PESHAWAR: Chairman of the National Tourism Coordination Board Zulfi Bukhari on Saturday said the establishment of a tourism zone would help develop tourism sector in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and thus, attracting tourists from within the country and abroad.

“The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government is establishing a tourism zone to promote tourism across the province. Such zones will later be set up in Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan for the digital and sustainable development of the tourism sector,” he told the Fourth Tech Valley Conference in Abbottabad.

Parliamentary affairs minister Senator Azam Swati, information technology minister Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, Gilgit-Baltistan tourism minister Fida Khan, Tourism Corporation Khyber Pakhtunkhwa general manager Sajjad Hameed, Tech Valley Abbottabad chief executive officer Umar Farooq, Hashoo Group chief marketing officer Lashley A Pulsipher, World Bank private sector senior specialist Kiran Afzal, PTV World head Mirza Masood Baig, Galiyat Development Authority director general Raza Ali Habib, representatives of the private sector, social media bloggers and a large number of stakeholders attended the event.

The NTCB chairman praised the provincial government for taking tangible steps to promote tourism and declared the engagement of the private sector a positive initiative for the purpose.

He said the last PTI government had done a lot for the promotion of tourism and development and rehabilitation of tourist places in Galiyat and Malam Jabba.

“With the establishment of the tourism zone and tourism authority, foreign tourists will be able to get all facilities under one-window operation,” he said.

Minister Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui said tourism and the latest technology were part and parcel to develop the sector by generating revenue.

He said the tourism development would generate jobs and businesses.

TCKP general manager Sajjad Hameed said the tourism department had joined hands with the private sector to promote tourism. He said work on the establishment of tourism zone had been initiated, which would pave the way for development of the sector.

Mr Sajjad said adventure tourism and adventure sports activities were being organised in the province, while camping pods had been established to facilitate tourists in scenic spot.

He said measures had been taken to develop tourism infrastructure, institutional development and capacity-building of tourism industry services.

“A project has already been launched to install camping pods in tourist resorts, while the Directorate of Tourist Service has started work on it across the province. The DTS will soon upload its data of hotels, restaurants rent-a-car and travel agencies online,” he said.

Published in Dawn, April 21st, 2019

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