Monday, August 22, 2016

Pakistan's Travel & Tourism Industry Boom

Pakistan's travel and tourism industry is booming with significant improvement in security situation. In 2015, it contributed 7% of Pakistan's GDP.  It includes foreign and domestic travel and tourism spending or employment in the equivalent economy-wide concept in the published national income accounts or labour market statistics.

There are are multiple indicators showing this industry will contribute more this year. Growth in air travel and hotel occupancy are among the top indicators of travel and travel and tourism industry growth.

Pakistan Hotel Occupancy Source: Express Tribune

Hotel Occupancy:

“The rate of hotel occupancy has surged to 80% across the country compared to 35% before the current calendar year started,” said Beach Luxury Hotel Director Business Development Rehan Wahid, according to report in the Express Tribune newspaper. “Hotels in Islamabad and Lahore are fully booked most of the days. However, this is yet to happen in Karachi,” he said.

Thanks to the ramp-up of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor  (CPEC) related projects, Gwadar is leading the way for new hotel construction with permits issued for least 5 new 5-star hotels so far in the new port city.   These include a 250-room hotel apartment project of the management of Pearl Continental Hotels and another one of the Bahria Group. Gwadar Airport growth of 73% was the fastest of all airports in Pakistan.

Air Travel: 

Pakistan air travel market is among the fastest growing in the world.  IATA (International Air Transport Association) forecasts Pakistan domestic air travel will grow at least 9.5% per year, more than 2X faster than the world average annual growth rate of 4.1% over the next 20 years. The Indian and Brazilian domestic markets will grow at 6.9% and 5.4% respectively.

Pakistan saw 23% growth in airline passengers in 2015, according to Anna Aero publication. Several new airports began operations or expanded and each saw double digit growth in passengers. However,  Gwadar Airport growth of 73% was the fastest of all airports in Pakistan.

The top 12 airports all saw large double digit increases. Multan  grew 64%, Quetta 62% and Faisalabad +61% all climbing one place as a result of all of them seeing a growth of over 60%. Turbat Airport in Balochistan is the newest airport to reach the top 12 in terms of traffic.

Security Situation: 

The key reason for travel and tourism boom is significant improvement in the security situation since the launch of Pakistan Army anti-terror campaign called Zarb-e-Azb. Civilian deaths have been cut from 2,378 in 2011 to 412 this year until August 14, 2016. Total number of deaths, including civilians and security personnel, have been reduced from 11,704 in 2009 to 1232 so far in 2016, according to South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP.org)
Terrorism-Related Deaths in Pakistan Source: South Asia Terrorism Portal


Summary:

Hotel occupancy rates have risen from just 35% in 2015 to 80% this year. Air travel is growing rapidly with IATA forecasting Pakistan to be among the world's fastest growing air travel markets. All airports in the country, including several new ones, are seeing double digit increases in the number of passengers flying in and out of them. Improved security since the start of Operation Zarb e Azb and political stability are underpinning growing confidence in Pakistan.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Pakistan Sees Robust Growth in Consumption of Energy, Cement and Steel

Politcal Stability Returns to Pakistan

Auto and Cement Demand Growth in Pakistan

Pakistan's Red Hot Air Travel Market

China-Pakistan Economic Corridor FDI

Mobile Broadband Subscriptions and Smartphone Sales

Pakistan in MSCI Emerging Market Index

50 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good to know, this is the result of stability that is returning to Pakistan. Let's see how this rattles the neighbors.

Riaz Haq said...

Li Ka-Shing’s 2nd #Pakistan Container Terminal to Start Operations at #Karachi Port Soon http://bloom.bg/2bcCjyH via @markets

Billionaire Li Ka-shing’s Hutchison Port Holdings Ltd. is set to start its second Pakistan terminal after a five-year delay, giving mega vessels access to the coastal city of Karachi for the first time.
Hutchison’s terminal operations in South Asia’s second-largest economy will commence before the end of this year, as agreed with the Karachi Port Trust, the company said in an e-mailed reply to questions on Monday.
Li’s company, a unit of his Hong Kong-based flagship CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd., is tapping into expanding growth in Pakistan as China plans investments valued at $46 billion in power plants and road projects. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s government is targeting an annual growth rate of 7 percent next year as the country is set to complete an International Monetary Fund loan program next month.
“Pakistan has been lagging behind big time and now we are moving into the future with this terminal being one of the deepest in the region,” Abid Butt, chief executive officer of Karachi-based freight company e2e Supply Chain Management Ltd., said by phone. “The port can become a transshipment location given India is congested and located better than Dubai’s Jabel Ali.”
Hutchison Port shares gained 1.2 percent to 0.440 Singapore dollars as of 9:01 a.m. in Singapore trading. The stock was down 18 percent this year as of the close Monday.
Karachi Delays
More than half of the nation’s total trade is done through transshipment, said Butt. However, roads around the port in Pakistan’s biggest city will need to be expanded to accommodate cargo from the world’s largest ships, he said.
South Asia Pakistan Terminals Ltd. will handle as much as 1.7 million twenty-foot equivalent units a year and increase the nation’s container handling capacity by more than half, according to a person familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified as the plans are private.
Hutchison’s port will begin operations in the last week of October and will aim to handle 250,000 twenty-foot equivalent units in the first year of operations and increase that to more than 2 million in five years, the person said.
The commercial operations of the terminal with a depth of 16 meters was initially expected to start in 2011, four years after the agreement. Bureaucratic wrangling and a slowdown in road construction and dredging delayed the port operator’s plans, the person said. Some road works and dredging are still not complete, the person said.
‘Leftover Dredging’
“Most of the work is done and the leftover dredging and road work will be complete before the launch,” said Shafiq Faridi, spokesman for the Karachi Port Trust said by phone.
Pakistan handles about 2.5 million twenty-foot equivalent, including Hutchison’s first venture Karachi International Container Terminal that started in 1998.

Riaz Haq said...

How technology killed #Pakistan’s historic red light district of Heera Mandi in #Lahore

http://gulfnews.com/news/asia/pakistan/how-technology-killed-pakistan-s-historic-red-light-district-1.1883487

Pakistan’s oldest red light district was for centuries a hub of traditional erotic dancers, musicians and prostitutes - Pigalle with a Mughal twist, deep in the heart of vibrant Lahore.
But as an e-commerce boom revolutionises how Pakistanis conduct the world’s oldest profession, locals say the historic Heera Mandi district is under threat.
Balconies where beautiful women once stood are now empty, while rust eats away at the locked doors of vacant rooms. The only stubborn hold-outs are shops selling instruments that once facilitated the aperitifs of music and dance.
Men now can book a rendezvous online through escort websites or even directly with women over social media, instead of searching out streetside solicitation.
With location rendered meaningless, sex workers like Reema Kanwal - who says the business “runs in my blood” - have abandoned Heera Mandi.

The district, whose name translates as “Diamond Market”, is close to the echoing, centuries-old Badshahi Mosque.
During the Mughal era, the empire that ruled most of India and Pakistan in the 15th and 16th centuries, Heera Mandi was a centre for mujra, traditional singing and dancing performed for the elites.
The wealthy even sent their sons to the salons of tawaifs, high-class courtesans that have been likened to Japanese geishas, to study etiquette.
Later, when the British came, distinctions between courtesan or mujra dancer and prostitute were blurred.
Dance and sex became intertwined, and Heera Mandi began its long slide into sordidness - but even so, Reema remembers “glorious” days.
Reema’s mother and grandmother were also prostitutes, making her part of Heera Mandi’s generations of women who danced and pleased men in the market.
“People used to respect the prostitutes of Heera Mandi, we were called artists,” she says - but all has changed over the last decade. “Now we don’t have any honour.”
She blames the loss on a rush of girls without her family background taking up the profession who have not been taught “how to treat people” the way she has.
Diamonds in the rough
Such girls, she says, need nothing to market themselves but a mobile phone, with which they can advertise on Facebook or Locanto, some offering services over Skype for as little as 300 rupees ($3).
Dozens of escort services with online bookings claim to serve thousands of clients in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad.
In a deeply conservative Muslim country where prostitution is banned and sex outside marriage is criminalised, one website says it caters to roughly 50,000 customers.
With the old traditions falling by the wayside, girls also no longer need an entourage of musicians and teachers, say the owners of the music shops that are the final remnants of old Heera Mandi.
The intricate mujra dancing that was such a foundation of the red light district required years of teaching and live musicians. Now girls learn easy but provocative dance moves via YouTube.
“They take a USB or sometimes they don’t even need that, they have songs in their cellphones, they plug a cable and play the music,” laments Soan Ali, one of the music shop owners.
Like Reema, Ali’s family has also been in Heera Mandi for generations, and he proudly recalled his father’s “hospitality” as he attempted to lure clients for his mother.

Riaz Haq said...

Over 1 million visitors in Pakistan's Northern Areas this year.

More than one million domestic as well as foreign tourists visited Northern Areas during the current season to enjoy adventure tourism.

The ratio of tourists increased by 25 percent as compared to last year due to the measures taken by the government for improved law and order situation in those areas," said Mukhtar Ali, Manager

Policy and Promotion of Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC).

He said that Pakistan has a great potential for adventure toursism, adding that the country has the world highest mountains in knot of four great mountain ranges, the Hindu Kush, Pamir, Karakoram and the Himalayas.

He said that the country has the distinction of having five peaks above 8,000 meters each including the second loftiest mountain of K-2.

He said that the country also has the largest glaciers on the globe outside the polar region, adding that these mountains and glaciers offer a tremndous attraction for adventurers.

He said that in current season, number of domestic tourists as well as increased, adding that PTDC is planning to further streamline facilities for tourists in various destinations.

Mukhtar Ahmed said that PTDC is in consultations with provinces for devising joint strategy for improving tourism sector.

He said that about one million tourists visited the northern areas during this summer season.

He said it is a good sign that the people are visiting tourists points without security especially Naran, Ayubia, Swat, Gilgit and Skardu.

Replying to a question, he said PTDC has a chain of 39 motels and three restaurants, which are providing best facilities to the tourists.

He said,"We are providing international level boarding and lodging facilities to the visitors."

http://www.brecorder.com/pakistan/general-news/312565-tourists-ratio-increases-by-25-percent-during-current-season-ptdc.html

Riaz Haq said...

#Uber taxi hailing service rides into #Karachi, #Pakistan this week after successful launch in #Lahore http://bloom.bg/2bea0jd via @markets

Uber Technologies Inc. is set to start its ride-hailing service in Karachi this week as the security situation in Pakistan’s largest city improves.
The San Francisco-based company will offer both cash and electronic methods of payment and will operate in areas with very few incidents of violence such as Clifton, Saddar Town and Korangi, according to Zohair Yousafi, who’s spearheading Uber’s expansion in Pakistan. The company started in Pakistan’s Lahore city earlier this year.
“Pakistan has been really incredible,” Yousafi said in an interview on Tuesday. “Lahore has been one of the fastest growing launch cities in the region’s history. The potential Karachi brings just because of its massive population is huge.”
The on-demand ride service joins Dubai-based Careem in tapping demand in a city that has a population equivalent to that of Australia, and is recovering from decades of sectarian violence, bombings and kidnappings. Bomb attacks dropped 80 percent last year after peaking in 2013, according to the South Asia Terrorism Portal.
“Three to four years ago they wouldn’t have even thought of Karachi but things are better now,” Saad bin Ahmed, chief executive officer of Karachi-based Alternate Research, said by phone. “Pakistan has an ever-growing urban population with rising income level. It’s about global presence for Uber.”
Karachi is the world’s seventh-most populous city, according to Demographia World Urban Areas. Uber attracted 65,000 riders and about 1,000 active drivers in Lahore in the second half of July, according to data provided by Uber.

Shams S. said...

Keep dreaming --- those 10% must be Sikh yatris, since the rest of the world decidedly avoids Pakistan

Riaz Haq said...

Shams: "Keep dreaming --- those 10% must be Sikh yatris, since the rest of the world decidedly avoids Pakistan"

More than a million tourists have visited Pakistan so far this year already. Hotels are almost full as are the airports. Air traffic is growing at double digits at all airports in Pakistan

Anonymous said...

Told you that this will not make the neighbors happy.

The worlds most insecured nation: http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/ramya-sedition-case-filed-against-actor-divya-spandana-for-pakistan-is-not-hell-remark-manohar-parrikar-2991772/

what a joke of a nation.

Positive comments about Pakistan is considered sedation, no wonder we see so many brain-dead people arguing with you.

G. Ali

r_sundar said...

How easy is it to get a tourist visa for a US citizen of Indian origin?

Jilani said...

Most western travellers use guides for info. No doubt Pakistan has exceptionally beautiful sites but these guides warn about security and no go areas. This from the WORLD TRAVEL GUIDE:

Shame then, that political instability and sectarian violence has made large parts of the country a no-go for tourists, and prevented Pakistan from realising its potential as a top travel destination.
2016

Riaz Haq said...

Jilani: "political instability and sectarian violence has made large parts of the country a no-go for tourists, and prevented Pakistan from realising its potential as a top travel destination."

Security situation is improving with terror deaths down 80%-90% over the last few years.

Hence, the travel boom that Pakistan is experiencing.

Reality is getting better. Perception will follow.

Riaz Haq said...

This #Spanish woman visited #Pakistan and what she experienced was something absolutely beautiful http://indianexpress.com/article/trending/trending-globally/this-spanish-woman-visited-pakistan-and-what-she-experienced-was-something-absolutely-beautiful-2996175/ … via @IndianExpress

Let’s be honest, when talking about our neighbouring country Pakistan, usually the first thoughts that come to mind are Kashmir, cricket, extremism, orthodox, politically charged and most recently, Balochistan. There may also be Fawad Khan, Atif Aslam, Ghulam Ali and amazing food somewhere down the list, followed by a quick smile. But it’s not very often that one thinks or talks of Pakistan on the lines of architectural beauty, warm people and untouched natural beauty.
Blame this on the “public image” that dominates any coverage on or around the Asian country. After all, it’s unfortunate how Pakistan usually makes it to international headlines for political reasons, which has contributed majorly to this image of unrest.
Something similar happened with Spanish woman Clara Arrighi when she was told by her company that she’ll have to stay in Pakistan for six months. In a Facebook post that has gone viral, she wrote, “When was told I was going to Pakistan I started to think about all the reasons not to go, how to convince my office not to send me. I did not want to spend the next six months of my life in between mud roads and traffic, dirt and smelly donkeys. I definitely did not want to share my time with radical people, extremists, and walk around all covered.”
But after staying there and experiencing what it means to be living in the country, she couldn’t stop crying while leaving. She fell in love with the beauty, heritage, food, and people of Pakistan who welcomed her with arms wide open.
“Everything in this country is untouched; the nature, the culture, the cities. Women in their colourful dresses and the way they allow their Pashminas to fall loose over their heads, showing their dark hair. Men playing cricket, such a refined English sport to be played in white clothes drinking high tea, is here the street sport by far, played in every corner of every street. I have climbed stunning mountains, swam in incredible clear lakes amidst the most beautiful hills, visited majestic mosques and drank uncountable types of chai. I tasted lots of different dishes,” she wrote.
Clara suggests everyone should visit the country at least once to experience a side of it that not many are aware of. “It doesn’t matter how beautiful a country is, you will always remember how it made you feel. And this is what makes the difference in Pakistan. I have never seen so much hospitality anywhere in the world. Incredibly warm people, genuinely kind. I have never felt so welcomed. There is this tendency to smile. A society that has been for so many years oppressed and still can be so tolerant,” wrote the woman.


Riaz Haq said...

Why #Pakistan's Stock Market Beats #China's And #India's via @forbes

http://www.forbes.com/sites/panosmourdoukoutas/2016/09/14/why-pakistans-market-beats-chinas-and-indias/#1a3ab86b269f

Pakistan’s equity market has been outperforming China’s and India’s markets by a big margin in recent years. In the last twelve months, Global X MSCI MSCI +% Pakistan ETF was up 20%, beating India’s and China’s comparable ETF’s by almost two to one – see table.

That may come as a big surprise to some. Pakistan has been suffering all sorts of terrorist attacks, which makes it a very unstable country to put your money in. And it has been lagging behind both India and China in key macroeconomic metrics like GDP growth rates and unemployment—see table.

Index/Fund 12-month Performance 5-year Performance
Global X MSCI Pakistan (NYSE:PAK) 20% 400%*
IShares China (NYSE:FXI) 9.80% 16.00%
iShares S&P India 50 (NASDAQ:INDY) 12.77 % 33.0%
iShares MSCI Emerging Markets (NYSE:EEM) 5.38% 1.52%
*In local currency.

Source: Yahoo YHOO +0.98%. Finance and Karachi Exchange 9/5/2016

Pakistan’s, India’s and China’s Key Metrics

Country China India Pakistan
GDP $10866 billion 2074 billion $270 billion
GDP Growth yoy 6.7% 7.1% 4.24%
Unemployment 4.05% 4.9% 5.9%
Inflation Rate 1.3% 5.05% 3.56%
Capital flows -594 HML -$300 million -$1882 million
Government Debt to GDP 43.9% 67.2% 64.8%
What does the collective wisdom of markets see in Pakistan’s markets that others are missing?

A few things. First, terrorist attacks don’t usually affect financial markets, unless they are disruptive to trade, which hasn’t been the case in Pakistan. Second, Pakistan is a frontier rather than an emerging market, and therefore, favored by the numbers game. Third, its market reform efforts have been getting a couple of votes of confidence from overseas like $1 billion in support from the World Bank – and a couple of domestic acquisitions from foreign suitors like the acquisition of Karachi’s K-Karachi by Shanghai Electric Power Co. This has all been music to the ears of foreign investors.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan’s new private air carrier Serene Air to start flying domestic routes by year-end

http://tribune.com.pk/story/1201285/domestic-operations-new-air-carrier-start-flying-year-end/

Serene Air has been granted a licence by the air travel authority to establish a private airline in Pakistan, said sources in the aviation industry.

The airline would begin operations on domestic routes by November or December 2016, as per its plan submitted to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), stated a source, who remained involved in the developments.

PIA to lease 8 planes to upgrade fleet

“The authority granted Serene Air a licence in March 2016 to establish the airline with headquarters in Pakistan, however, the company has not yet been granted the Air Operator Certificate that will allow it to fly,” he said.

“The grant of the certificate is linked with the acquisition of aircraft mentioned in the business plan.”

He said airline officials were expected to fly to the United States to acquire five Boeing 737-800s, which would be bought with the approval of CAA officials. “The 737-800 is the latest aircraft of Boeing company.”

As per rules, the company is required to have at least three aircraft to establish an airline.

Serene Air will fly on almost all domestic routes, including Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar, Quetta and Multan. CAA rules say the airline can apply for an international licence if it successfully operates on domestic routes for over a year.

At present, there are three airlines that are already flying on domestic routes, of which one is state-owned – Pakistan International Airlines (PIA). The remaining two – Airblue and Shaheen Air – belong to the private sector.

Passengers ‘damage’ PIA Premier aircraft

Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry Standing Committee on Aviation Chairman Muhammad Yahya Polani said Pakistan’s aviation industry had a huge potential.

“Pakistan should launch more airlines on domestic routes as the availability of more air carriers will spark true competition and benefit passengers with lower fares and improved service quality,” he said.

“All the three airlines operating on the domestic routes have less than 100 aircraft combined, which are below the required number to serve the nation with an estimated population of 220 million,” said Polani.

“The Turkish Airline has more than 300 aircraft for a population of 75 million. It covers over 1,500 destinations every day and what’s more is that its private sector airlines have even greater number of aircraft.”

Similar is the case with the United States’ United Airlines. It has over 1,000 aircraft that fly to 6,700 destinations every day while the United Arab Emirates airline flies to over 1,300 destinations every day and has a very limited population.

Riaz Haq said...

Remote northern #Pakistan village Gojal transformed by #education , #CellPhone, #Internet, new highway http://on.natgeo.com/2dPriY5 via @NatGeo

PASSU, Pakistan—Sajid Alvi is excited. He just got a grant to study in Sweden.

“My Ph.D. is about friction in turbo jet engines,” Alvi says. “I will work on developing new aerospace materials—real geeky stuff!”

Alvi’s relatives have come to bid him farewell as he prepares to leave his mountain village and study in a new country, some 3,000 miles away.

“We will see you again,” one of them says as they hang out in the potato field in front of Alvi’s house. “You know you won’t get far with a long beard like that. You look like Taliban!”

Alvi, dressed in low-hanging shorts and a Yankees cap, is far from a fundamentalist: He’s Wakhi, part of an ethnic group with Persian origins. And like everyone else here, he is Ismaili—a follower of a moderate branch of Islam whose imam is the Aga Khan, currently residing in France. There are 15 million Ismailis around the world, and 20,000 live here in the Gojal region of northern Pakistan.

I’ve been visiting Gojal for 17 years, and I’ve watched as lives like Alvi’s have become more common here. Surrounded by the mighty Karakoram Range, the Ismailis here have long been relatively isolated, seeing tourists but little else of global events. But now, an improved highway and the arrival of mobile phones have let the outside world in, bringing new lifestyles and opportunities: Children grow up and head off to university, fashions change, and technology reshapes tradition. Gojal has adjusted to all of this, surprising me every time I return by showing me just how adaptable traditions can be.

With these photos, I hope to add nuance to our understanding of Pakistan, a country many Westerners associate with terrorism or violence. People have suffered from this reputation, and many feel helpless in trying to change it. The Pakistan I’ve seen is different from that popular perception. I returned there this summer with my family and focused my attention on a young and forward-thinking community in Gojal, a place I know well.

I first came here in the summer of 1999. I was 25 and my girlfriend and I bought one-way tickets to Pakistan. We were looking for inspiring treks (the Karakoram Range has the highest concentration of peaks taller than 8,000 meters). Back then, we were among the roughly 100,000 foreign tourists to visit northern Pakistan each year.

We stayed for months, opening new passes, learning the language, and exploring the Karakoram, Hindu Kush, and Pamir. I kept returning, but over the years, I saw the number of fellow hikers plunge. The tourism department now records only a few thousand foreign visitors each year.

“Following the terrible September 11th attacks, anyone involved in tourism had to sell their jeeps or hotels; no tourists dared to come here anymore,” says Karim Jan, a local tour guide.

With each return visit, I noticed other changes. While outsiders were rare, the improved Karakoram Highway, now able to host vehicles other than Jeeps and 4x4s, brought in local tourists from south Pakistan, and southern cities became more accessible to the Wakhi.


Young men and women began leaving to study in these cities, and they came back for summer holiday dressed in new, hip fashions. Shops multiplied along the road, selling new spices, sugary snacks, and sodas. Biryani rice, a favorite dish from Punjab, now often replaces the traditional turnip soup or buckwheat pancakes during celebrations.

But despite what I’ve seen change on the surface, the spirit of Gojal is very much the same.

Riaz Haq said...

#Chinese consortium to launch new #airline in #Pakistan. #China #FDI #CPEC #PIA

http://nation.com.pk/national/05-Nov-2016/chinese-consortium-to-launch-new-airline-in-pakistan

Praising the country’s economy as capable of absorbing and capitalising the direct foreign investment, the Chinese investors have expressed their interest in launching a new airline in Pakistan for which they would be discussing modalities with the Government of Pakistan.

-----

The delegation apprised the Prime Minister that they are bringing $3 billion Investment Fund to Pakistan because of the vision of the Prime Minister that focus on infrastructure development and energy sectors.

The Chinese delegation also expressed its intent to explore possibility of starting a new airline in Pakistan after the permission from the Government of Pakistan. The Chinese side said that it is actively pursuing its investments in infrastructure, power, aviation and tourism sectors of Pakistan.

“We fully appreciate the vision of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif which enunciates that economic prosperity is an offshoot of infrastructure connectivity and self-sufficiency in the energy sector,” the members of the delegation stated.

Riaz Haq said...

#Hyatt Announces Plans for 4 New Hotels in #Pakistan. #CPEC #Tourism #Karachi #Lahore #Islamabad #Rawalpindi
http://www.newschannel10.com/story/33688357/hyatt-announces-entry-into-pakistan-with-plans-for-four-hyatt-branded-hotels

Expansion of Grand Hyatt and Hyatt Regency brands in Pakistan in co-operation with Bahria Town key to enhancing worldwide customer preference

CHICAGO --(BUSINESS WIRE)
Hyatt Hotels Corporation (NYSE: H) announced today plans to expand its Grand Hyatt and Hyatt Regency brands in Pakistan with the signing of management agreements by a Hyatt affiliate for four Hyatt-branded hotels: Grand Hyatt Islamabad, Hyatt Regency Karachi, Hyatt Regency Lahore, and Hyatt Regency Rawalpindi. Bahria Town, one of the largest private developers in Asia, will own the four Hyatt-branded hotels.

“We look forward to collaborating with the Bahria team to open the first Grand Hyatt and Hyatt Regency hotels in Pakistan,” said Peter Norman, senior vice president, acquisitions and development – Europe, Africa, and Middle East (EAME) and Southwest Asia for Hyatt. “Following last year’s announcement for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), we are optimistic about the growth of Hyatt’s brands in Pakistan. The opening of these hotels will serve as a testament to the global appeal of the Grand Hyatt and Hyatt Regency brands as they continue to expand worldwide and offer more choices to our guests.”

With the announcement a Grand Hyatt and three Hyatt Regency hotels in Pakistan, Hyatt is taking another step in growing its brand footprint in the Middle East and Southwest Asia. The EAME/Southwest Asia region is a significant growth opportunity for Hyatt as the segment accounts for approximately 25 percent of the company’s executed contract rooms base. As of December 31, 2015, the Company had approximately 60 Hyatt-branded hotels under development in EAME/Southwest Asia.

Grand Hyatt Islamabad will be meticulously designed to exemplify the Grand Hyatt brand’s signature level of grandeur with an abundance of options for creating spectacular experiences. Expected to open in 2023, the hotel will offer 400 guestrooms, seven food and beverage outlets, two ballrooms, seven meeting rooms, a spa, fitness facilities, private club, and kids club. Additionally, the hotel will be the first internationally-branded golf resort in Pakistan and will have a state-of-the-art golf club house. The hotel and golf club will be easily accessible from the Murree-Islamabad Expressway, which connects directly to Islamabad's city center and diplomatic area 30 minutes away.

Hyatt Regency Karachi will offer a range of amenities, as well as spaces that will make the hotel a go-to gathering place for any occasion. The hotel will feature approximately 200 guestrooms, a lobby lounge, three-meal restaurant, and more than 17,000 square feet (1,600 square meters) of flexible meeting and event space. The hotel is expected to open in 2023.

Hyatt Regency Lahore will deliver on the modern expectations of today’s travelers and meeting planners.The hotel will feature authentic food and beverage offerings that will build off the Hyatt Regency brand’s history of culinary excellence. The hotel will serve as the perfect venue for a variety of events such as weddings, social banquets, exhibitions, meetings, and conferences. Additionally, the hotel will feature a private club offering food and beverage outlets, tennis courts and banquet facilities, among other amenities. The hotel is expected to open in 2021.

Hyatt Regency Rawalpindi will be designed to connect today’s travelers to who and what matters most to them. The 165-room hotel will offer multiple food and beverage outlets and more than 11,000 square feet (1,100 square meters) of flexible meeting and event space. The hotel is expected to open in 2022.

Riaz Haq said...

New Islamabad Airport will further promote the progressive image of Pakistan: PM

http://tribune.com.pk/story/1224889/briefed-pm-reviews-progress-projects/


ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday said that the new Islamabad Airport will be an icon of excellence and will further promote the progressive image of Pakistan.

The prime minister expressed these views while chairing a meeting on Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and aviation affairs at the PM House.

He reviewed the progress on the new airport and was apprised that all construction packages of the new airport are on track. He directed to complete the link road project from Rawalpindi to New Islamabad Airport by March 2017.

New Islamabad airport gets another deadline

The National Highway Authority was also directed to monitor the quality of work on the link road project according to the required standards. The overall performance of the national carrier during the last six months was also reviewed, while the PIA chairman gave a presentation to participants of the meeting and informed that significant increase in revenue has been registered.

Riaz Haq said...

RENOWNED NAME IN HOTEL INDUSTRY OPENS NEW LOCATION IN DEFENCE, KARACHI
http://www.brecorder.com/pakistan/industries-a-sectors/327559-renowned-name-in-hotel-industry-opens-new-location-in-defence-karachi.html

A renowned name in the hotel industry- the Ramada chain, opened their new location in Defence, Karachi.

The chain has over 800 hotels across 63 countries, says a statement here on Friday.

It said that at a ceremony held recently at the hotel itself, Yasin H. Kassam C.E.O and Managing Director of Pakistan Beverage Ltd. and Iftikhar Qureshi, CEO of Ramada Creek Hotel, signed an agreement for the supply of carbonated and non-carbonated beverages to the guests of the hotel.

Speaking at the occasion Ramada Creek Hotel CEO, Iftikhar Qureshi commented: `It is United International Group's vision to redefine hospitality in Pakistan and to provide travelers and guests with the best options available to make their stay comfortable and relaxing which is why signing with Pakistan Beverage Ltd. was the next natural step'.

Qureshi also expressed interest in opening up more 5 star hotels in the country to truly contribute towards the economy.

Riaz Haq said...

PAKISTAN’S TOURISM INDUSTRY GRADUALLY RECOVERING
http://www.brecorder.com/pakistan/industries-a-sectors/328271-pakistans-tourism-industry-gradually-recovering.html

With 2016 already a record year for the tourism sector in Pakistan at the local level, tourism was gradually recovering from the dark era of post September 11, 2001.

The country hopes to once again attract international tourists who had deserted it for the past 15 years, according to an articled published in "Asialyst" a Paris-based Website.

As Pakistan was one of the countries most affected by terrorism, since last year foreign travellers have been returning little by little.

In Karimabad, a small village overlooking the Hunza Valley in the Gilgit-Baltistan province of northern Pakistan, Lal Hussain, 65, looked out at the view of the river and the snow-capped peaks of the Karakoram.

It was the season when the apricot trees were in bloom and the water from the melting of the glaciers irrigated the valley.

With his son and nephews, Lal Hussain runs the Hunza Inn, one of the oldest hostels in Karimabad, established in 1980. "It's not like before," he sighed.

In the past fifteen years, Lal Hussain has lost 80% of his turnover. "Because of the foreign media, tourists have a biased image of Pakistan and are afraid to visit the region," he said.

Seated around the large common table of the Hunza Inn, however, were some Chinese tourists who had ventured into the Pakistani mountains, and Fabrizio, an Italian from Rome.

After travelling extensively in India, Fabrizio was discovering the country for the first time. "It's true that my family was afraid when I told them I was leaving for Pakistan," he said. "But in reality, we don't feel any danger here at all, there is no problem."

He said he intended to hike, relax and visit the region.

Fabrizio was the only European in the village.

Twenty years ago, Karimabad was the gateway for all foreign backpackers and trekkers, said Lal Hussain. "In summer, the high season, we even had to refuse people," he added.

Gilgit-Baltistan region is a paradise for mountaineers.

Located at the junction of the Hindu Kush and Karakoram ranges, between India, China and Afghanistan, it is home to five out of fourteen mountain peaks in the world that are over 8,000 metres high, including the mythical K2.

The hippie trail and the golden age of tourism in Pakistan Lal Hussain's story is one of a flourishing industry that collapsed. Now, it is gradually reviving.

In 2015, Pakistan attracted 5,634 foreign tourists. According to the biennial report of the World Economic Forum, Pakistan ranks 125th in the world in terms of foreign tourists.

From Sindh, with its sandy beaches, to Punjab and its palaces, from the old city of Lahore to the heights of the Himalayas, not to mention the Cholistan desert, the "Country of the Pure" possesses all the trump cards it needs to attract travellers from all over the world, the articled noted.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan can become a well known destination for leisure tourism
http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2016/11/13/city/pakistan-can-become-a-well-known-destination-for-leisure-tourism/

Clifton Beach is the most popular beach among domestic tourists and most of the locals are not even aware of any beach other than Clifton beach.

Talking to APP, Managing Director Abdul Ghafoor said Clifton Beach is very close to Karachi city and famous for camel and buggy ridings and for family picnics, yet there were other beautiful beaches in the country that tourists ought to know of.

Hawke’s Bay is less crowded with clearer water –leisure seekers and holiday makers may rent a hut to spend a weekend there.

Sandspit Beach is good for swimming and sun bathing -the water there flows through an unusual rocky formation.

French Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches around Karachi -with clearer water and fresh air- is a rocky beach, he said.

Paradise Point beach is good for family picnics and camel or horse riding – there is a natural rock formation that looks like a carved archway, which is an amazing point to enjoy the sea view.

Devil’s Point beach is a good point to have some silent and peaceful time away from the city hustle and bustle.

Kund Malir Beach, a desert beach is a nice drive on Coastal Highway to Balochistan – the area belongs to Hingol Park, and is situated just 145 km from zero point.

Gadani Beach is one of the beautiful beaches of Pakistan it is commonly known a harbor for ship breaking.

Gwadar Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches of Balochistan with most clearer and in emerald color waters located in Arabian Sea he said.

Pasni Beach is commonly famous for its fishing harbor – one can have a good camping experience there.

West Bay Beach is located in Gwadar – the beach is going to be developed for future leisure tourism, added Abdul Ghafoor.

Riaz Haq said...

#CPEC #Fiberinternet Cable Connecting #Pakistan & #China Will Be Completed In 2017. #fiber http://pakchinanews.pk/cpec-fiber-optic-connecting-pakistan-china-will-be-completed-in-2017/ …

The project designed to connect Pakistan with China via high speed fiber optic cable is anticipated to be finalized by next year. It will complete one year ahead of the actual time.

The first part of $44 million project started this year under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Project. Work on eight divisions of 100-125 kilometers length has already started. By engaging special tools, human resource and services the venture is expected to be completed by next year.

While talking to The Nation, Director Pakistan-China Optical Fiber Cable project Colonel Waseem Ahmed, revealed that 820 kilometer fiber optic cable will be placed from Khunjerab to Rawalpindi. And in second phase the cable will be laid from Rawalpindi to Gwadar and Karachi.

Special Communications Organization (SCO) an affiliated department of Pakistan Army was given the job to offer telecom services in the mountainous area after T&T botched to provide telecom facilities in hard geographic localities of AJK and GB. In fiber optic project also the organization will have to contest against life-threatening weather and other tasks.

As per the project cable will be put down from hilly areas of Khunjerab to Karimabad, Naran, Masnsehra, Abbottabad, Taxila, and Rawalpindi, one of the hard lands of the country.

Ahmed further added that weather, physical conditions and extreme low temperatures are the major obstacles of the first phase of the project. He said that due to extreme weather at Babusar top and some areas in Chillas and Sost, his organization has employed specified tools.

Once finished, this back-haul fiber optic cable will offer Pakistan with a direct telecom access to China, Central Asian States and from there to Europe and to and from the United States.

At present, Pakistan is connected with the world via four undersea fiber optic cables, whereas other five are in progress and will be working in the upcoming years.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan winning war against #Terrorists. #Taliban #TTP #FATA #Karachi #MQM.

http://www.spectator.co.uk/2016/12/pakistan-is-winning-its-war-on-terror/

Violence has not just dropped a bit. It is down by three quarters in the last two years. The country is safer than at any point since George W. Bush launched his war on terror 15 years ago.

----
The Taleban had long treasured a secure basis in Karachi, as had religious terror groups. That was a conventional crime industry specialising in kidnap, drug smuggling and extortion (every business had to pay protection money to gangs).

Pakistan’s politicians tolerated this. Pervez Musharraf, the army chief and president, was often accused of allowing the armed wing of Karachi’s largest political party, MQM, to operate with complete impunity.

This policy continued under Musharraf’s civilian successor, Asif Zardari, whose Pakistan’s People’s Party governed Karachi in coalition with MQM from 2008 to 2012. Five years ago we walked around gangster-infested Liyari town in Karachi’s port area with the local mafia don, Uzair Baloch. Baloch (now in jail) told us he could speak to Zardari whenever he wanted. The violence just rose and rose, until Zardari’s replacement Nawaz Sharif ordered his cabinet to Karachi and gave the state’s paramilitary arm, the Rangers, unlimited powers. This was the moment when political tolerance of violence ended.

We interviewed Major-General Bilal Akbar, director-general of Sindh Rangers for the past two-and-a-half years, at his HQ in the south of the city; he has since transferred to be the Pakistani army’s chief of general staff. After asking us to pass on his regards to Nick Carter, head of the British army (with whom he used to play bridge every Friday night when they were both stationed in Kabul), he explained the security situation.

In 2013 there were 2,789 killings in Karachi. In the first 11 months of 2016 there were 592. In 2013 there were 51 terrorist bomb blasts. Up to late November this year, there were two.

Three years ago, Karachi suffered from an orgy of kidnapping for ransom. There were 78 cases in 2013, rising to 110 the following year. This year, there have been 19.

[Alt-Text]
Some 533 extortion cases were reported in 2013; in 2016, only 133. Sectarian killing is sharply down: while 38 members of the Shia minority (who are brutally targeted in Pakistan) were killed in 2013, that figure was down by two thirds in 2016.

Major-General Bilal told us: ‘We have apprehended 919 target killers from the militant wings of political parties since September 2013. They confessed to over 7,300 killings. The daily homicide rate in the city is less than two now. It used to be ten or 15, and during ethnic clashes we could lose 100 lives a day.’

Just three years ago, according to the Numbeo international crime index, Karachi was the sixth most dangerous city in the world. Today it stands at number 31 — and falling.

Six months after he ordered the Rangers into Karachi, Nawaz Sharif took an even more momentous decision. The prime minister, whose initial instinct had been to negotiate with the Taleban and oppose the use of force, yielded to advice from his generals. He sent the army into North Waziristan, the Taleban stronghold on the Afghan border.

North Waziristan had not just provided a base for the Taleban leadership. It was a centre for the manufacture of explosives, suicide vests and military equipment, and for training camps, as well as drawing in foreign fighters from al-Qaeda. It was the epicentre of terrorism in Pakistan, which is why this intractable and remote area had been left alone by the army for so long.

In June 2014, General Raheel Sharif (now a national hero, and no relation of prime minister Sharif) took charge of a massive military offensive, Zarb-e-Azb. Taleban groups responded with a series of atrocities of which the most grotesque was the attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar, in which a reported 140 children were killed.

Riaz Haq said...

#Emirates Airline started with $10 million in seed capital and a couple of jets leased from #Pakistan #PIA in 1984.
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2017-01-05/is-emirates-airline-running-out-of-sky


In 1984, Dubai was a backwater, one of the seven city-states that made up the fledgling United Arab Emirates, when its ruler, Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed al-Maktoum, and his son Mohammed decided to start an airline. With $10 million in seed capital and a couple of jets leased from Pakistan, Emirates was created a year later under the leadership of a pair of British expats, Maurice Flanagan and Tim Clark, initially serving regional destinations before making its first flights to London in 1987.


The airline, which is based in Dubai and owned by its government, has become the world’s largest long-haul carrier by never relaxing its grip—on employees, on airplane manufacturers, or on its own ambitions. Emirates recently configured a plane to seat 615 passengers, a record, and flies the world’s most epic nonstop route, an 8,824-mile arc from Dubai to Auckland. Emirates is essentially the only buyer of the largest commercial airliner, the Airbus A380, which it gilds with stand-up cocktail bars and in-flight showers. For every flight departing Dubai, as cabin crew head to their airplanes, the last room they traverse is a hall with mirrors on one side and windows to the tarmac on the other. The space allows workers to inspect themselves for perfection against a backdrop of government-owned taxiways thick with Emirates jets. That’s the airline, in one image: glamour and ambition in a framework of absolute control.

Since 1985, Emirates has grown from a two-plane operation at a desert airstrip into a force whose every movement rumbles through global aviation. The airline’s growth is inseparable from that of Dubai, with both straining the laws of financial and physical gravity. The company’s chairman is Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the uncle of Dubai’s absolute monarch. He also runs the airport authority, the aviation regulator, and the city’s largest bank, should Emirates ever need a loan. Out in the desert, a half-hour drive from the coast’s skyscrapers and malls, the government is building a $32 billion, five-runway megahub precisely to Emirates’ specifications. Its ambitions are consonant with its name: Dubai World Central. The project will have a capacity of 220 million passengers per year, four times the number that New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport serves today. Two-thirds of humanity lives within the radius of an eight-hour flight. Among industry veterans, the airline’s rise inspires a respectful awe. “Emirates is unprecedented,” says Tony Tyler, a former chief executive officer of Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific. “There’s never been anything as huge.”

Yet as Emirates dictates new standards of technology, luxury, and range, it’s finding that more and more is beyond its mastery. Conceived as a titanic bet on the growth of what development economists call the Global South—the Middle East, Africa, South Asia, and Latin America—the airline is at risk if those emerging markets don’t, in fact, emerge. Emirates in May reported its first-ever annual revenue decline and is cutting some of its plans for growth amid slackening demand from sub-Saharan Africa, Turkey, and Brazil. The slump has industry analysts wondering how Emirates will fill the staggering number of planes it has on order. The company has agreed to buy 50 A380s and 174 Boeing 777s, adding to the 92 and 148, respectively, it currently flies. By comparison, British Airways operates 12 A380s, and American Airlines, Delta, and United have zero.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan to launch new private #airline #SereneAir with 125 weekly flights to 7 Pakistani cities http://www.ch-aviation.com/portal/news/52352-serene-air-to-launch-with-flights-to-seven-pakistani-cities … via @chaviation

Serene Air (SEP, Islamabad) will initially serve the domestic Pakistani market before venturing abroad. A Radixx International press release confirming Serene Air's choice of IT systems said the start-up would serve Lahore Int'l, Islamabad, Karachi Int'l, Faisalabad, Quetta, Peshawar, and Skardu with approximately 125 weekly flights initially.

Serene Air will launch with a trio of B737-800s but additional aircraft will provide for its expansion both domestically and, eventually, internationally. Once it has completed its certification, expected during the first half of this year, Serene Air will compete with the likes of AirBlue (PA, Karachi Int'l), PIA - Pakistan International Airlines (PK, Karachi Int'l), and Shaheen Air International (NL, Karachi Int'l).

Riaz Haq said...

New #Islamabad international #airport to be ready for operation by July 2017. #Pakistan http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2017/01/31/new-islamabad-airport-to-be-ready-for-operation-by-july/ … via @epakistantoday

The New Islamabad Airport in Islamabad will be ready for operations by late July.

Around 95pc work on the New, Islamabad International Airport has been completed and the remaining would be done by March 2017.

The facility will then be inaugurated by the prime minister on August 14.

During a high-level meeting to review progress on the new Islamabad Airport and its allied infrastructure at the PM House in Islamabad with officials of the Aviation Division, National Highway Authority (NHA), Islamabad Mayor, and other officials, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif stated that infrastructure projects were the backbone of our economy and essential for the public.

The premier was informed that the new airport would have a capacity to handle 4,500 passengers at a time with 15 parking bays and terminal gates. Moreover, the airport would be able to accommodate two A-380 aircraft would be able to dock simultaneously. Further, the new airport would have state-of-the-art facilities such as cargo handling, safety and security, passenger facilitation and parking services.

With regards to allied infrastructure for the new airport, the NHA chairman said that the facility would be serviced through two main access road leading off from the M-1 and M-2 motorways. It would also have a road leading from the main GT Road (N-5).

Moreover, the airport can also be accessed through the Islamabad Metro from the Golra Mor. The PM will also inaugurate the new metro link along with the airport on August 14. Nawaz directed that no compromise should be made on the quality of work on the airport, access roads or the Metro Bus link. The prime minister was further informed that work on the new terminal at the Allama Iqbal International Airport in Lahore is expected to commence in March 2017.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan air travel data for 2014-15 according to Civil Aviation Authority:


International Passengers 11,695,832

Domestic Passengers: 6,339,888

Total: 18 million


Air Cargo:

International: 350,000 tons

Domestic: 38,663 tons

Total Cargo: 388,000 tons

http://www.caapakistan.com.pk/upload/AT/stats/2014%20-%202015-APT.pdf

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan's private airline #ShaheenAir adds another Airbus A319, increasing its fleet size to 25 aircrafts

http://www.dawn.com/news/1316336

Shaheen Air International (SAI) announced on Wednesday that the airline has inducted another Airbus A319 into its fleet.

The airline is also slated to receive five more aircraft of the similar model. Earlier, there was only one A319 Airbus in the fleet of the airline.

"With 24 planes under its auspices, Shaheen Air is brimming with excitement upon receiving their 25th aircraft," said a statement.

The new aircraft comes wrapped in a new livery that builds on the revamped brand identity and philosophy of Shaheen, said the release.

The Airbus A319 has been custom-fitted with thin and linear seats and it can accommodate around 150 passengers in its all-economy segment.

Last month, the company had re-branded itself by launching a new logo.

Riaz Haq said...

#Saudi Airlines to start direct flight from #Jeddah to #Multan in #Pakistan

http://www.arabnews.com/node/1077306/corporate-news

Saudi Arabian Airlines is set to launch its first direct flight from Jeddah to the Pakistani city of Multan from Saturday, April 1. Eight weekly round-trip flights have been scheduled.
Saudi Arabian Airlines spokesman Abdulrahman Al-Taiyeb said it is part of the company’s plan to expand its international destination network based on operational and marketing studies, and on the optimal use of new airplanes which are joining the Saudi Airlines fleet regularly.
The carrier is continuously developing its international operational plan with the aim of increasing its share in the international flight sector, and achieving new records in carrying pilgrims.
The company has finalized the creation of its office at the new destination. The first flight SV800 will take off at 02:50 from Jeddah and arrive at Multan Airport 09:30 Pakistan time.
The arrival of the flight will be celebrated in Multan. Top executives from the airline’s offices in Pakistan and officials from the airport and Multan’s Civil Aviation Authority will take part in the ceremony.
The first flight to depart from Multan International Airport SV801 will take off on the same day at 11:30 and will arrive at King Abdul Aziz International Airport at 14:30 Saudi time.
Flights to Multan — the airline’s fifth direct-flight destination in Pakistan after Peshawar, Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad — will be on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday.
Aircraft to be used are B777-300ER, which have the capacity of 30 and 383 business and economy class seats, respectively.

Riaz Haq said...

Upsurge in the influx of tourists
The Pakistani economy was able to generate approximately $1 billion in revenue because of the 1,040,000 international tourists who arrived in 2015. This tourist figure is projected to reach 1.7 million by the year 2025. This will, in turn, help Pakistan to be the world’s fastest-growing Muslim economy ahead of Indonesia, Malaysia, Turkey and Egypt by 2017.

Improvement in employment rate
In the midst of an increase in tourism and better security conditions of the country, the number of people employed directly by the hospitality industry reached 1,429,500 in 2015. The employment rate is projected to increase by 2.1% per annum over the next 10 years.

Increase in investment
Due to the sheer beauty in Pakistan, the investment which this particular sector received in the year 2015 was USD 3272 million which made up 9.3% of the total investment done in the country. Over the next ten years, this investment rate is forecasted to rise by 7.6% pa over the next ten years. Due to the ongoing CPEC mega project whose main highlight is the Gawadar city, a huge chunk of this investment is allocated to the construction of ten hotels in this city which can in turn boost tourism in the area.

https://en.dailypakistan.com.pk/business/state-of-pakistans-travel-and-hospitality-industry-in-the-last-year/

Riaz Haq said...

Exclusive: CPEC master plan revealed

https://www.dawn.com/news/1333101

One of the most intriguing chapters in the plan is the one that talks about the development of a “coastal tourism” industry. It speaks of a long belt of coastal enjoyment industry that includes yacht wharfs, cruise homeports, nightlife, city parks, public squares, theaters, golf courses and spas, hot spring hotels and water sports. The belt will run from Keti Bunder to Jiwani, the last habitation before the Iranian border. Then, somewhat disappointingly, it adds that “more work needs to be done” before this vision can be realized.
The plans are laid out in surprising detail. For instance, Gwadar will feature international cruise clubs that “provide marine tourists private rooms that would feel as though they were ‘living in the ocean’”. And just as the feeling sinks in, it goes on to say that “[f]or the development of coastal vacation products, Islamic culture, historical culture, folk culture and marine culture shall all be integrated.” Apparently more work needs to be done here too.

For Ormara, the plan recommends building “unique recreational activities” that would also encourage “the natural, exciting, participatory, sultry, and tempting characteristics” to come through. For Keti Bunder it recommends wildlife sanctuaries, an aquarium and a botanical garden. For Sonmiani, on the eastern edge of Karachi, “projects like a coastal beach, extended greenway, coastal villa, car camp, SPA, beach playground and a seafood street can be developed.”
It is an expansive vision that the plan lays out, and towards the end, it asks for the following: “Make the visa-free tourism possible with China to provide more convenient policy support for Chinese tourists to Pakistan.” There is no mention of a reciprocal arrangement for Pakistani nationals visiting China.

Riaz Haq said...

A total of 19.6 million passengers (6.9 million domestic, 12.7 million international) flew commercial airlines in Pakistan in 2015-16, up from 18 million (6.3 million domestic, 11.7 million international) in 2014-15, according to Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

http://www.caapakistan.com.pk/upload/AT/stats/2015%20-%202016-APT.pdf

http://www.caapakistan.com.pk/upload/AT/stats/2014%20-%202015-APT.pdf

Riaz Haq said...

India air passenger data 2015-16

Domestic Passengers 85 million

International Passengers on Indian Airlines 18.3 million

International Passengers on Foreign Airlines 31.5 million

Total international traffic: 49.8 million

http://dgca.gov.in/reports/stat-ind.htm

Riaz Haq said...

JCR-VIS
SECTOR UPDATE
Aviation Industry
The aviation industry is characterized by high competition
arising from soft barriers to entry, cyclicality, and
vulnerability to economic shocks...


http://www.jcrvis.com.pk/docs/Aviation201608.pdf

Based on economic and
demographic growth,
IATA has projected
intra Pakistan air
traffic to grow at 9.9%
over the next 20 years,
more than twice the
4.1% projected annual
world growth rate. This
supports the prospects
of growing revenues for
airliners

Local Industry Structure
• There are three domestic players in Pakistan: Pakistan International Airlines
(PIA), Shaheen Air International Limited (SAI) and Air Blue Limited.
• Indus Air, which commenced flights in 2013, was forced to cease operations
in 2015 by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) on account of failure to meet
legal minimum requirement of fleet size of 3 airworthy aircrafts.

Total passenger traffic has grown at a CAGR of 5.3% over the last 5 years and has reached 15.1m
passengers during FY15.
• Based on economic and demographic growth, IATA has projected intra Pakistan air traffic to grow
at 9.9% over the next 20 years, more than twice the 4.1% projected annual world growth rate.
This supports the prospects of growing revenues for airliners.

Market Share (Domestic Passenger Traffic)
• Domestic passenger traffic has remained relatively stagnant over
the last five years. During FY15, total number of domestic air
passengers amounted to 3.15m vis-a-vis 3.59m during FY14. The
reduction was mainly due increase in number of domestic airports
/ destinations, facilitating direct travel.
• PIA’s market share in terms of domestic passenger traffic was 51%
for FY15. However, the same has decreased from 72% during FY10
on account of mismanagement and inefficiencies. Market share
of PIA is expected to decline further in FY16 due to a two week
airline strike, which allowed other players to gain market share.
• Shaheen Air is the second largest player having 27% (FY10: 14%) market share in terms of
domestic passenger traffic followed by Air Blue at 13% (FY10: 14%).
Market Share (International Passenger Traffic)
• Total international air travel for Pakistan has grown at a CAGR
7.1% over the last five years. Total international passenger traffic
amounted to 11.9m passengers (FY14: 10.9m, FY10: 8.5m) during
FY15.
• Market share of foreign carriers during FY15 has increased to 56%
(FY14: 53%) of total international air travel in/out of Pakistan.
Based on the above mentioned reasons, along with competitive
pricing from Emirates Airlines, PIA’s market share decreased from
43% in FY10 to 23% in FY15.

Riaz Haq said...

‘Emerging #Pakistan’ branding on #London buses https://www.geo.tv/latest/147309-emerging-pakistan-branding-on-london-buses LONDON: London’s iconic red double-decker buses are carrying brand Pakistan on the roads of Central London, the hub of world tourists. This ultimate branding campaign is running under the theme of “Emerging Pakistan” and will continue for four weeks.

Tens of thousands of people will get to see the London buses daily. During four weeks, millions will see these buses depicting the diversity and beauty of Pakistan.

The initiative is a part of celebrations planned by the Pakistan High Commission London for the 70th Independence Anniversary of Pakistan this year.

Fully wrapped double-decker buses are showcasing the pristine beauty of Pakistan with its highest peaks, beautiful landscape, rare fauna, monuments representing ancient civilisation, magnificent architecture and rich and diverse culture.

The moving buses are creating an unparalleled lasting visual impact on millions of pedestrians and motorists alike, especially the tourists. Millions of tourists visit London every year, mainly during summer. The buses decorated in Pakistani colours will pass through the tourist routes covering thousands of miles in total.

The bus wrapping campaign aims to introduce foreign tourists to the beautiful land of Pakistan that still remains unexplored.

Speaking to Geo News, Syed Ibne Abbas, Pakistan High Commissioner to the UK said: "Pakistan branding on the iconic London buses is projecting the true image of Pakistan in London which is the hub of the foreign tourists. This publicity campaign showcases the beauty of Pakistan, its culture, landscape and people, and will help promote tourism in Pakistan in the most effective way. The recent social uplift and economic prosperity in Pakistan underpins the theme of the campaign i.e. ‘Emerging Pakistan’ as acknowledged by many independent international organisations.”

He said foreigners are always mesmerised when they see the beauty of Pakistan’s culture and the richness of colours is appreciated all over the world.

Riaz Haq said...

THE EXPRESS TRIBUNE > BUSINESS
CPEC investments lift Pakistan’s hospitality industry

https://tribune.com.pk/story/1445622/cpec-investments-lift-pakistans-hospitality-industry/

Infrastructure investments for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) have given a helping hand to Pakistan’s hospitality industry as new hotels and guest houses are emerging in different parts of the country, said Jovago Asia Chief Executive Officer Nadine Malik.

“Pakistan’s middle class is growing and with higher disposable incomes, people are shelling out more money for leisure activities,” she said in an interview with The Express Tribune. “This is expected to further grow in coming months.”

Pakistan has achieved 5.3% gross domestic product (GDP) growth – the highest in a decade – in the outgoing fiscal year 2016-17. Gradual improvement in macroeconomic indicators and security situation since 2013 has helped all important sectors in the country.

---
“Chinese are coming to Pakistan in big numbers, which is also an opportunity for us,” she said, adding though most of them are coming to work on mega projects where they have company accommodations, there is still potential for the hospitality industry as new guest houses are being constructed in the country.

While refusing to share the exact data of annual hotel bookings, Malik said the total number of visitors on the hotel booking portal jovago.net has crossed 3 million since the website’s launch in 2014.

Jovago caters to domestic tourists while only 2% of its customers are foreigners. Its top season is June and July mainly due to summer vacations. In its first year of operations, most of its clients travelled to Naran and Kaghan in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, but later people also took interest in Muzaffarabad, Azad Kashmir, Hunza, Skardu and Gilgit-Baltistan. She said places like Naran, Kaghan, Hunza, Skardu and Muzaffarabad are open only for four to five months from April to August, so a lot of Jovago’s traffic is also concentrated in these months.

The second busy season is December during which families travel mostly from one big city (like Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad) to another due to winter vacations. A lot of travellers from mid-tier cities (like Faisalabad) also go to Islamabad and Lahore.

Most of the portal’s clients make business trips to Karachi, typically for just a few hours. However, due to improving security conditions in the city, a lot of them are now bringing their families with them to stay for a few days.

For instance, Malik said Arabian Country Club – a sprawling place with sports facilities such as golf and others about 45 kilometres east of Karachi – is usually booked out all the time.

“Our hotel partners in Karachi say that their occupancy rate, which was not more than 50% in 2014 on a good day, is now in the range of 70-80% mainly due to improving security situation in the financial capital of Pakistan.”

According to the Jovago CEO, the concept of long weekends is gaining momentum in Pakistan. For instance, a considerable number of people travelled around March 23 – a national holiday – that has been falling around weekends for the last two years.

Challenges

Malik said a lot of people still hesitate to travel inside the country due to perceived security threats. Apart from this, she added, there is a lot of room for improvement in terms of roads and other infrastructure facilities that could increase domestic tourism.

She felt that Pakistan needs more four and five-star hotels because the country has many two and three-star hotels but it lacks big ones.

According to Jovago Pakistan estimates, Pakistan’s annual travel, tourism and business travel spending exceeds over $12 billion. Leisure travel spending is expected to grow from $10.3 billion in 2016 to $17.6 billion in 2026 while business travel spending is expected to jump from $1.9 billion in 2016 to $3.3 billion in 2026.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan improves ranking on tourism competitiveness index

https://www.dawn.com/news/1325829/pakistan-improves-ranking-on-tourism-competitiveness-index

With less than a million foreign tourists visiting the country on an average, Pakistan has been able to improve its ranking by one point in 2017 – currently at 124 out of 136 countries – covered in the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index 2017 released by the World Economic Forum.

Earlier, the country was ranked 125 out of 141 countries in 2015.

Average receipts per arrival have been estimated at $328.3 whereas total receipt has been amounted to $317 million, with travel and tourism competitiveness has a share of 2.8 per cent of GDP.

The worst ranking for Pakistan pointed out by the report was visa requirements where ranking was 135 out of 136 countries. The government’s prioritisation of travel and tourism industry was ranked at 132 among the 136 countries surveyed by the report, while the sustainability of travel and tourism industry development got the ranking of 128. Effectiveness of marketing and branding to attract tourists got the ranking of 125.

The quality of tourism infrastructure got the ranking of 123 while hotel rooms got ranking of 129.

Pakistan has a total of 36 world heritage cultural sites and attractiveness of natural assets scored 127.

In 2017, the travel and tourism industry continues to make a real difference to the lives of millions of people by driving growth, creating jobs, reducing poverty and fostering development and tolerance. For the sixth consecutive year, industry growth outperforms that of the global economy, showcasing the industry’s resilience in the face of global geopolitical uncertainty and economic volatility.

The industry contributed $7.6 trillion to the global economy, which was 10.2 per cent of global GDP, and generated 292 million jobs in 2016.

International arrivals followed suit, reaching 1.2 billion in 2016, 46 million more than in 2015. These promising figures are expected to continue increasing in the coming decade, report says.

Research shows that for every 30 new tourists to a destination one new job is created; and already today, the travel and tourism industry has almost twice as many women employers as other sectors. In 2016, nearly 4 billion people traveled by plane, a number expected to reach 7.2 billion by 2035.

The report says that travel and tourism competitiveness is improving, especially in developing countries and particularly in the Asia-Pacific region. As the industry continues to grow, an increasing share of international visitors are coming from and travel to emerging and developing nations.

In an increasingly protectionist context – one that is hindering global trade – the travel and tourism industry continues building bridges rather than walls between people, as made apparent by increasing numbers of people traveling across borders and global trends toward adopting less restrictive visa policies.

Despite the growing awareness of the importance of the natural environment to tourism growth, the travel and tourism sector faces enormous difficulties in developing sustainably, as natural degradation proceeds on a number of fronts, report points out.

Spain, France and Germany continue to top the travel and tourism rankings but Asia steals the show as the region’s largest economies show the greatest rise in tourism-friendliness. Asia’s largest markets are not only becoming larger source markets but also more attractive destinations.

Almost all of the region’s countries improved their ranking. Except for Japan, Hong Kong, China, South Korea and Malaysia also made it to the top 30, while India made the largest leap in the top 50 to land in fortieth place.

The United Arab Emirates, ranked 29th globally, continues to be the most travel and tourism competitive country in the region by far. Its performance continues to improve since 2015; the country welcomed 14.4 million international visitors in 2015, 4 million more than two years earlier.

Riaz Haq said...

Overseas investors in #Pakistan find 94% reduction in #crime. #Lahore 94%, #Karachi 92% reduction.

https://tribune.com.pk/story/1460324/overseas-investors-find-94-reduction-crime/

Overseas investors in Pakistan have observed up to 94% decline in different crimes all over the country in 2017, according to the annual survey conducted by Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI).

Respondents of the OICCI security survey 2017 experienced a drop in the overall street crimes with a 69% reduction in minor crimes (like mobile and cash snatching) and 90% decrease in major street crimes (like car snatching).

In terms of serious crimes like abductions/hostage taking and extortion (bhatta) – respondents across Pakistan reported major reductions as compared to 2016, ranging from 94% decrease in Lahore, closely followed by the rest of Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (93%) and Karachi (92%).

Security survey 2017 is conducted in June and highlights a positive movement in the OICCI members’ perception of the country’s security environment. This comprehensive security survey has been conducted every year since 2015. It reflects the foreign investors’ perception on the improving security environment in the country especially after the launch of 2013 Karachi operations.

OICCI members have reported significant improvement in confidence and comfort of their staff on security matters, which went up further after the 86% increase reported in the previous survey, as the staffs now feel even more comfortable in their everyday commute to/from the workplace.

More significantly, a noteworthy feedback from the latest OICCI security survey is that a higher number of expatriate business visitors have travelled to Pakistan in the past one year and most of the business related meetings are now being held within Pakistan. Prior to August 2013 these were conducted in other countries due to security concerns.

This is a strong indicator that Pakistan as a destination has improved on the security concerns map and that such foreign businessmen are being granted travel permissions for their visit to Pakistan from their respective embassies and travel security agencies.

An overwhelming 62% respondents reported substantial increase in the number of overseas visitors to Pakistan as compared to last year. The highest number of OICCI members’ foreign visitors was from European countries followed closely by visitors from Middle East, China, Singapore, USA and Japan.

The 2017 survey once again re-affirms that threats and security concerns have substantially reduced in Pakistan for all key stakeholders of businesses including OICCI members.

“The security environment has substantially improved not only for the survey participants, meaning foreign investors, but also for their customers, suppliers and employees,” said OICCI President Khalid Mansoor.

The 2017 OICCI security survey result mirrors the improved security environment all over Pakistan, especially in Karachi in comparison to the last year and greatly enhanced since the time prior to August 2013.

A significant majority of the respondents were confident that the general threats to business had reduced compared to last year and a look at the last survey in June 2016 echoed the improvement nation-wide with Karachi’s security situation being given the thumbs up by 89%, closely followed by Lahore and the rest of Punjab with 85% and 82%.

Riaz Haq said...

PAKISTAN ASPIRES FOR CPEC-DRIVEN AVIATION INDUSTRY GROWTH

http://quwa.org/2017/09/03/pakistan-aspires-cpec-driven-aviation-industry-growth/

In a one-day symposium – titled “CPEC vis-à-vis Opportunities for Aviation Industry and Way Forward” – the Government of Pakistan, the Pakistan Air Force (PAF), the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA) and members of the private sector collectively expressed hope that the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would spur growth in Pakistan’s aviation sector.

The Daily Times (Pakistan) compiled a report outlining the thoughts and aspirations of each symposium participant, which included the Federal Interior Minister Dr. Ahsan Iqbal, the PAF Chief of Air Staff (CAS) Air Chief Marshal (ACM) Sohail Aman and other leading officials and industry representatives.

Short-term objectives center on guaranteeing the security of CPEC projects. In this respect, the PAF had outlined its success in building a capable intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) element for providing situational awareness for all relevant parties, including its sister services the Pakistan Army and the Pakistan Navy. The PAF had also expressed confidence in its ability to counter asymmetrical threats through precision-guided airstrikes. It is also committed to providing search-and-rescue support.

The panel’s long-term aspirations echoed earlier government sentiments, namely of channeling projected economic growth from CPEC to effect industry gains. In this case, it is aviation.

PCAA Additional Director of Air Transport International Regulation Syed Muzaffar Alam projected that air travel in Pakistan will see an additional three million passengers in the next three to four years. Alam believed that this growth will present opportunities for growth in Pakistan’s commercial airline sector, be it new airlines or expanded ground support providers. In relation, PAF Air Vice Marshal Razi Nawab, the Deputy Managing Director of the Shaheen Foundation, stressed that investment be made in raising new maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) entities and airlines in Pakistan to support growth in air travel.

Interior Minister Dr. Ahsan Iqbal called for developing Pakistan’s aviation development and manufacturing sectors, particularly through “Technology Intensive Clusters” at Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) in Kamra. He also advocated for research and development, joint-ventures and public-private partnerships.

The participating stakeholders proposed raising a joint working group comprising of representatives from the Government of Pakistan, the PAF, PCAA, the private sector and academic institutions to steward the objectives discussed at the symposium.

Riaz Haq said...

How many flights per day in Pakistan?

https://www.quora.com/How-many-flights-per-day-in-Pakistan

Tom Quetchenbach, occasional flyer
Answered Jun 4
To get a very rough idea, we can look at some data from the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority for 2015–2016. According to this data set, there were 157,214 aircraft movements (takeoffs or landings) at Pakistan’s larger airports in 2015–2016, of which 71,227 were domestic and 85,987 were international. That’s an average of about 431 aircraft movements per day. Assuming that this is double-counting at least most the domestic flights, because what goes up must come down (that is, each domestic flight consists of two aircraft movements in Pakistan—a takeoff and a landing), dividing the domestic aircraft movements by 2 gives 98 domestic and 236 international flights per day on average.

But that is certainly an underestimate, because it doesn’t account for flights to, from, or between smaller airports, military flights, etc. It’s also not clear to me whether this includes flights by smaller, unscheduled carriers and aircraft operators other than passenger or cargo airlines.

Riaz Haq said...

New Islamabad Airport to open by December 2017

http://pakobserver.net/new-islamabad-airport-open-december/

New Islamabad International Airport would be opened for traffic by the end of current year, Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Sheikh Aftab Ahmed told National Assembly on Thursday. Answering the question of Ms Khalida Mansoor, he said the main features of airside infrastructure includes main and emergency runways, taxiways and apron for parking of 28 aircraft, including 15 passenger boarding bridges, cargo apron for parking of 3 aircraft, state apron for parking of 2 aircraft and aircraft maintenance apron.
He said the airport has numerous allied facilities including Airfield Lighting System, Navigational Aids, Hydrant Refuelinc System, Air Traffic Control & Fire Crash Resale buildings, Radio & Radar building, Water Works, Sewerage Treatment Plant and a Cargo Complex.
Likewise, the Passenger Terminal Building has a capacity to handle 9 million passenger per annum and includes systems for baggage handling flight information & display, elevators, escalators, travelators, fire alarm and fire protection system, heating ventilation & air conditioning system, data centers, communication systems, PABX, wireless LAN and many other systems essential for modem day airport operations.
The new Islamabad International Airport would be able to handle all modern commercial aircraft including Airbus 319, 320, 321, 330, 340, 350, 380 and Boeing 737, 747, 757, 767, 777, 787 etc, he added.

Riaz Haq said...

#Tourism thrives in #Pakistan as number of foreign tourists triples and domestic tourism up 30% since 2013. #travel

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-09-27/as-terror-attacks-recede-tourism-in-pakistan-starts-to-thrive

As security improves, annual tourist arrivals to Pakistan has more than tripled since 2013 to 1.75 million last year, while domestic travelers rose 30 percent to 38.3 million, according to the state-owned Pakistan Tourism Development Corp. Over the same period, foreign tourist arrivals in the country’s larger neighbor, India, jumped from 6.97 million in 2013 to 8.8 million in 2016, government figures show.

The World Travel and Tourism Council puts the total contribution of tourism to Pakistan’s economy at $19.4 billion last year or 6.9 percent of gross domestic product. In a decade, the WTTC expects that to rise to $36.1 billion.

Still, security challenges remain. While casualties from attacks fell 43 percent last year, major cities, such as Lahore, are occasionally hit by bombings.

Jonny Bealby, the managing director of Wild Frontiers Adventure Travel Ltd., a London-based operator that has run trips to Pakistan for two decades, said his tours to the South Asian nation are up 60 percent from last year.

Along with security, Bealby said the main improvement in Pakistan has been infrastructure. “The roads have improved immeasurably reducing journey times.’’



---------

Annual tourist arrivals have more than tripled since 2013

Military campaign has boosted safety, infrastructure improved

After a bone-jarring mountain journey, Alan Cameron surveys the snow-capped peaks of Pakistan’s north near the Saiful Maluk lake. “It’s beautiful -- well worth the effort,” said the 34-year-old Canadian holidaying in a country better known for terrorism than tourism.

Taking a break from his job as an analyst at Jefferies in London, Cameron’s vacation last month underscores the rekindling of Pakistan’s tourism industry after a sustained military security crack-down, with annual arrivals more than tripling since 2013.

Keen to shed the image that it’s unsafe for visitors, Pakistan has begun a nascent tourism drive and this summer placed adverts across the sides of London’s iconic red buses. Road infrastructure has also been boosted across key holiday regions.

Since the 2014 massacre of more than 100 children at a military school, the army has neutered some insurgent groups and political militias. Tourists are now returning to areas such as the Swat Valley, a northern region known as the Switzerland of Pakistan that was controlled by the Taliban between 2007 and 2009 and where Nobel prize winner Malala Yousafzai was shot in 2012.

Riaz Haq said...

#Lahore based #Pakistani #American founder of #AI #unicorn Afiniti takes investors helicopter skiing in #Pakistan. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-10-02/tycoon-takes-investors-heli-skiing-to-show-them-pakistan-s-safe

AI firm Afiniti employs three-quarter of employees in Pakistan
Company may list next year with more than $2 billion valuation
In the northern snow-capped peaks of Pakistan, Zia Chishti disembarked off a helicopter and skied downhill on a mission to convince investors, clients and company executives that the nation once called by The Economist “the world’s most dangerous place” is now safe for business.

Chishti, who grew up in Lahore, gathered a group from more than a dozen countries including Alessandro Benetton, a heir to the billionaire family that owns the iconic namesake Italian clothing company, and Huawei Technologies Co. rotating Chief Executive Officer Guo Ping earlier this year to Pakistan, the back-end base for some of his businesses. Last month, his artificial intelligence company signed a deal with Huawei, which will help its push into Eastern markets including China, Japan and Australia.

For Chishti, ensuring his clients understand that Pakistan, which has struggled against internal militant groups, has changed since The Economist report a decade ago is critical because many of his employees who provide customer solutions, sales support and marketing to clients including Sprint Corp. and Caesars Entertainment Corp. are based in the South Asian nation. Chishti has added more people in Pakistan, a move that will also help him keep costs under control as his AI unit prepares for an initial public offering in the U.S.

“Pakistan by any reasonable and adaptive measure is an extremely safe place to do business,” said Chishti, whose office oversees the White House, said in an interview by phone. “All in all it’s a very favorable place to do business and the world perception just has to catch up.”

Despite a widespread negative perception over the country’s security record, multiple military operations have curbed domestic insurgents after a Pakistani Taliban massacre at a school three years ago shocked the nation. Last year, civilian deaths from terrorism dropped to the lowest in more than a decade.

The army’s drive has boosted the confidence of companies, including TRG, and foreign investment is up 155 percent to $457 million in the first two months of the business year started July. Chishti’s company has moved into a larger building this year that will fit 3,000 staff in the previously tumultuous port city of Karachi, which has been secured by paramilitary forces against gangsters, militants and political militias since 2013.

Riaz Haq said...

Air #China increases flights for #Pakistan to 7 per week - Samaa TV #CPEC

https://www.samaa.tv/economy/2017/10/air-china-increases-flights-pakistan/

Air China, China’s national flag carrier, has decided to increase flights on the Beijing-Islamabad-Karachi route from four to seven a week starting October 29.

Air China had launched the route between China and Pakistan in October 2016, starting with three flights per week. More than 120,000 trips on the route were recorded till September this year.

Hu Haitao, manager of Air China’s Islamabad office, said in a promotional event that the increased flights will “better serve the exchanges between China and Pakistan in trade and culture.”

Meanwhile, Zhao Lijian, ministerial counsellor of the Chinese Embassy in Islamabad, said that the development of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has boosted the two countries’ ties in politics, economy and science, providing a good opportunity for Air China to extend its business in Pakistan. – APP

Riaz Haq said...

Avari group launches hotel in Multan

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/235983-Avari-group-launches-hotel-in-Multan

China would not let anyone dismember Pakistan or harm its territory because it was investing $ 46 billion in it for its survival, a leading businessman said on Tuesday.
“China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would be a game changer for Pakistan which would bring prosperity, development and employment for thousands of people,” Byram Dinshawji Avari, chairman Avari Group of Companies told a press conference after the inauguration of Avari Xpress Boutique in Multan.
“I prefer to invest Pakistan and that’s why I am launching hotels of world-class in Multan, Sargodha, Faisalabad, Islamabad, and other cities. All Pakistanis should invest in Pakistan and they should not look to other countries.”
Avari said he did not agree with those economists who were expressing their reservations on Chinese investment. “China would neither prove to be an East India Company nor capture our country,” he said.
He added that Gwadar port would help boost international trade with China and central Asian states. “When a motorway can help boost country's economy, business, and
prosperity, then why China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, a major project of Rs4600 billion will not prove to be a game-changer,” Avari asserted.
He said that investors should come forward to raise the graph of Pakistan in economy. Speaking on the occasion, the former Punajb minister Jalaluddin Roomi hoped that trade and economic activities would increase with the establishment of hotels of international repute in Multan. “A special economic zone should be developed in Multan under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project,” Roomi demanded.

Riaz Haq said...

TRAVEL & TOURISM
ECONOMIC IMPACT 2017
PAKISTAN

World Travel and Tourism Council WTTC

The direct contribution of Travel & Tourism to GDP was PKR793.0bn (USD7.6bn), 2.7% of total
The total contribution of Travel & Tourism to GDP was PKR2,033.5bn (USD19.4bn), 6.9% of GDP in 2016, and is
forecast to rise by 6.0% in 2017, and to rise by 5.8% pa to PKR3,793.0bn (USD36.1bn), 7.2% of GDP in 2027.
In 2016 Travel & Tourism directly supported 1,337,500 jobs (2.3% of total employment). This is expected to rise
by 2.3% in 2017 and rise by 2.5% pa to 1,757,000 jobs (2.3% of total employment) in 2027.
In 2016, the total contribution of Travel & Tourism to employment, including jobs indirectly supported by
Visitor exports generated PKR93.8bn (USD893.8mn), 3.6% of total exports in 2016. This is
Travel & Tourism investment in 2016 was PKR375.2bn, 9.3% of total investment (USD3.6bn). It should rise by
8.1% in 2017, and rise by 8.0% pa over the next ten years to PKR872.0bn (USD8.3bn) in 2027, 11.4% of total.

https://www.wttc.org/-/media/files/reports/economic-impact-research/countries-2017/pakistan2017.pdf

Chris Cork said...

Well I have lived here for years and tourism is currently booming in the north. It is definitely safer and more secure, people feel easier, and despite the obvious rise in extemist sentiments it is a safer place than it was 5 years ago

Riaz Haq said...

This is all the more painful when there’s so much promise. Here, I would like to draw attention towards our failed tourism: an industry where we had so much potential to tap but it’s all a dream gone sour. Tourism industry has been awfully neglected since inception. The United Nations 70th General Assembly has designated 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development because tourism has boundless economic promise with it forecasted to contribute a massive US$ 11 Trillion to World GDP (11.4% of GDP). Even locally, the industry could make as much as Rs. 1 Trillion (US$ 10 Billion) by 2025, even with current infrastructure – and this is only a fraction of actual potential of our land that is so often termed as Switzerland of the East and a colloquial heaven on Earth.

Pakistan has so much to offer in terms of adventure, sports, spiritual, heritage and eco-tourism but the only things wrong with the industry are lack of infrastructure and a very frightening security landscape that haunt locals and expats alike. If we were to put these things right, the tourism industry could very well be our economy’s liberator; creating jobs, narrowing balance of payments as well as boosting our sluggish GDP growth but guess what: ride North and the indifference of government will be so absolutely evident.

Take an excursion to the captivating Saif-ul-Mulook and you will re-discover the meanings of un-metalled road. In fact, there is no road to the lake although this is probably the most frequently visited lake in the country – the approach up the hill is one where the jeep plod on rocks and stones with not even a centimeter-deep mud, gravel or metal to support the tyres. The journey to this Northern haven is an agonizing one.

Unfortunately, the story does not end there, the lake is gradually becoming full of junk and trash; not just because tourists are to blame but mainly because you would find no bins there and then, there’s another catch if you still want to like the place; there are no washrooms there: all I could find was a tent wherein the smell was so much more repugnant than an inflated bladder.

And the woes continue; the place is only open till dusk after which, if you are to believe the locals, you could be quizzed and even detained by police for staying late or camping there. It is almost a crime to sit down there across the lake to witness the reflections of a moon-lit night. And of-course, there is no electricity, access to telephone or cellular signals, a police post or a PTDC desk; there is not even an information-board there – it is all complete wilderness!

Add to it the fact that the nearest hospital from the lake is 100 kilometers or over 3 hours away, all the way down to Balakot. This, coupled with the dismal security situation, which is compounded by absence of any security posts at major tourist destinations (except for one in central Naran) can make the trip, a scary one, if things were to go awry.

And this is not ranting: when you fail to bring infrastructure in the 21st century to a place as celebrated and as captivating as the Saif-ul-Mulook, you lose a plethora of would-be international tourists who would be raring to witness these spectacular sights and the sites beyond this; as this lake also acts as a base-camp for tracks to breathtaking Aansoo Lake and mystical Malka-e-Parbat.

Times have changed. No one tours a place any longer because it’s famed to be a home to fairies or other exaggerations like the lake’s depth being unmeasurable or the adjoining peak being unsurmounted to date; something that the locals insist but nothing can be farther from the truth. All the local breadwinners (drivers, cooks and shopkeepers) complained about the lack of infrastructure there and how much even something as little as a two-lane road could better theirs as well as the country’s economy.

http://blogs.dunyanews.tv/18115/pakistans-conundrum-missed-tourism-opportunities

Riaz Haq said...

India is the world’s 7th largest tourism economy in terms of GDP, says WTTC India’s Travel & Tourism sector ranks 7th in the world in terms of its total contribution to the country’s GDP, shows a new report by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC). According to the new data, Travel & Tourism generated INR14.1 trillion (USD208.9 billion) in 2016, which is the world’s 7th largest in terms of absolute size, the sum is equivalent to 9.6% of India’s GDP. Additionally, the sector supported 40.3 million jobs in 2016, which ranks India 2nd in the world in terms of total employment supported by Travel & Tourism. The sector accounts for 9.3% of the country’s total jobs. India’s Travel & Tourism sector was also the fastest growing amongst the G20 countries, growing by 8.5% in 2016. A further 6.7% growth is forecast for 2017. India’s strong Travel & Tourism figures are predominantly generated by domestic travel, which accounts for 88% of the sector’s contribution to GDP in 2016. Visitor exports, money spent by foreign travellers in India, only represents 12% of tourism revenues and in 2016 totalled INR1.5 trillion (USD22.8bn). This is 5.4% of the country’s total exports, compared to a global average of 6.6%. Data from the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) shows that India received only 9 million international arrivals in 2016, placing it 40th in the world, and a tenth of those received by top-ranking France. However, there is a lot of potential for India to grow their visitor exports. Over the past few months India has already starting to address this gap and made significant changes to visa facilitation, which will help to boost international arrivals. WTTC data suggests that visitor exports will grow by 5.4% in 2017.

Read more at: https://www.wttc.org/media-centre/press-releases/press-releases/2017/indias-is-the-worlds-7th-largest-tourism-economy-in-terms-of-gdp-says-wttc/
Copyright @ WTTC 2017

Riaz Haq said...

Swiss tourist couple badly injured in youth assault at #Agra #India. #Tourism #TajMahal

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/06/world/asia/taj-mahal-assault-tourism.html

Youths would later tell the police that the couple, both 24, had offended them by ignoring their greetings and kissing in front of them. Not so, Ms. Droz told The Times of India. They were trying to force her to take selfies with them, Mr. Clerc added. Eventually, they began beating the couple with sticks and rocks.

By the time a crowd had gathered and the youths had run away, he had a fractured skull and possibly permanent hearing damage and she had a fractured left arm. “The blood was flowing,” said Ram Kishor, a police constable in the area.

The assault late last month made headlines for several days in India. It was a fresh setback for tourism in this part of the country, which is home to some of the world’s most famous monuments but finds its status threatened by disputes about its Muslim heritage, amid reports of declining visitor numbers and of harassment of tourists.

Stops at Fatehpur Sikri and in the nearby city of Agra to see the Taj Mahal, all of which are in Uttar Pradesh State, are at the top of many itineraries for tourists in India. Built in the 17th century by the Muslim emperor Shah Jahan as a tomb for his wife, Mumtaz Mahal, the Taj Mahal attracts millions of visitors every year. Tour operators call it India’s monument to eternal love.

But Hindu nationalists, some of them aligned with the governing Bharatiya Janata Party, have taken aim at the Taj Mahal and its ties to a Muslim ruler.

During a trip to Agra in June, Yogi Adityanath, the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, said at a rally that small replicas of the monument given to foreign dignitaries “did not reflect Indian culture.” Other far-right leaders went further, describing it as having been built by “traitors” who “wanted to wipe out Hindus.”

But Mr. Adityanath seems to be softening his stance, at least in public. When he visited Agra in late October, he called the Taj Mahal a “unique gem.” A tourism brochure published by the state government that initially omitted the Taj Mahal has been updated to include it.

Tour guides said the controversy had hurt their business.

--------


On a recent day, a throng of tourists formed a line at the mouth of the Taj Mahal complex, pressing their bodies forward. Among them was Vital Labonte, 66, a French Canadian visitor in hiking boots, who said the occasional jostle or appeal for money did not bother him.

“The kids run at you, they want money to better their life,” he said. “Just say no. I’m not worried with it.”

Viktoria Simeoni, 23, an Austrian visitor who had booked a trip to India on a whim, said she sometimes felt unsafe when men stared at her or asked for pictures, a request often made to foreign tourists in India.

“One lady gave me her baby,” she said. “I was just holding the baby, and then she took pictures of me. I didn’t feel so comfortable.”

The police found it necessary to crack down. In the days after the attack, they arrested over 50 people they accused of being touts with reputations for hounding tourists.

In Fatehpur Sikri, officials emphasized that the severity of the attack against the Swiss couple was rare. The crime that tourists report most often is theft.