Upper Chitral (Agencies): The Culture and Tourism Authority (CTA), the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and UNDP Pakistan have signed an agreement of PKR 300 million to implement the third phase of the Eco-Tourism and Camping village project at five locations across the province.

In addition to increasing livelihood opportunities for the local youth, this initiative will provide tourists with an opportunity to partake in adventure tourism and experience the scenic beauty of Pakistan. Moreover, promoting eco-tourism also promotes responsible travel to natural areas, while preserving and respecting the local environment and heritage.

The initiative is the continuation of two phases of the project since 2017, where UNDP Pakistan and the Tourism Department have already established 6 camping sites at various locations across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and an additional 4 sites are expected to be completed by June 2023. Each site has 10 modern, state-of-the-art camping pods with attached washrooms and common kitchen facilities that can accommodate 26 tourists.

The agreement of the third phase of the project is signed between the UNDP Resident Representative, Mr. Knut Ostby, and Project Director, Culture and Tourism Authority, Mr. Muhammad Ali Syed, at Sor Laspur, Upper Chitral where the recently completed camping village under Phase 2 of the project was handed over to the CTA. Mr. Khalid Zaman, Deputy Commissioner, Upper Chitral and local community members were also present at the event.

“This facility at Sor Laspur will provide tourists with excellent lodging facilities to enjoy the landscape and will also serve as a base for hiking/trekking trips in the region. We appreciate UNDP’s efforts in efficiently executing this project and its timely handover,” said Mr. Muhammad Ali Syed, Project Director, CTA.

While speaking at the event, Mr. Knut Ostby UNDP Pakistan Resident Representative highlighted, “It is encouraging to see the community’s response and government’s ownership for this initiative. We look forward to continuing our partnership with the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to promote eco-tourism and local livelihoods in the province.”

The project is planned to start immediately, and the sites are targeted to be completed by September 2024.

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