ISLAMABAD: A consultative workshop on enhancing B2B Linkages to promote tourism between Pakistan and China was held on 06-09-2021 in the conference room of Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC). The meeting was chaired by Mr. Aftab Ur Rehman Rana (Managing Director, PTDC) and attended by all the key stakeholders and representatives of different departments and organizations including Mr. Zhang Heqing, Cultural Counselor/Director, China Cultural Center in Pakistan, Mr. Zulfiqar Ali, Second Secretary, Pakistan Embassy at Begging China, Mr. Rizwan Gul, Director-China, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Salman Javed Former MD of PTDC and Chair of FPCCI Committee on Tourism, Mr. Muhammad Tanvir Jabbar, MD Tourism Development Corporation of Punjab, Mr. Muhammad Ali Khosa, MD Sindh Tourism Development Corporation, Mr. Moshin Shahid Focal Person of Department of Tourism Balochistan, Mr. Hayat Ali Shah. General Manager P&D, KP Tourism Authority, Mr. Sajid Hussain, Deputy Director, Gilgit Baltistan Tourism Department, Mr. Ali Raza, Executive Director representatives of PATO, travel trade seniors, and officials of PTDC’s Marking Department attended the workshop.
A brief presentation was delivered by MD, PTDC in which he highlighted the main areas of improvement to enhance the B2B linkages between Pakistan and China. During the presentation MD, PTDC discussed the importance of tourists visa facilitation on both sides of the Pak-China Border to promote two-way tourist traffic, cost-effective air connectivity between Pakistan and China, exchange of tourism professionals from public and private sectors to mutually understand each other’s tourism markets and enhance B2B linkages, development of tourism promotional material in Chinese language, improvement in the security situation, the establishment of tourism economic zones along CPEC to develop quality tourist infrastructure focusing on the principles of sustainable tourism development.
Mr. Zhang Heqing, Cultural Counselor/Director, China Culture Center in Pakistan, China Embassy appreciated the efforts of PTDC to organize such a great and meaningful event to promote tourism between China and Pakistan. He stated that China and Pakistan are celebrating the 70th Anniversary of the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations this year. This relationship was built on the strength of successive achievements and becomes formidable with each passing day and year. The leadership of both countries is committed to taking this relationship forward.
Furthermore, Mr. Zhang Heqing discussed that Gilgit-Baltistan is the hub of the tourism industry in Pakistan and attracts millions of local and foreign tourists. Tourism is an important industry that will also see an immense boost as a result of CPEC progress in Pakistan. China and Pakistan can exploit the potential advantages of the tourism resources in the regions along the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, especially the China-Pakistan border areas. It will help the residents along the coastal tourism belt shake off poverty, promote the development and construction of cross-border tourist routes along the railways and highways.
All the participants highly appreciate this effort and shared their feedback to improve the business-to-business linkage between Pakistan and China. The representative of PATO also highlighted the potential that is available to be utilized if both countries create an enabling business environment for tourism on both sides of the border and ease the visa formalities to increase the two-way traffic of tourists.
Mr. Rana thanked all the participants of the workshop and informed them that PTDC will continue its work with China Culture Centre to get more insight on tourism from China and better underdoing of the Chinese tourists market. He added that this cooperation will go a long way and today’s discussion will help to develop a first-ever draft strategy paper on “Enhancing B2B Linkages to Promote Tourism Between Pakistan and China”.