RAWALPINDI:The present democratic government is committed to facilitate tourists as the promotion of tourism industry would not only help to revive the economy but also remove any misperceptions about Pakistan. This was said by Federal Minister for Education and Technical Training, Engr. Baligh Ur Rehman while addressing the World Tourism Day 2017 Seminar and Photo Exhibition organized PTDC here at Rawalpindi today. He added that we working hard to improve infrastructure and facilities which will definitely increase tourist flow to the country.
He said that World Tourism Day is celebrated every year on 27th September under the theme declared by UNWTO. The theme “Sustainable Tourism – A Tool for Development” is most appropriate theme in present scenario for the very reason that Pakistan and China are in progress to develop China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). There are no two views on the importance of sustainable development of tourism industry as major source of foreign exchange earner, a tool of job creation and poverty alleviation and above all creating harmony among people from different parts of the country. It ability to sustain even the poorest in the economic ladder have been proven many times.
The improved law and order situation in country has certainly paved the way for positive changes to come, including a healthy influx of international visitors to Pakistan. The Government is also working on reviving PTDC as National Tourism Organization. New Role PTDC shall include interprovincial coordination in tourism marketing on national international level, tourism planning and policy making, tourism market research etc. beside its normal functions. With these efforts, I give you my word that Pakistan will appear as the brightest star of tourism in the world. Present government is taking necessary measures to promote and develop tourism in the country. PTDC Motels are being upgraded, new transport has been inducted in present fleet, ongoing projects will be completed as well as Aiwan-e-Sayyahat will be constructed in Islamabad. To promote domestic tourism, we are introducing water sports in Islamabad, Tarbela and Khanpur lakes. Promotion of Religious Tourism is also in focus, which can bring a large number of devotees of Buddhism, Sikhism and Hinduism from all over the world. We have approached the International Tourism organizations like UN World Tourism Organization and Pacific Asia Travel Association to support us by relaxing the negative travel advisories of western countries. Role of Managing Director PTDC Ch. Abdul Ghafoor in this effort is commendable.
The Official Message of Ch. Abdul Ghafoor., Managing Director PTDC was read by General Manager Ali Akbar Malik. Guest Speakers President Sustainable Tourism Foundation Pakistan Mr. Aftab-ur-Rehman Rana, President Pakistan Association of Tour Operators (PAT) Syed Sajjad Hussain Shah and Member PTDC Board of Directors Mr. Irfanullah Baig made presentations on theme of the day.
The Photo Exhibition was inaugurated by Engr. Baligh Ur Rehman, which was visited by a large number of students of universities, colleges and schools and general public. The exhibition will remain open till 28th September’s evening.
Managing Director PTDC, Ch. Abdul Ghafoor Khan was representing Pakistan by attending the Official Celebrations of World Tourism Day held at Doha, Qatar on special invitation of Secretary General UNWTO where he was the Guest Speaker at High profile Think Tank meeting : Tourism as a means for sharing and enhancing our cultures and mutual understanding. The Think Tank will mainly focus on tourism development and promotion in developing countries.
During his visit, Ch. Ghafoor will meet the General Secretary UNWTO and will invite him to hold International UNWTO conferences in Pakistan also. Both have also met earlier this year in Spain to discuss the same issue. He will also meet his Qatari counterpart during the meeting to discuss different aspects of tourism cooperation.