ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is blessed in terms of tourism potential in the entire region and the government will ensure its full utilisation. This was stated by Prime Minister Imran Khan, while chairing a review meeting on the progress made so far on the steps taken for the promotion of tourism in Pakistan, said a press release.

SAPM Dr Shahbaz Gill, Chief Minister-Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mehmood Khan, Asif Mehmood Khan advisor to Chief Minister Punjab for Tourism, chief secretaries of all four provinces and concerned officers participated through video link.

The meeting was briefed on the progress made so far on various points of the roadmap for the promotion of tourism.

The meeting was further informed that geo-mapping of tourist destinations in all the provinces have almost been completed, which will help to develop and attract investment in tourist destinations.

In addition, a calendar of cultural festivals is being prepared.

All details will soon be uploaded on tourist websites and tourism e-portal.

Regarding the development of tourist destinations in accordance with international standards, it was informed that feasibility of various projects has been prepared in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab and Azad Kashmir.

The meeting was also apprised of the commencement and progress of development work in Nandana Fort.

The meeting was also briefed in detail about the steps taken by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to promote tourism in the country.

The meeting was also informed that due to the efforts of Pakistani embassies, over a dozen countries have made positive changes in their travel advisory regarding Pakistan, while provision of promotional materials by PTDC to promote tourism in Pakistan to 24 embassies has been ensured.

It was further informed that special desks have been set up in 27 embassies for the promotion of tourism and assistance has been provided to about 133 foreign tourism companies for operation in Pakistan.

In addition, the issuance of e-visa has been reduced to 7-10 days only to facilitate foreign tourists.

More than 71,000 foreign tourists have so far availed the e-visa facility.

The meeting was also apprised of the steps taken for the promotion of coastal tourism in Balochistan.

The meeting was informed that approval has been given to build tourist resorts at Kund Malir and Marine Drive Gwadar.

Also construction of fish landing sites, floating jetties, small fishing boats, rest areas on coastal highways and coastal parks are included in the project.

The meeting was informed that special desks have been set up at airports in Chitral, Saidu Sharif, Islamabad, and Skardu for the convenience of tourists.

PIA's Air Safari is also operational and a large number of tourists are benefitting from it.

Stressing the importance of tourism, the prime minister directed that the calendar of cultural festivals should be prepared keeping in view the importance of festivals, so that tourists could participate in important festivals without any hassle.

Instructing to identify the areas for tourism in Balochistan and present a plan for their development soon, the prime minister said that the coastline of Balochistan is very beautiful and full of natural beauty.

There are countless investment opportunities that will be utilised.

Referring to government rest houses, the prime minister said that not only public access to these public-funded buildings should be ensured, but also plans for their better utilisation to facilitate tourists should be implemented soon.

The prime minister further said that steps should be taken within the stipulated time to make Pakistan a tourist destination in the region, which would bring investment and foreign exchange to Pakistan.-PR

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021


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