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Prime Minister Imran Khan has been informed that 11 Integrated Tourism Zones would be established in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa while eight zones would be set up in Punjab by replicating the KPK model.
On Thursday, the Prime Minister chaired a briefing on development and promotion of tourism and was informed that these integrated tourism zones will not only serve to showcase tourist potential of the country and promote tourism but will also ensure preservation of natural beauty, biodiversity, forest cover and promotion of eco-tourism at the newly established tourist resorts.
The Prime Minister was apprised of new initiatives being taken to promote tourism in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab. A detailed briefing was also made about the draft Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Tourism Act 2019.
Sources said the Prime Minister accords high priority to the tourism and stated that Pakistan offers best and diverse kind of tourism sceneries and places in the world.
Senior Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Atif Khan shared salient features of the draft legislation on tourism and informed the meeting that under the ambit of this upcoming law, exclusive jurisdiction would be clearly chalked out to avoid coordination problems and to overcome low performance capacity of organisations. It was further informed that private sector will play a leading role in development of tourism while the government will provide an enabling environment and act as a facilitator.
The Integrated Tourism Zones will include Gabeen Jabba, Swat, (elevation 9,200 ft), Mankyal, Swat (8,700 ft), Bayon, Swat (11,000 ft), Bir Mughlasht, Chitral (9,000 ft), Golain, Chitral (10,400), Qaqlasht, Chitral (7,500 ft), Burwai, Naran (10,000 ft) and Mahaban, Buner (6,600 ft).
The Prime Minister was briefed that internationally successful models are being followed for promoting tourism in the country. Minister Tourism Punjab Yasir Humayun apprised that eight Integrated Tourism Zones would be established in Punjab.
Prime Minister Imran Khan said that with the development of tourist resorts and provision of required facilities, the tourism sector will receive tremendous boost. He directed that a comprehensive website be launched immediately identifying all tourist zones being set up with detailed information for local as well as foreign tourists.
The meeting was attended by Ch Fawad Hussain, Minister for Information, Sayed Zulfiqar Abbas Bukhari, Special Advisor to Prime Minister on Overseas Pakistanis, Haroon Sharif, Chairman Board of Investment, Yasir Humayun, Minister Tourism Punjab, Atif Khan, Minister Tourism Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Shahram Khan Tarakai, Minister for Local Government KP, Sultan Muhammad Khan, Minister for Law & Parliamentary Affairs KP, Rashid Mehmood Langrial, Secretary Tourism Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and other senior officers.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2019

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