Malaysian firm presents master plan for uplift of tourism zones in KP

PESHAWAR: A Malaysian firm of international repute has presented master plan for the development of four tourism zones in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to attract more tourists to the province.

Briefing the participants at a workshop held here on Wednesday, AJM Planning and Urban Design Group (APUDG) Managing Director, Norliza Hashim said that her firm had prepared a master plan for four tourism zones including Mankial in Swat, Thandiani in Abbottabad, Ganol in Mansehra and Madaklasht in Lower Chitral.

She said that map making, local planning, destination management plan, phase-wise infrastructure development and construction of roads leading to the tourist zones were part of the plan.

Besides Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Integrated Tourism (KITE) Project Director Tausif Khalid, officials of KP Sports, Tourism, Archaeology, Museums, Culture and Youth Affairs Department and APUDG and tourism stakeholders attended the workshop.

KITE Project Director Tausif Khalid said that the consultant firm had presented a draft master plan for development of all the integrated tourism zones.

He said that the firm would present management and investment plans in the next phase. It would be consisted of various plans, including municipal, public sector investment and private sector businesses.

According to the data, there are six plans/programmes for uplift of Integrated Tourism Zone Thandiani comprising a 428-room hotel and a resort for tourists while five projects are for infrastructure and other facilities.

Similarly, eight projects presented for the Ganol tourism zone, including 218-room hotel and a resort while five projects are for infrastructure and other facilities.

Seven projects were sketched for Integrated Tourism Zone Mankial in Swat where a 71-room hotel and a resort would be constructed besides five projects were presented for infrastructure and other facilities.

For Integrated Tourism Zone Madaklasht in Lower Chitral, there were eight projects, including construction of a 382-room hotel and a resort while five projects were for infrastructure and other facilities.

The Sports, Tourism, Archaeology, Museums, Culture and Youth Affairs Department under the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Integrated Tourism Project (KITE) funded by World Bank had decided to develop the four zones to facilitate tourists and visitors.

The provincial government is undertaking several initiatives to employ the tourism sector as a key driver for economic growth and job creation in the province.

To create an enabling environment for the private sector to participate and develop the tourism value chain, the KP government has entered into a partnership with the World Bank through an International Development Association (IDA) loan for the KITE project.