WRITTEN BY CH. FAISAL MEHMOOD
As we said earlier also that though slowly but steadily our Tourism Industry is moving into a positive mode and we can see its pace is accelerating; accelerating to a very encouraging level. We pray Almighty Allah that the unfolding future will not prove us wrong, we share this perception with other stakeholders in Pakistan Tourism, so that they and their respective trade bodies may pick up the positive elements and re-activate their promotional tools within the country and abroad.
Our perception is based on the understanding that the many tourism oriented events have taken place in the different parts of Pakistan and all with thumping success and we know that such meet events are catalysts which activate positive dynamics of the Tourism Industry; we see recent meet events in Pakistan in this context.
To mention only a few, Like Pakistan Travel Mart, Karachi literature festival and Lahore literature festival, both were a thumping success despite there were some uncertainty about the Lahore event. The Faiz Festival and the khayal festival both attracted the Urdu poetry lovers in big numbers.
13thcholistan jeep rally in Punjab is going to take place next week and this time we are expecting many foreign participants in the major tourism event of TDCP. Last week Sri Lankan food and cultural festival in Karachi but above all PTDC tourism Conference in Islamabad and the 1st International conference at Makli are good omens for Pakistan tourism industry.
We concede that some of these and other such events, may be Destination Marketing responses to Pakistan’s emergence as an outbound supply market; but such promotional events, physically and materially held within Pakistan, do imply the organizer countries’ primary faith in our country’s resilience and its high economic potential – which, indeed, the world has seen, off and on in the last six decades.
Those who came to grace these events all saw the reality of Pakistan’s ‘security situation’ is very much improved.
Senior stakeholders have complimented us for voicing the absence of a national tourism administration, a vacuum which has added to the drift let loose upon us. Removal of the vacuum will release pent up energies from the federal to the provincial and from the provincial to the federal and from the federal to the international to renew Pakistan’s voice as the Surprising Destination that it is.