Islamabad: The meeting was attended by Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar, Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mehmood Khan, SAPM on Overseas Pakistanis & Human Resource Development Sayed Zulfiqar Abbas Bukhari, SAPM on Information & Broadcasting Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan, Minister Tourism KP Muhammad Atif Khan and senior officials of the Government.
The meeting reviewed the progress achieved so far on the earlier decisions for the promotion of tourism in the country in terms of the identified properties of PTDC and their opening for the general public particularly in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The Prime Minister said that the Government rest houses have been built on tax payers money; these properties should be a source of income instead of lying useless. Pakistan is emerging as an attractive destination on the international tourism map owing to its beautiful natural landscape; we must strive to capitalize this potential through expediting the infrastructure development, provision of services and facilitation, the Prime Minister stated.
The meeting was informed that efforts are being undertaken to hold an international tourism conference in Pakistan in the coming years to further broaden the scope of tourism industry in Pakistan. The Prime Minister directed to develop the tourist infrastructure and services while keeping in mind the preferences and priorities of tourist groups from different parts of the world and adherence to ecotourism principles. It was reiterated that there should be a single authority to supervise the restoration and renovation of the existing tourist infrastructure in the country.
The Prime Minister directed that all the forms of tourism in the country must be focused simultaneously owing to seasonal constraint in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and northern parts of the country. The Prime Minister especially highlighted the potential of religious tourism in Punjab and parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The meeting was informed that special facilities are being extended for the Monks at Peshawar Museum, and the Sikh visitors are also being facilitated for visits to parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Special tourist apps are also being introduced for technical facilitation to the tourists.
The Prime Minister stressed on the need for an effective coordination among all the departments at the federal and provincial levels to fully capitalize the tourist potential of the country. The Prime Minister recalled that international investors from different parts of the world have expressed keen interest for investment in the development of tourism sector of Pakistan. The Prime Minister noted that Switzerland, Turkey and Malaysia have been earning huge revenue from the tourism industry. Pakistan has diverse and rich tourism potential in terms of mountain tourism, adventure tourism, desert tourism and religious tourism. The tourism thurst can be translated in revenue generation, employment opportunities and creation of economic activities thereby contributing towards the socio-economic development of the country.
The meeting was informed that measures are being taken for development of new tourist destinations in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The Prime Minister directed to expedite the legislative framework and fastrack the development of tourist infrastructure and services across the length and breadth of the country.