WRITTEN BY CH. FAISAL MAHMOOD
The Tourism industry worldwide has been developing faster and deeper since the turn of the present century. Not only have the very concept of Tourist Products obtained new meanings, the various sectors serving those products have also acquired different profiles and different dynamics.
The World Travel and Tourism Council Summit 2019 opened in Seville, Spain today. The summit is a lineup of top tourism leaders in the private industry together with political tourism leaders. Here too Pakistan remained unrepresented. With 1.4 billion international arrivals, 4,4 billion people flying and 7 billion domestic trips are taken every year, the second highest to contribute 8.8 trillion Dollars to economies , tourism is world’s fastest growing industry and Pakistan need to grow too.
We appreciate Landmark communications and its CEO Mr. Hamadani for making all out efforts to grow Pakistan tourism sector by organizing different tourism oriented events in Pakistan. Their organizing of Pakistan Travel Summit in Islamabad by all means was a big achievement. The landmark communications brought under one roof and on one platform the all major stakeholders of tourism sector leaving few exceptions. We are sure after results of the event will be very productive and encouraging for the tourism sector of Pakistan.
Our present politicians responded positively to the idea of Pakistan Travel summit and supported the event by their presence on both days.
Addressing concluding session of PTS, The PM concerns about Pakistan’s “untouched” beauty are appreciable and his commitment to regulate the tourism and introduction of appropriate laws which had to be implemented once Pakistan fully opened its tourist sector shows the tourism vision of the PM is very high.
The PM spoke in volume about tourism magnets of Pakistan, about untouched mountains, deserts and the virgin coastal belt in the southwestern Balochistan province. Somehow Sindh tourism was remained less represented, less projected and of course less spoken about and both the days one part of Pakistan dominated the event.
Recalling of hey days of tourism Pakistan of 1970s when the “hippie trail” brought Western travellers through the apricot and walnut orchards of the Swat Valley and Kashmir on their way to India and Nepal of bit astonishing for our new generation.
It would have been much better that when we all moving forward with positive note we would avoid discussing and hinting ‘harsh interpretation of Islamic laws’ at the forum where we have international bloggers to twist the words, the way they want.
It will be good for the region and people of the tribal areas bordering Afghanistan to meet with tourists of different countries. But our suggestions to the government are to not move too fast and please don’t open such sensitive area to the world. Here we need to move carefully and slowly keeping in mind the recent past and social and cultural sensitivities of the tribal belt.