ISLAMABAD: After the formation of 25 member National Tourism coordination Board (NTCB) by the PM, the federal and provincial governments have begun work on a comprehensive plan devised for the promotion of tourism in the country.
According to the plan, the northern areas and the tourist spots in the four provinces will be connected via roads, rail and air links.
Prime Minister Imran Khan has assigned special tasks to the railway and Aviation Division and inter-provincial coordination ministries. The Aviation Division has decided to turn Skardu Airport into an international airport for the promotion of tourism.
According to the Aviation Division, a new runway and latest traffic control system will be installed at the Skardu Airport. An apron in addition to the new airport terminal will also be built.
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has granted approval for the renovation of the Skardu Airport based on the report prepared by the technical team, the final approval of which will be received by the Civil Aviation Board.
The upgrading of Skardu Airport will be undertaken by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and the Pakistan Air Force (PAF). 60 per cent of the total cost will be paid by the CAA while the remaining will be paid by the PAF in installments.
On the other hand, the tourist-friendly areas of Swat abound with beautiful scenery have returned to normalcy. Peace has been restored in the region after it had to bear the brunt of war, leading to the CAA to open the Saidu Sharif Airport.
A special team of the CAA has been constituted for this purpose. The airport will be upgraded on the committee’s report after the board gives it approval.
On the other hand, work by the railway ministry on the proposed plan to ensure rail access to the tourist spots in Punjab, Sindh and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa is set to commence. According to the proposed plan, the Pakistan Railways will run steam engines and tourist trains for the foreign and local tourists.
The PM has given also the approval for the construction of roads in the tourist spots of Kaghan and Batagram. A budget of more than Rs11 billion in the development budget for the tourist spots of Hazara Division will be allocated in the financial year 2019-20, according to the proposed plan, the roads of Abbottabad, Murree, Galyat, Kaghan, Naran, Batagram and Manshera will be broadened and then new roads will also be constructed to make the tourist spot accessible for the tourists.