GILGIT: President Dr Arif Alvi has said that with tourism activities growing in Gilgit-Baltistan, efforts should be made to promote the concept of ecotourism so that the region’s natural beauty is preserved.
The president was speaking on Saturday at the concluding ceremony of a three-day international conference on mountaineering, ecotourism and hospitality at the Karakoram International University (KIU), Hunza campus. He is the chancellor of the university.
President Alvi said that foreign and local tourists were increasingly being attracted to the northern areas of the country. Last year about 1.6 million tourists visited various parts of GB alone and the number was expected to grow to 2m this year.
The scenic region is blessed with mountains, glaciers, streams, pastures and forested land, he said. These unique features of the region offer tremendous opportunities for tourism and mountaineering.
Increase in tourism activities would lead to socioeconomic development of the region, he said.
The government would provide assistance for the development of KIU and establishment of an international institute of mountaineering, ecotourism and hospitality in GB, President Alvi added.
In his speech, GB Governor Raja Jalal Hussain Maqpoon said for tourism activities to flourish in the region facilities like high-speed internet, good roads and efficient banking services would have to be provided there. The vice-chancellor of KIU, Dr Attaullah Shah, also spoke on the occasion.
Published in Dawn, June 30th, 2019