Written by Ch. Faisal Mahmood
Our rich compliments to our Arab brothers and sisters on the clear and loud message emanating from the just concluded 24th Edition of Arabian Travel Mart 2017, where 2,600 exhibitors, representation of more than 150 countries and across 65 national pavilions participated.
Now this Region is The Hub of modern civil aviation and thereby a region of fast economic development – industrialization, worldwide commerce and quality living.
All the development in our immediate west have come after the 1970’s and the credit does not all go to their spurt in money income; it goes to the way they used that income.
From hindsight, it is clear that they had adopted two principal pillars of policy in using that money. One was ‘we for ourselves’ and the other was recognition of Tourism as prime mover of their economies. Added to these two was the firm policy of ‘buying’ the best available professional know-how and professional managers.
The remarkable growth first of Dubai and then of other members of the United Arab Emirates, with Ras al Khaima being the latest, prove what we have been calling for and what international bodies like WT&TC and UNWTO have also been stressing upon : adopt Visitor Economy for quick in-depth economic and social development. Even the more stable, affluent and influential states of the West and Far East have adopted Tourism as their respective State Policies.
Lessons in modern Marketing say that nations should adopt their more readily visible and actually available assets to build their economies. Pakistan’s more readily visible and actually available assets are its sea, rivers, plains, plateaus, glaciers, mountains – all located so strategically on the world map – coupled with our unique historical, archaeological and cultural heritage.
The younger generation among our readers may need to be reminded that our first government in 1947 had taken up tourism as its economic policy and our first post-1971government had actually put the country well on the Tourism Path. If only that policy was allowed to continue, or to be re-adopted, we would ‘have been there’ already. There is still time for our politicians to take heed and to proceed.§