Pak can fetch huge foreign exchange by exploiting tourism potential: Iftikhar

ISLAMABAD (APP): Pakistan can fetch billions of dollars foreign exchange annually by fully exploiting tourism potentials and rich historical cultural heritage besides properly projecting religious places to attract foreign and local tourists.

It was stated by President SAARC chamber of commerce and Industry Iftikhar Ali Malik while taking to CEO Discover Pakistan Dr Kaiser Rafiq who called on him here Sunday. He said tourism can turn to be a multi-billion dollar industry in Pakistan provided the best spots of tourism are publicized globally especially Hunza, Skardu, Swat, Naran Kaghan, Gilgit-Balistan, Harappa, Taxila, Punja Sahib, Baba Guru Nanak and Darbar Kartarpur etc.

He said Pakistan was ranked the best holiday destination for year 2020 and was also declared the third highest potential adventure destination in the world.

He said world’s cheapest excellent tourist spots are located in Pakistan.

He said Pakistan has already launched online visa for 175 countries and 50 countries were offered visa on arrival making a visit to Pakistan easier.

Iftikhar Ali Malik said tourism increased by more than 300 percent in last couple of years what we direly needed is training of tour operators, hotel staff and all other stakeholders for providing best services to tourists especially neat and clean rooms with best quality hygienic food studded with round the clock foolproof security coupled with healthy environment and ambiance.

He said it’s good omen that world economic forum also placed Pakistan in the top 25 percent of the global destination for its world heritage sites which ranges from the mangrove in the Indus delta to the Indus Valley civilization sites including Mohenjo Daro.

He said that worldwide tourism is considered to be an important aspects of economic growth and development of a nation.

He said Prime Minister Imran Khan has declared that tourism will contribute Rs 1 trillion($6.2b) to the Pakistan economy by 2025. He said Pakistan is blessed with enviable natural beauty bound to attract tourists with best scenic spots of the world.

CEO Discover Pakistan Dr Kaiser Rafiq informed him that if China and India can earn $20b annually from tourism and various European countries can fetch several hundreds billion dollars why not Pakistan which houses top class tourism spots of the world. He said PM had attached great importance to the promotion of tourism what we need is government must take practical steps to create a culture of tourism which would require a change mindset of local people and officials of ministry of tourism.He said Discover Pakistan following the PM initiatives has successfully launched Pakistan’s rich repertoire of culture and tourism resources across the globe especially in China.He said “ we are also planning to highlight tourism spots in different foreign languages which will be promoted through our embassies” for bringing foreign tourists to Pakistan”. He hoped “once we are successful then we will ask PIA to launch charter flights”.

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