• By: Captain (Retired) Umar Farooq

Pakistan is blessed with a diverse range of natural wonders, from majestic mountains to lush green valleys, snowy peaks, serene lakes, cascading waterfalls, and pristine beaches. Despite these attractions, we face challenges in attracting international tourists to explore our lovely country and generate substantial revenue.

To enhance tourism in Pakistan, concerted efforts are needed at both individual and state levels.

  • Promoting Pakistan’s Soft Image

Pakistani families living abroad can play a pivotal role in highlighting Pakistan’s natural beauty and positive aspects across all continents. Every Pakistani embassy should establish a dedicated tourism desk to provide accurate information to residents of other countries. By projecting a positive image of Pakistan, we can create curiosity and interest among potential travelers.

  • Government Initiatives

The Pakistani government must take proactive steps to boost tourism:

  • Task ambassadors with increasing foreign tourist arrivals annually.
  • Launch a Pakistan tourism TV channel, supported by federal and provincial governments, to showcase the country’s breathtaking destinations.
  • Encourage private TV, radio, and media channels to produce programs focusing on tourism-rich areas.
  • Infrastructure Development
  • To make Pakistan more accessible and appealing to tourists:
  • Develop international standard hotels, well-maintained roads, and vibrant markets at popular tourist spots.
  • Improve connectivity by operating more airports, tourist vans, and coaches from Islamabad to scenic picnic destinations.
  • Prioritize the construction of motorways and highways connecting major tourist hubs.
  • Addressing Specific Gaps

Certain areas require urgent attention:

  • Hasan Abdal, frequented by Sikhs worldwide, lacks an international standard hotel and airport.
  • Taxila, a hub of Buddhist civilization, also needs better infrastructure.
  • Manshera should consider establishing an airport to facilitate travel.
  • Sports and Cultural Events

To create a vibrant tourism scene:

  • Construct international standard cricket, hockey, and football stadiums in Gilgit-Baltistan (GB), northern areas, and tribal regions.
  • Install chairlifts and cable cars in scenic locations.
  • Organize international festivals monthly in GB, tribal areas, northern regions, and Manshera.
  • Hosting conferences, seminars, and local sports competitions can attract tourists.
  • Safety and Security Measures

Ensuring the safety and security of tourists is paramount. State organizations should collaborate to establish zoos, cultural centers, and museums in tourism hubs. These museums can showcase Pakistan’s rich history and civilization, providing educational and engaging experiences for visitors.

  • Infrastructure Investment

Constructing beautiful buildings, flats, mosques, and hotels in tourism-generating areas will enhance the overall appeal. Lahore, with its historical significance, remains a key attraction. Similarly, Gwadar in Baluchistan has immense potential for development, akin to Dubai. Sindh also boasts many places that can attract foreigners.

  • Collective Effort

Both the public and the government must collaborate to enhance tourism. If you live abroad, project a positive image of Pakistan and contribute to promoting tourism. Together, we can showcase our nation’s beauty and welcome travelers from around the world!

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