ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday said that the government would formulate an all-inclusive and comprehensive policy for the promotion of tourism which would also benefit its allied sectors.
He was chairing a meeting of the tourism task force which was briefed on steps being taken for the promotion of tourism in the country.
The prime minister said that tens of thousands of unemployed youth would get jobs by focusing on hundreds of tourism places, particularly in the north of the country, coastal areas, religious sites, and historic places.
Country’s tourism potential could easily be highlighted at home and abroad by using modern technology, and especially social media, Mr Khan added.
Besides the promotion of eco-tourism, religious tourism and adventure tourism, the prime minister said, attention should be paid to the establishment of tourist resorts.
The meeting was attended by provincial ministers Yasir Humayun, Muhammad Atif and Abdul Khaliq Hazara, AJK Minister for Tourism Mushtaq Minhas, federal and provincial secretaries Ali Tauqeer Shah, Waqar Zekirya, Sirajul Mulk and Zulfiqar Ali Khan.
The PM said handing over of the administration of public rest houses to the private sector through a transparent and set criteria will not only help promote tourism but also ensure the right use of these assets.
The prime minister directed all provincial representatives included in the task force to identify potential places in their respective provinces and areas within a week for the establishment of tourism centres.
He directed all provincial governments as well as the governments of Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan to formulate comprehensive plans and time frame to achieve set targets by next week, in line with the Terms of Reference of the task force.
The prime minister also called for identification of all hurdles in promotion of tourism at provincial levels, so that the federal government could provide assistance to provincial governments in finding solutions to those bottlenecks.
He said though the promotion of tourism was responsibility of provinces, yet the federal government would extend all possible cooperation to provincial governments to remove hurdles in promotion of tourism and in capacity-building of the provinces.
Published in Dawn, September 30th, 2018