WRITTEN BY CH. FAISAL MAHMOOD
The snowfall marks the Beginning of the winter tourism season in the country. Tourism related concerns are expecting to do some good business, especially those in northern area and Kashmir including Swat, as they had some bad years in the past business wise; if not to list up other damages of terrorism in the heavenly snowcapped, our Northern Areas. Now once again, with the grace of Almighty Allah the region is fully peaceful and safe and is open for tourists. It would be much better for the region if domestic tourists give extra importance to visit our own tourists destinations. Let’s have tourism with a cause; cause to support our own tourism related concerns-both public and private.
In an attempt to lure back the domestic visitors the hotels of the area are keeping their rates very reasonable. This is the time for PTDC, the Tourism Ministries -both with teeth and without teeth, Tourism Corporations and above all, the tour operators to act and do something to help them in making the most out of this season. There were hey days when the tour operators of Pakistan earned a lot from the region by selling packages domestically and internationally and during bleak days the majority of tour operators focused on out bound tourism to keep them economically alive. As the hey days are coming back, it is their national responsibility to turn their attention towards domestic tourism of the region.
As the Tourism is the baby of provincial governments after historic 18th amendment; though touristically the amendment is less historic and more horrify. But we expect from every government weather provincial or federal to launch Advertising campaigns, tourism awareness campaigns, familiarisation trips for print and electronic media and should not leave perhaps any stone unturned to bring back compete tourism culture in the region.
Tourism was – and is the main stay of the contented people of that region, as the things have improved and more and more Pakistan youth are opting to sea these areas of unimaginable beauty, as the PM has said very rightly. Our brethren, the people of these areas have all the right to look towards the governments, towards the tour operators and of course towards their fellow citizens for their Nationalism.