Pakistan’s tourism industry to flourish within a decade
A recent report of World Tourism and Travel Council anticipates Pakistan’s tourism industry has the potential to grow to around USD 40 billion within the next 10 years.
The ruling government led by Imran Khan has already vowed in its election campaign that it would promote Pakistan as ‘Asia’s Best Kept Secret’ in global tourism market. The government is confident that tourism would be contributing Rs.1 trillion to Pakistan economy by 2025. Countries like Switzerland, Thailand, Philippines, Maldives and Sri Lanka demonstrate that sustainable tourism is a tool for development.
The initiative of the government under the National Action Plan has eliminated terrorism and extremism from the country and the tourism industry is direct beneficiary of this situation. Significant security improvement has boosted annual tourist arrival by 300 per cent in recent years with 1.75 million only in 2017. For global citizens, Pakistan is highly attractive tourist excitement with bewitching beauty of landscape, rich and varied culture, historical heritage and places of religious significance.
Snow-capped mountains and scenic beauty of Swat, Hunza, Neelam Valley, Kalash Valley, Murree Hills and Naran are regarded as earthly paradise. Coastal areas, mesmerizing deserts, archaeological and different religious places of Buddhism, Sikhism, Hinduism in addition of famous Muslim saints are marvellous tourist attractions scattered all over Pakistan.
As per UNWTO statement, tourism contributes to the development of various related sectors like Hoteling and Accommodation, Food & Beverage, Railway Transport, Road Transport, Water Transport, Air Travel, Travel & Tour Agencies, Cultural Events & Activities, Sports & Recreational Activities etc.
In order to exploit the potential of the tourism sector Pakistan has to brand the nation similar to ‘Incredible India’ by India and ‘Truly Asia’ by Malaysia.
Providing specialized activities similar to ‘Desert Safari’ of Dubai and ‘Royal Tourist Train’ of India can also be tried. Organizing international tourism festivals, social media marketing, special discounts to using PTDC facilities, organizing road shows and travel marts abroad etc., are the steps can be taken by the country to restore its place on the world tourism map.