PM Imran Khan taking concrete steps to develop tourism in Pakistan: Cheng Xizhong

BEIJING:Visiting professor at Southwest University of Political Science and Law, senior fellow of the Charhar Institute Cheng Xizhong on Monday said Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that the government was making all out efforts to promote tourism and generate employment opportunities for youth in Pakistan.

He said, since taking office, the prime minister has repeatedly stressed the importance and necessity of tourism development. Not long ago, he put forward a very important concept on the development of tourism, that is, the promotion of eco-friendly tourism.

Pakistan, he said, has incredible landscape, geography, and biodiversity with many physiognomies such as plateau, plain, wetland and ocean, etc., providing a variety of choices for global eco-tourists.

Pakistan is also bestowed with abundant national heritage and historical sites. The preservation of the historical sites and national heritage is essential to keep the coming generations informed about history.

“I strongly believe that Pakistan has great potential to develop tourism.” he sadi adding, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), in 2019, the contribution rate of the tourism industry to Pakistan’s GDP was 5.9%, with 3.9 million jobs created.

He said according to his calculation, if Pakistan’s tourism industry develops to the level of China, its contribution rate to Pakistan’s GDP will increase by 5.1% to 11%, and additional 2.37 million jobs will be created.

He also believed that with the improvement of infrastructure and security situation under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), and especially when COVID-19 epidemic is effectively controlled, Pakistan’s tourism will develop greatly in the days to come.

He said, with the improvement of people’s living standards, tourism is no longer a matter for a few people to fresh their living style. An increasing number of people are willing to go out in their spare time and holidays, which will not only diversify their experience and broaden their horizons, but also mold their temperament. Tourism is getting increasingly popular year by year and its development has many advantages.

First of all, the development of tourism can effectively increase economic income and promote business development. Secondly, tourism is an investment project with a high rate of return, long cycle, and quick effect. Third, the development of tourism, especially eco-tourism, is in line with the modern concept of green development, while cultural tourism can improve people’s recognition of culture and increase their sense of pride in nation.

“Therefore, we should develop tourism according to timing factors and various local conditions, create a good environment, and take the green development model,”he added.