KARACHI: It was a great day for tourism industry of Pakistan when on 17th September 2017 in Macao the PATA Honours Committee unanimously agreed at PATA board meeting to recommend Mr. Akbar Ali Shareef, Chairman PATA Pakistan-Chapter & Managing Director and Chief Executive Rakaposhi Tours to be the recipient of the ‘Award of Merit’. The award will be presented to him at the next PATA Annual Summit during May 17-20, 2018 in Gangwon Province, Korea (ROK).
In the past Mr. Akbar Ali Shareef has been an upright soldier of the Pakistan Army. He rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and being a dedicated soldier knew his country’s expanse like the palm of his hand. He took great pride in his country’s history and culture and hence his post retirement career was naturally Tourism Promotion.
Rakaposhi was thus launched in 1990. Thoughtful tour packages were out together which stood out among the competing seniors; ground handling was managed with meticulous preparations and military exactitude. Business volumes from there onwards increased rapidly.
With studied knowledge of the world of tourism PATA was Mr. Akbar’s first choice for international affiliation. He has been an active in PATA since 1992.
By 1998 he was Chairman PATA (Pakistan Chapter) and enhanced Chapter’s attention towards mountaineering and trekking products and also gave in depth lead to the Chapter in articulating the problems which began affecting Pakistan’s Tourism sector due to the deteriorating geopolitical situation unfolding in neighboring Afghanistan. During 2001-07 after 9/11 Pakistan’s tourism industries suffered immense damages. Even through these times the Pakistan Chapter led by Chairman Akbar was able to keep its membership together.
He also led numerous events for example he organized and conducted the visit to Pakistan by PATA Chairman Mr. Ram Kohli, PATA CEO Mr. Peter de Jong in 2005 and Present PATA CEO Dr. Mario Hardy in 2016.
Organizing and handling the trip for Ms. Cassandra De Pecol was his highly remarkable achievement from the tourism point of view. Ms. Cassie, who is an American traveller, speaker, activist and blogger best known for being the fastest and first documented person who travel to every sovereign nation in the World. She spoke very high about Pakistan and rated it on number 5th as her favourite country.
Mr. Akbar is currently the member of Board of Governors, Pakistan institute of Tourism & Hotel Management, Standing Committee on Tourism, Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry and Chairman of Standing Committee on Tourism, Travel Agents Association of Pakistan.