Pakistan needs to make itself as tourism destination

LAHORE: Pakistan needs to market itself as tourism destination as it is endowed with beautiful landscapes,  sceneries, historical heritage and other attractive places for international tourists. These views were expressed by Chief Executive Officer of Pacific Asia Travel Association Mario Hardy while speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry on Friday.

LCCI vice  president Nasir Saeed, Managing Director Tourism Development Corporation of Punjab (TDCP) Ahmer Malik and Chairman Pacific Asia Travel Association Lt. Col. (retd) Akbar A. Shareef also spoke on the occasion.

He informed the participants that Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) was founded in 1951 and it was a not-for profit association that was internationally acclaimed for acting as a catalyst for the responsible development of travel and tourism to, from and within the Asia Pacific region.

Managing Director of Tourism Development Corporation of Punjab (TDCP) Ahmer Malik said that Pakistan was making gradual progress in tourism sector and various measures had been taken in a short span of time.

He said that Pakistani mission abroad were doing well to attract foreign visitors to Pakistan. He said that visits of a number of high powered delegations to Pakistan and international conferences in Lahore were an ample proof of the fact that thoughts of international community towards Pakistan were taking a positive change.

He informed the participants that a regional tourism conference would be held in Lahore very soon that would also help highlight the tourism potential of Pakistan. The LCCI Vice President Nasir Saeed said that Tourism industry of Pakistan had the potential to turn Pakistan into a hub of economic activities as total contribution of travel & tourism industry in the global economy was more than $7.58 trillion. It was a good sign that Punjab government and Tourism Development Corporation of Pakistan (TDCP) were taking all possible steps for the promotion of tourism industry in Punjab.

The LCCI vice president said, “Our invaluable historic heritage, thrilling sports and terrific civilization of our people  living in mountains, deserts and on the banks of rivers is the real face of Pakistan which should be highlighted before the international comity.”

He said that Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management being run by TDCP in Lahore had been equipped by  professional management and a training course of tourism guides was also being introduced in the institute. He appreciated Tourism Development Corporation of Punjab for ensuring participation of private sector and said that it would certainly give a lot of confidence to business community particularly related to hotel industry, travel agents, tour operators and other stakeholders to share their views and suggestions in the process of policy making. APP