Tourism Industry flourishing in country: Engr. Baligh Ur Rehman

RAWALPINDI: Federal Minister for Education and Technical Training, Engr. Baligh Ur Rehman Wednesday said Tourism Industry was flouring in the country due to improved law and order situation.

Addressing a seminar arranged here at a local hotel to celebrate World Tourism Day, he said the incumbent government was committed to facilitate tourists as promotion of tourism industry would not only help improve economic situation but also remove any misperceptions about Pakistan. He said the government was endeavoring to improve infrastructure and facilities which would increase international tourists flow in the country.

The minister said the improved law and order situation in the country had increased the influx of foreign visitors. The government was also working on reviving PTDC as National Tourism organization. The new role of PTDC would include inter-provincial coordination in tourism marketing on national, international level, tourism planning and policy making, tourism market research etc. besides its normal functions, he added.

He said, with these efforts, Pakistan would appear as one of the most attractive tourist destinations in the world.

Baligh Ur Rehman said after the passage of 18th constitutional amendment, tourism was now a provincial subject but, to attract international tourists and promote tourism in the country, draft of national tourism policy had been prepared.

The minister informed after 2013, the number of domestic and international tourists had increased every year and the tourists visited different tourist attracting destinations particularly in the northern areas.

Pakistan was blessed having deserts, rivers, mountains, landscapes forests and old civilizations, he said, adding, the government under the leadership of Mohammad Nawaz Sharif adopted prudent policies which helped in controlling the menace of terrorism and load shedding.

Guest speakers President Sustainable Tourism Foundation Pakistan, Aftab-ur-Rehman Rana, President Pakistan Association of Tour Operators (PAT) Syed Sajjad Hussain Shah and Member PTDC Board of Directors Irfanullah Baig made presentations on theme of the day.

Addressing the participants, they informed that World Tourism Day was celebrated every year on September 27 under the theme declared by UNWTO. The theme; Sustainable Tourism “A Tool for development” is most appropriate theme.

The participants were informed that Managing Director PTDC, Ch. Abdul Ghafoor Khan is attending the Official Celebrations of World Tourism Day being held at Doha, Qatar on special invitation of Secretary General UNWTO where he will be the guest speaker of high level think tank; Tourism as a means for sharing and enhancing our cultures and mutual understanding.

Later, Engr. Baligh Ur Rehman inaugurated a photo exhibition which was visited by a large number of students and general public.