WRITTEN BY CH. FAISAL MAHMOOD
Doubtlessly, Though Slowly but steadily our Tourism Industry is moving into a positive mode and we can look forward to accelerate its pace. 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 scores of recent meet events in Pakistan in this context.
To mention only a few, Like Karachi literature festival and Lahore literature festival, both were a thumping success. The Faiz Festival and the Khayal festival both attracted the Urdu poetry lovers in big numbers.
Cholistan jeep rally in Punjab and mega tourism event Shandur Polo festival will take place next week and many such events will held all over Pakistan.
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.
Recently Head of Chinese tour operators delegation during the visit to Pakistan said that ever year more than one million visitors from Chengdu province only visit different countries, for them Pakistan can be a unique place. The delegation asked both public and private sector of Pakistan to try to enter into Chinese outbound market. The Chinese tour operators asked Pakistani counter parts to promote Pakistani tourism through mobile apps, Chinese language and social media through their tourist places, China can turn into largest tourist generating country of Pakistan.
The Chinese outbound has 132 million in 2017, up by 6.9 percent .China Tourism Academy, a think tank under the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, said in the report that outbound tourists spent 115.29 billion U.S. dollars on their trips, up by 5 percent year on year. China’s outbound tourism market is estimated to increase by 5 percent annually on average in the coming years, bringing the number of outbound tourists to 157 million in 2020 so it is highly time for Pakistan tourism sector to be fully focused on this friendly neighbor world largest outbound market of the world.
We are voicing for Chinese outbound, previously the senior stakeholders of travel trade 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.