PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Senior Minister for Tourism Muhammad Atif Khan on Saturday said that Kumrat tourist spot would be developed as national park to showcase the province as a tourism brand to the world to attract more tourists.
Speaking at the inaugural ceremony of Margalla ridge trail and walking track at Margalla Hills National Park, he said that KP government had prepared a master plan for the development of new tourist sites under which 10 tourist destinations, including Kumrat, Kalam, Nathiagali and others would be restored on modern lines.
Islamabad Mayor Sheikh Ansar Aziz, KP Secretary Sports and Tourism Shahid Zaman, Commissioner Malakand Zaheer-ul-Islam, Chairman Wildlife Management Board Dr Aneesur Rahman, General Manager Tourist Information Centres (TICs) Muhammad Ali Syed were also present on the occasion.
The 44-kilometre long Trail-5 traverses between Margalla Hills National Park, Islamabad, and Haripur district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, which is being developed for visitors and tourists. According to officials, over 35-kilometre track lies in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The trail has three different interconnected paths. One is the normal one which has a spring called Ficus Spring and the last one is named as Trail-5 Dangerous. It is unique among the popular trails of Margalla Hills Islamabad as its terrain is at some point steep and at some point plain. So one can have a good combination of hard and relax time with the exception of the Trail 5 Dangerous.
The Ficus Spring has a refreshing experience. One can refill water bottles with the natural and fresh/clean water from the spring and can even splash some water on face for refreshing.
Most part of the trail passes through the picturesque, calm, clean and green areas of Haripur in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with available camping spots.
The senior minister directed that such camping spots for the relaxation and stay of the tourists be developed on urgent basis.
He said that though the KP government had very limited resources but the tourism sector would developed on priority basis to bring about a visible change for the better.
Atif Khan said: “God has bestowed us with the most beautiful places which are already worth tourism and tourists enjoyment but the only thing we need is to preserve it.”
He said that tourism spots in KP were never less tourists and eco-friendly than those of the world popular South Africa and Canada but one has to make it accessible and open to the tourists.
He said that KP Tourism Department was working to open more and more tourists’ spots to the public. He said that KP government had established a Tourism Task Force as well as a Tourism Think-Tank and will establish a Tourism Authority to boost promotion in the province.
Earlier, Mayor Sheikh Ansar Aziz highlighted the MCI activities for the preservation and development environments and wildlife in Islamabad particularly Margalla Hills National Park.