WRITTEN BY CH. FAISAL MEHMOOD
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 acquired 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, Globalisation 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.
Next month, along with the World we will once again celebrate the World tourism day by organizing seminars and other tourism oriented events. As the socio-political system of the country is once again bit shaken and political temperature is all time high, we hardly expect anything product or constructive, policy wise form weak and fragile tourism institutions of the Provincial Governments; though their representatives, here and there in different thinly attended seminars &functions highlight the importance and imperativeness of tourism for the economy of Pakistan.
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. ■