Here’s what to Expect from Pakistan’s Tourism Sector In 2021
Pakistan’s tourism industry has always had limitless untapped potential, but the greater part of the last decade was spent recognizing this potential. In 2019, 5.9% of the country’s GDP was attributed to tourism, which helped in the creation of nearly 4 million jobs. At the end of 2019, Conde Nast Traveller announced Pakistan as their number one travel destination for 2020.
All provinces are rapidly developing their tourism policies, experts have now stressed the importance of developing a single cohesive tourism strategy, under the National Tourism Board, that will work for the benefit of the country.
Here are a few government’s initiatives for Pakistan’s tourism sector in 2021.
Gilgit-Baltistan Integrated Development Plan for Pakistan Tourism
The prime minister approved what is believed to be a historic multi-billion development package for Gilgit Baltistan while pledging that development of the region was among the priorities of his government. Mr Khan explained that the development package envisaged hydel power generation and transmission projects, connectivity projects for tourism, youth skill and scholarship programme, upgrade of health system and water and sanitation projects.
Brand Pakistan & Discover Pakistan
Brand Pakistan is an exclusive tourism portal, which is meant to promote the country’s tourist attractions across the world through virtual galleries, videos and documentaries. It would provide world-class exposure to Pakistan’s tourist attractions through one click. It has a user-friendly interface to interact with the prospective tourists and give them the necessary and latest information about the country’s tourist attractions. On March 20, Pakistan also launched its first tourism-dedicated channel, Discover Pakistan which will have shows and news dedicated to the promotion of everything related to tourism in the South-Asian country.
China for Pakistan’s Tourism
China and Pakistan have also made efforts to organize cultural and tourism activities, on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. Moreover, Pakistan and Tajikistan have agreed to tap unexplored areas particularly “trade, tourism, and people-to-people engagement”.This will provide a much-needed push to Pakistan’s tourism sector as more private companies enter the industry.
New Visa Policy
Another important development is a new visa policy, which offers e-visas and visa on arrival to tourists. Pakistan has also abolished the requirement for No-Objection Certificates (NOCs) to visit certain parts of the country. Besides this, the government is also converting its rest houses and palatial buildings to hotels, offering more charming accommodations to visitors.
Pakistan’s Tourism Gets a Turkish Push
Recently, the Tourism Hotel Managers Association of Turkey (TUROYD) has also expressed interest in exploiting this opportunity for mutual benefit. Turkey’s interest towards Pakistan’s tourism sector means the sector will get an opportunity to be revamped, formalized, and centralized to cater to an even greater number of tourists.