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. According to latest report of UNWTO the majority of the tourism workforce worldwide is female. The report highlights that 54 per cent of people employed in tourism are women compared to 39 per cent in the broader economy.
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.
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.
It is very encouraging that this year an exclusive Pakistan Tourism Pavilion was set at WTM London where all federating units of Pakistan was represented.
Pakistan High Commissioner (HC) in the UK took keen interest and along with Gilgit-Baltistan Governor, Senior Minister KP, Tourism Minister Gilgit-Baltistan and Tourism Minister AJK inaugurated the Pakistan Tourism Pavilion. The WTM venue was thronged by thousands of potential tourists and tour operators and that was best occasion for Pakistan tourism to promote Pakistan as a vibrant tourism destination.
Pakistan is blessed with tourism attractions for people from every walk of life and has the most beautiful and serene places on earth. That’s why, Pakistan is witnessing exponential rise in tourism. Be it religious tourism, eco-tourism, adventure tourism, sports tourism, mountaineering, or trekking, Pakistan offers abundant opportunities for the tourists and projection of Pakistan on such big and mega tourism exhibitions will bring good result for the industry
United approach towards tourism and embellished with the colours of Gilgit-Baltistan, Balochistan, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab, Azad Jammu & Kashmir and Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC), the Pakistan Pavilion attracted a large number of travel enthusiasts, representatives of international travel companies, media and bloggers.
Last month 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 was Pakistan Travel Mart. First time in the history of Pakistan such Mega event was taken place in Karachi.
The successful happening of the event furthered gear up tourism activities in Pakistan and spread awareness about the socio-economic benefits of visitor economy and tourism all over the country. All the stakeholders of the travel & tourism industry have played a positive role to give a strong push to Pakistan tourism to ‘Move Forward’.