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LAHORE: The Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI) and Tourism Development Corporation of Punjab (TDCP) have inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to elevate the tourism sector.

LCCI President Mian Tariq Misbah and Chairman Board of Directors of TDCP Dr Sohail Zafar Cheema inked the MoU on behalf of their respective organizations. Permanent Mission of Pakistan to OIC Rizwan Saeed Sheikh, LCCI Vice President Tahir Manzoor Chaudhry, and Convener LCCI Standing Committee on Tourism Development in Pakistan Muhammad Haroon Arora also spoke on the occasion.

TDCP has also established an information desk at the LCCI to facilitate TDCP to its members regarding tourism and hospitality. The Information Desk will provide information to the LCCI members about all the TDCP services. LCCI and TDCP will jointly organize seminars, events and conferences on tourism and hospitality.

Speaking on the occasion, Chairman Board of Director of TDCP Dr Sohail Zafar said that public-private partnership can play instrumental role in promotion of tourism sector of Pakistan. He said that instead of doing business, TDCP is now offering opportunities to the private sector.

He said that vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan is to promote tourism. He said that infrastructure is being developed and new places are being focused for the tourism sector. He said that after 18th amendment, tourism has become the subject of provinces.

He said that there are a lot of opportunities for the foreign investors in the tourism industry of the country. He said that TDCP is making all out efforts for the promotion of tourism industry. He said that PTDC is making efforts for bringing more tourists from all over the world.

LCCI President Mian Tariq Misbah said that tourism sector has the potential to turn Pakistan into a hub of economic activities. It is a good sign that Punjab government is taking all possible steps for the promotion of tourism industry which is one of the largest sources of foreign exchange.

He said that our invaluable historic and religious heritage, thrilling sports and terrific civilization of our people living in mountains, deserts and on the banks of rivers is the real face of Pakistan which should be highlighted before the international community.

"It will not be wrong to say that so far we have only explored the potential of tourism in Pakistan equal to the tip of iceberg. It is an undeniable fact that Pakistan offers a wide spectrum of tourism. He said that our culture is so rich and has so many diversities which can be witnessed in various cities of Punjab. According to the estimates of the government, domestic tourism potential in Punjab is close to 1 billion dollar per year and it has the potential of creating more than 200,000 jobs", the LCCI President added.

Mian Tariq Misbah said that the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry is ready to join hands with TDCP so that both public and private sectors must come up with unique ideas to project as well as explore the tourism potential of Pakistan in general and Punjab in particular.

The LCCI President said that Pakistan ranks low in the World Travel and Tourism Index, especially in areas like enabling environment, safety and security, environmental sustainability and tourism infrastructure etc. He hoped that MoU with TDCP will go a long way in addressing these areas in order to achieve the desired objectives.

He informed the participants that the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry has established various help desks under the banner of "One Window Smart Services" that provide many services and essential information to LCCI members. He said that Lahore Chamber has set another unique example through bringing together various services of public sector organizations under one roof.

LCCI Vice President Tahir Manzoor Chaudhry said that the LCCI members can just come to Lahore Chamber and avail the services of NADRA, Passport, FBR, PRA, WeBOC, SMEDA, Excise, PESSI, Police Services and many more. I would say that addition of Tourism Development Corporation of Punjab Help Desk will add more value to One Window Smart Services. He said that infrastructure should be developed for the tourists.

Convener of LCCI Standing Committee on Tourism Development Muhammad Haroon Arora said that the private sector should be given representation in the TDCP. He said that tourism sector of Punjab should have contacts with this sector of other provinces. He said that a tourism conference will be organized soon from the platform of the Standing Committee.

Permanent Mission of Pakistan to OIC Rizwan Saeed Sheikh informed that an OIC Tourism Festival will be organized next year in Pakistan which would promote intra-OIC tourism.

Executive Committee Members Shahid Nazir, Zeshan Sohail Malik, Haji Muhammad Asif Sehar, former EC Members Mian Jabbar Khalid and Dr Shahid Raza were also present on the occasion.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021


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