culture and our ecosystem.
These goals can be achieved by the public and private sector’s sharing and effective approach and our country can be seen as a perfect tourist center. I hope our meeting today will help us promote and develop a comprehensive strategy, which tourism people across the country will be able to follow it.
The convener of the meeting and tourism expert Aftab Rana high lighted the issues related to tourism sector and development in the country as well as issues related to the private sector in bringing foreign tourist groups to Pakistan. He said that there are low standard tourist accommodation, tour guide and transport in Pakistan.
While federal and provincial tourism bodies are also lacking coordination. There is no tourism policy on national level, which is one of hurdles in promoting tourism. This situation is adversely affecting the performance of this sector. In many countries, there is a problem for Pakistan’s visas, which need to be resolved immediately, while launching fascinating websites in the field of technology.
The meeting was later divided into five groups for discussion and various issues were highlighted. The working groups presented their recommendations for future implementation and issues related to improve better relations between organizations, security situation in Pakistan, improve the quality of services, providing quality manpower, proper care of tourist places’ environment and introducing friendly investment.