GB’s tourism potential to be exploited: official

Published October 27, 2018
Shangrila resort, Skardu. — Photo/File
Shangrila resort, Skardu. — Photo/File

GILGIT: The members of the task force on tourism are drafting recommendations aimed at boosting tourism, improving Pakistan’s image abroad and increasing the sector’s contribution to GDP.

Talking to Dawn, federal secretary of ministry of inter-provincial coordination Jamil Ahmed, who is also member of the task force, said the task force had representation from all the stakeholders from four provinces, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

He said the task force members were hopeful that revival of tourism through implementation of the recommendations, including relaxation in visa policy for foreign tourists, developing new tourist destinations and uplift of infrastructure, will go a long way in exploiting the tourism potential of the region to the full.“It is the first task force constituted by Prime Minister Imran Khan, who heads the committee himself,” he said.

In its first meeting held on Sept 29 chaired by PM Imran Khan, members were asked to submit proposals and recommendations to devise a mechanism for promotion of tourism industry in the country, he said and added the members were currently preparing their recommendations.

He said on completion of the suggestions, these were put for discussion in the next meeting of the task force.

Under the TORs of the task force, the members have been tasked with floating proposals, including roles of federal, provincial and district governments in boosting tourism, he added.

Mr Ahmad said the task force would recommend developing 20 new tourist destinations in next five years. It will suggest possible role in projection of Pakistan as tourism destination of choice by embassies, commercial counselors, foreign missions to help bring Pakistan to eminence on the international tourism map, champion eco-tourism in places, including and beyond the northern areas of Pakistan, especially GB and AJK, along the Indus and historic religious sites, he maintained.

The federal secretary said the members would propose the fate of Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation.

The task force will devise mechanism for effective participation of federal, provincial, AJK and GB governments in international events, uplift of infrastructure, transport and other allied services for promotion of tourism, he explained.

Published in Dawn, October 27th, 2018

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