WRITTEN BY CH FAISAL MAHMOOD
Undoubtedly tourism is a driver of job growth and economic prosperity, accounting for 1 in 10 jobs worldwide and delivering 1 in 5 of all new jobs created in 2018.But if we dig deeper and the story gets more interesting still.
In recently held WTTC Global Summit, former President of Costa Rica Laura Chinchilla Miranda put it like this: “Tourism equates to 27% of Costa Rica’s GDP. 80% of that benefits the lowest quintile and 60% of the jobs are for women.”
Just take the example of a tiny island ‘Maldives’ Tourism accounts for nearly 40% of all employment here providing livelihoods for thousands. Or a landlocked Himalayan kingdom likes Bhutan. Tourism arrivals to Bhutan have risen from around 20,000 a year to nearly 160,000 in the last seven years.
It’s not just employment opportunities and income that the sector can offer. Often better quality infrastructure has to be built to support the industry and the local population benefits too from improved roads and water supplies, internet access and waste disposal.
Tourism offers employment in far-flung places. As the growing tourism trends for discovering unexplored destinations and having meaningful experiences continue, the impact of tourist spend spreads to more far-flung parts of the planet.
Why we couldn’t benefit from this industry even being a tourism rich country? And why? Because of our circumstances, regional fights and our politicians in office were devoid of know how – forget vision – and, armed with singular haughtiness, disdain even available opportunities to learn- But not now, things are changing fast, the way tourism is changing worldwide. The modern tourism success stories are impacting our mind, determination and will to do tourism very effectively.
Last week we saw that the federal and provincial governments, tourism organizations of Sindh, Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit-Baltistan including Pakistan Hotel, Travel and airline Industry and many other semi-governmental organizations along with other 25 countries and more than 500 international delegates and exhibiters stood on one platform for the promotion of tourism trade in Pakistan, that platform is Pakistan Travel Mart. First time in the history of Pakistan such Mega event has taken place in Karachi.
The successful happening will further gear up tourism activities in Pakistan and will spread awareness about the socio-economic benefits of visitor economy and tourism all over the country. All the stakeholders of the travel & tourism industry has played a positive role to give a strong push to Pakistan tourism to ‘Move Forward’.
Congratulations to the industry and to Elderly Man, who whole-heartedly, put all his efforts and resources to make it an established Travel & tourism brand of Pakistan.
Congratulations to Mr. Hamdani and his team also for organizing such mega tourism event 3rd time, every time better and bigger than previous one in tourism starves Pakistan.