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WRITTEN BY CH. FAISAL MAHMOOD

As we mentioned earlier also that the basic principle underlying the worldwide elevation of Tourism to its policy status of Visitor Economy is that local assets – whether physical or abstract – should be activated to sustain community pride and to generate income and thereby ensure its socio economic wellbeing.

Other countries, which were part of the Mughal and British Raj like ours, have glorified even the smallest physical evidence of that part of their history; not only palaces but even roadside monuments and animal feed-troughs of that period are taken care of and added to their Tourism assets. But in our country there are several major heritage sites suffering negligence and decay.

The World Tourism Association for Culture and Heritage (WTACH) has been formed to protect local cultures, heritage and historical sites that are in peril from overtourism.

The new association will promote ethical practices and better management relating to culture and heritage destinations that are now buckling due to unrestricted visitor growth, though our tourism is not overtourism but still we need to take timely steps to protect our fast decaying heritage.

It is on the agenda of WTACH that the newly for organization will encourage the implementation of sustainable practices at locations that are still in a “honeymoon phase” of tourism development, just like Pakistan.

Even the creation of WTACH comes as the UNWTO reports that international tourism arrivals hit 1.4 billion in 2018, two years ahead of its previous forecast of 2020.

Thank God our matchless heritage asset, a powerful symbol of love, peace and tolerance, a seventh century the holy figure caved at a cliff , the Buddha of Swat, once destroyed by enemy of our peace , security and heritage is restored again .

But there is news of Gandhara Art & architecture losing its charisma & attraction due to the stone crushing plants located in the vicinity of many site is very disturbing and alarming.

Gandhara sculptures and art occupy a prominent place in the museums of England, France, Germany, USA, Japan, Korea, China, India and Afghanistan, together with many private collections world over, as well as a vast collection in the museums of Pakistan.

Holiday weekly hopes that the recovered smile of the Buddha and Ghandhara heritage will help Pakistan to boost religious tourism from places such as China, Japan, Korea and Thailand.

We are sure that the threat to cultural heritage will be “minimized” through education and the use of social networks to spread a “soft, good” image. After all our National Heritage is for more important for us; much important then people & Project which poses a grave threat to Pakistani people`s historical and cultural heritage. Nothing should be & would be tolerated at the cost of National Heritage of Whole Pakistan.

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