RAWALPINDI: The Managing Director Pakistan Tourism, Ch. Abdul Ghafoor Khan, while talking to media after attending official celebrations of World Tourism Day in Qatar, stated that in a meeting with Mr. Talib Rifai, Secretary General UN World Tourism Organization, he invited the UNWTO to hold its conferences and events in Pakistan also so that Pakistan can be projected as a peaceful tourist friendly country. Ch. Ghafoor said that he requested UNWTO to help Pakistan in removing of negative travel advisories issued by top tourist generating countries. UNWTO may approach government of Pakistan and recommend the retaining of Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation as a federal entity as its role in promotion and development of tourism industry cannot be denied. Also UNWTO may include inviting Pakistani tourism industry professionals in their training courses etc.
He added said that after improved law and order situation of the country as well as positive policies of the present Government, the image of Pakistan as a tourist friendly destination and a peaceful country abroad has improved. As a result of these measures a significant increase of 17% was observed over 2015 as compared to previous years with a total number 1.247 million foreign tourists.
Secretary General UNWTO Talib Rifai appreciated the efforts of the Managing Director PTDC and assured that Pakistan will be included in venues of upcoming UNWTO conferences and events. Hopefully a major tourism conference will be held in Pakistan by February 2018, for which support of PTDC in general and government of Pakistan in particular is required. He also said that UNWTO will provide maximum support to Pakistan in projection of a soft image of the country.