Pakistan Travel and Tourism Symposium 2024 | ‘Building the National Economy Through Tourism’

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan, a land of diverse landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and historical significance, stands poised to unlock its immense tourism potential. With its majestic mountains, serene lakes, ancient archaeological sites, and bustling cities, Pakistan offers a tapestry of experiences for domestic and international tourists alike.

Rana Aftab MD PTDC

Aftab Rana, MD PTDC informed that in recent years, Pakistan’s tourism industry has witnessed noteworthy growth, demonstrating its resilience in the face of challenges posed by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) forecasts, the sector is poised to contribute 6% to the country’s GDP. This rebound follows a significant 34% contraction in tourism contribution during the height of the pandemic in 2020[1]. The positive trajectory extends to employment figures, with travel and tourism jobs anticipated to represent 6% of the total employment in the country in 2023. Recognizing Pakistan’s remarkable recovery, the UNWTO acknowledged the nation as one of the best-performing destinations in the first nine months of 2023 in terms of tourism receipts, marking a significant 93% growth since 2019.

Purpose and Objective of PTTS 2024:

Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC), in collaboration with the World Bank Group (WBG) and other industry partners is organizing “Pakistan Travel and Tourism Symposium 2024” on 10 and 11 June at Islamabad. The theme of this symposium is “Building The National Economy through Tourism”

More than 400 national and international tourism professionals, industry experts, and decision-makers are participating in this high level event to share their ideas for the development of a future road map for the sustainable growth of tourism industry of Pakistan. On this occasion, a tourism Expo will also be organized to showcase Pakistan’s rich tourism potential and create G2G, B2B and G2B linkages among the industry stakeholders.

This two-day symposium is designed to explore and enhance critical facets of the tourism sector, with a focus on green investments, improving connectivity, responsible tourism, and the conservation of natural and cultural heritage. The event aims to foster a transformative dialogue among stakeholders to address pivotal challenges, forge synergies, and capitalize on opportunities in the evolving tourism landscape. Key topics that will come under discussion include tourism products diversification, perception building of Pakistan as a premier tourist destination, tourism education, and the development of innovative tourism products

By facilitating discussions on areas impacting the travel, tourism and hospitality industry, the symposium aims to generate actionable insights for leveraging the sector’s potential to drive economic growth, boost foreign direct investment, generate employment, promote green practices, and foster innovation.

Event Highlights:

  • Panel Discussions: Engaging discussions featuring industry experts, policymakers, and thought leaders on diverse aspects related to the travel, tourism, and hospitality industry.
  • Tourism Investment Forum: A platform for investors, policymakers, and industry leaders to explore and discuss potential investment opportunities within Pakistan’s tourism sector. This forum aims to attract foreign direct investment, showcase lucrative projects, and facilitate public-private partnerships to drive sustainable growth and development in the industry
  • Networking Opportunities: Enabling stakeholders to connect, fostering collaborations and partnerships for the mutual benefit of the tourism industry.
  • Keynote Addresses: Inspirational talks from international and local experts in the field of tourism investment, and knowledge sectors, providing valuable perspectives on the symposium’s themes.

Side Event: Tourism Expo and Culinary Snow

The symposium will include a captivating “Tourism Expo,” which will provide participants an opportunity to explore the rich tourism potential of Pakistan and its provinces through booths and stalls showcasing diverse attractions. Educational and hospitality training institutes, corporates, and tour operators will present their contributions to the tourism landscape. This interactive expo will provide attendees the opportunity to learn about the upcoming tourism events taking place across the country, for institutions to showcase courses, interact with students, and inspire future professionals. Moreover, COTHM Global, a leading tourism and hospitality training institute will organize a Culinary Show where students will showcase their Culinary art skills.

Expected Outcomes:

The symposium aims to produce tangible outcomes, including strategic frameworks, policy recommendations, and collaborative initiatives that will contribute to the sustainable growth of the tourism economy in Pakistan. By the end of the event, participants will gain valuable insights into harnessing the synergies between various facets of the industry.

Conclusion:

The Travel and Tourism Symposium aspires to be a transformative event, fostering collaboration, innovation, and resilience within Pakistan’s dynamic tourism sector. Through insightful discussions and shared expertise, this event aspires to chart a course towards a vibrant and economically resilient tourism landscape.

[1] WTTC (2023), Travel and Tourism Economic Impact 2023 Factsheet (https://researchhub.wttc.org/factsheets/pakistan)

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