Sardar Muhammad Rafiq Khan Chairman | Bukhari Group

To create global awareness about the importance of tourism and its impact on society in various fields. The World Tourism Day is celebrated on September 27 every year. The theme for this year’s commemoration is ‘Sustainable Tourism – a Tool for Development’.

Tourism is vital and at the heart of forging friendships, creating a better understanding between people of different countries, religions and regions. Tourism connects people to people, hearts to hearts and place to place. At the same time, being boarder less, tourism is also a very effective economic development strategy and a catalyst for the growth of the country.

In an interconnected world where the business volume of tourism equals or even surpasses that of oil exports, ‎food products or automobiles, it is important to set out a legal framework to ensure that growth is dealt with responsibly and that it can be sustained over time.Tourism is a power that must be harnessed for the benefit of all.

The member States of the World Tourism Organization last week approved a historical document‘The UNWTO Framework Convention on Tourism Ethics’. The convention covers the responsibilities of all stakeholders in the development sustainable tourism, providing a framework that recommends an ethical and sustainable modus operandi, including the right to tourism, the freedom of movement for tourists and the rights of employees and professionals.

As is being said that Pakistan is becoming day by day an outbound tourists market so in these circumstance we must focus and concentrate on promoting Domestic Tourism.

Let us understand first that we have already substantial domestic traffic of tourists from one province to the other and from one city to another but these movements are not and cannot be recorded closely enough to give us the real data. Many groups travel to see horse and cattle show Lahore and Sibi, to see Cholistan Jeep Rally, to see Swat festival and many other Melas and festivities but as I said earlier there is no system to establish a data of this sort of domestic tourism. Even so, there is still a lot more potential for us to tap.

Fact of the matter is that People of our north and in Azad Jammu and Kashmir want to see the Silver sand beaches in Sindh and Baluchistan and people of this side want to see mountains, lakes, rivers, snow fall and springs etc. in the north. Under the Umbrella of Pakistan Travel Mart it is our earnest desire to bring together all the stakeholders of Pakistan travel, tourism, aviation and airline industry and have single point goal to achieve and that is the promotion of tourism Pakistan

This year our Northern Areas have very successful tourism summer season. Almost all hotels, Motels and places of accommodation were fully booked. This is the right time for private entrepreneurs and tour operators to invest in tourism infrastructure and market their priced packages targeting middle class families and immigrants Pakistani living abroad but want to explore every touristic destination in Pakistan and of course affinity groups like university students etc.

Our Sufi heritage is a major asset for promoting domestic pilgrimage traffic. The provincial and local governments should develop roads to each of our Sufi Shrines anywhere in the country and our tour operators will do the rest. We must highlight religious tourism and encourage our small and medium enterprises to participate for promotion.

So, our cumulative focus should be on developing Domestic Tourism pursuing which will polish up and expand our infrastructure and tourism superstructure which will perforce pull foreign tourists ultimately. Let us heed that the millions of outbound tourists that Holiday tells us about, are running out of new destinations to develop domestic tourism ultimately infrastructure will start improving also.

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