Other countries on De Pecol's top 10 list are: Mongolia, Bhutan, Maldives, Vanuatu, Oman, Tunisia, Peru, Costa Rica and USA.
|Lahore Fort Source: Telegraph|
De Pecol said people must visit Pakistan “to get a true sense of raw, authentic Asian culture, and for the food.” Earlier, in an Instagram message at the start of her Pakistan visit she wrote: “My time here in Pakistan has just begun and has been one of the many wonderfully educational and culturally enriching experiences…. Don’t judge by its color or a country by the media", according to media reports.
De Pecol, a Connecticut native, left the United States on July 14, 2015, and just completed her 196-country tour Feb 2, 2017 — beating the current Guinness record of three years and three months, according to Today.com.
De Pecol needed money to finance her expedition. She found her first nonprofit endorsement through the International Institute for Peace Through Tourism, and after that, she decided to reach out to big and small companies and independent investors to contribute to her mission. “A lot of people think it’s so easy to find a sponsor to travel,” she today Today. “One of the most difficult aspects of this expedition was trying to find funding through sponsorship.”
Here's a documentary about Pakistan by Cynthia Ritchie:
Here's a Pakistan Pictorial:
Find more photos like this on PakAlumni Worldwide: The Global Social Network
Amazing but not surprising. Pakistan has some of the most incredible sceneries, cuisines and people.
By the way, people keep sharing their photographs of the northern areas as if that is all there is in Pakistan. But there is no shortage of beauty even in the middle of the country. I lived in Hyderabad and Sukkur for my first 12 years and toured the interior of Sindh and Quetta with my Dad. He would often take me along on his tours of the power grid. Sometimes my mother and sister would also come along. My brother was 12 years older and was already in college so we traveled without him.
We took the trains and drove by car. Absolutely stunning images from those days are embedded in my mind. I wish I could go there again but, alas, I know that is not going to happen.
Beyond the headlines of #terrorism, #Pakistan’s #economy is on the rise - The Washington Post
Afshin Molavi is co-director of the emerge85 Lab and a senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Institute of the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.
Shortly after Egypt’s 2011 uprising ended with the fall of President Hosni Mubarak, prominent Egyptian investor Ahmed Heikal said: “If we get things right, we could be Turkey in 10 years. If we get them wrong, we could be Pakistan in 18 months.”
Everyone understood the subtext: Turkey was the model; Pakistan was the train wreck. After all, at that time Turkey had come off a decade of high growth, doubled its gross domestic product over the previous decade, tripled its per capita income and was still seen as an emerging-market darling. It even lent its first initial to the latest and newest acronym by Goldman Sachs’ Jim O’Neill (he of BRICS fame) — Turkey was the “T” in MINT: Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey.
As for Pakistan, well, it was Pakistan, known mostly for terrorist attacks like the one perpetrated last week by an Islamic State suicide bomber that left at least 80 people dead and incited a furious government crackdown on militants. Headlines of terrorism, coups and instability, plus years of underdevelopment and poverty meant that no one was going to add Pakistan to a catchy acronym.
But not so fast. Look beyond the headlines and see Pakistan today. It boasted the best stock market in Asia in 2016. The high-flying Karachi Stock Exchange Index is up more than 52 percent over the past year — and rising. The exchange broke through the vaunted 50,000 mark last month — a first in history. What’s more, Pakistan is winning plaudits from the International Monetary Fund, and its economy is forecast for a healthy 5.2 percent growth rate in 2017, according to the World Bank.
As Pakistan turns a corner, Trump administration policymakers fixated on the terrorism threat just might miss this extraordinary opportunity in a country that has long been a terror bane. Three key factors are driving Pakistan’s economic awakening: an improved security climate even despite the most recent attack, relative political stability and a growing middle class. These three interlocking pieces are fueling Pakistan’s growth story — a vital story given the size and geopolitical weight of the nuclear-armed South Asian nation of nearly 200 million people.
In mid-May, the world’s largest research-based provider of index funds, MSCI, will officially “graduate” Pakistan from its frontier-market category to the more prestigious — and well-capitalized — “emerging market” index. It will join 23 other countries on the index that represents 10 percent of world capitalization.
Turkey is also on that index, but its fortunes are diverging rapidly. It is no longer the emerging-market economy on the rise, as it slows under the weight of political uncertainty, a deteriorating security situation, questions over its relations with the European Union and an intensified Kurdish militant insurgency in the southeast.
Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the generals may finally have gotten a reasonable handle on the deteriorating security climate — although attacks such as the suicide bombing at the Sufi shrine last week are likely to persist. And in 2013, when Sharif was elected, it marked the first democratic transition of power in the coup-prone country. Sharif entered office as the great global transformation taking place worldwide — of technological connectivity, rapid urbanization and rising middle class consumption — continued to churn. And Pakistan has not missed that train.
Coca Cola's business grew 19% in Pakistan last year, better than Middle East, Turkey and Central Asia. This is in terms of sales volumes
#CPEC is world's most significant geopolitical & geo-economic project. #Aman17 #China #Pakistan http://www.afr.com/news/world/asia/pakistan-and-china-find-a-common-interest-linked-by-economics-and-the-military-20170220-gugxnr … via @FinancialReview
The Pakistan port of Karachi has just played host to a multi-national naval exercise, involving military ships from 36 countries including from the Royal Australian Navy. The exercises was focused on defending sea trade routes; the all-important Indian Ocean lies to the south of the Arabian Sea.
AMAN-17 (aman means 'peace' in Urdu) was a chance for the nuclear-armed and fast-growing Pakistan Navy to show off its latest acquisitions, which include two new Chinese built warships.
The objective in bringing together vessels from the UK, US, Indonesia and China, among others, was to build a coalition on maritime issues and develop tactics against non-traditional threats such as smuggling.
India was conspicuous by its absence — not surprisingly given 70 years of war tension on both sides over Kashmir, nuclearisation and state-sponsored terrorism.
Apart from the normalised security threat, it was the opportunity for discussion of the massive economic and geopolitical challenges which informed much of the talk, especially with a view to China.
The China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is an audacious project funded by more than US$56 billion in loans from Beijing to give China trade access to a new mega-port called Gwadar in Pakistan.
The project involves railways, roads and power stations leading from the south of Pakistan through some of the most rugged and unstable parts of the country to the border with China in the north. It is, in the words of Pakistan's defence minister, Khawja Muhammad Asif, a 'game-changer'.
The land link, and the transformation of Gwadar into a large and secure hub, would shave two weeks off the travel time of shipping from China's east coast to the Middle East and beyond.
A maritime conference being held in tandem with the AMAN 17 exercises pointed to the CPEC project as a key to the overdue economic development not just of Pakistan but also the western Indian Ocean region.
Dennis Rumley, professor of Indian Ocean Studies at Curtin University in Perth, says if the sums add up CPEC could be one of the world's most significant geopolitical and geo-economic projects.
"Of course the Chinese want access to the Indian Ocean and why not? The problem with that access is it's going to take billions of dollars, it's going to the construction of railway that'll take at least five years in the best-case scenario and it's going to run through a region which is highly insecure," he said.
"You have to solve all those problems first and of course the money is not a grant it's a loan and there's a real possibility that given the economic situation in Pakistan they may be unable to repay the loan. So the long-term issues are rather fragile."
But Sydney-based funds manager Jack Lowenstein of Morphic Asset Management, who is a keen investor and visitor to Pakistan, has a more bullish take on the project.
He predicts the country's economic growth will pick up from 3-4 per cent to 5 per cent within a few years and CPEC will bring much-needed investment particularly to correct the nation's chronic power shortage.
"We believe the Chinese have far too much 'face' at stake to pull out and we see no evidence of the Pakistanis doing anything other than rolling out a very large red carpet," he said.
Almost 40 per cent of the world's trade passes through the Indian Ocean including most of Australia's fuel and food and the RAN has been active in the region and the Gulf since 1990.
#Pakistan's private airline #ShaheenAir adds another Airbus A319, increasing its fleet size to 25 aircrafts
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.
10-country #ecosummit in "isolated" #Pakistan ends on call for closer ties - ABC News. #Islamabad - http://abcn.ws/2mD5cKE via @ABC
A regional economic summit in Pakistan on Wednesday concluded with participants pledging to collectively fight the "challenge of terrorism" and push for greater collaboration in areas of trade, energy and infrastructure development.
Islamabad hosted the day-long 10-nation Economic Cooperation Organization summit that finalized a "Vision 2025" plan for expanding trade and prosperity among member nations.
"There has never been a more opportune time to realize our dreams of connectivity for regional prosperity," said Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who was elected new chairman of the organization. "We can and should achieve even more by pooling together our individual efforts for greater synergy."
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan are among the heads of states who attended the summit.
Turkey, Iran and Pakistan founded ECO in 1985. Afghanistan's ambassador to Pakistan, Omar Zakhilwal, who represented Kabul, said that peace and stability in the region will play a greater role in achieving mutual economic goals.
"We can meet the challenges of poverty by implementing a joint strategy," Zakhiwal said.
Sharif, in televised remarks at the end of the summit, expressed the member nations' resolve to fight terrorism and extremism collectively.
"We are determined to collectively face challenges such as extremism, terrorism and drug trafficking in order to realize our vision of making the region a zone of peace and prosperity," he said. "We have committed ourselves to working together for bringing progressive change to the lives of the people in our region, transforming it into a bastion of peace, progress and prosperity."
The participants also adopted an "Islamabad Declaration" on improving trade. Earlier, heads of member states "underscored the need for expansion of cooperation in various fields under the framework of ECO," according to a foreign ministry statement.
The statement said the participants reached an understanding to "transform the ECO region into a zone of peace and collective prosperity."
The conference took place under tight security after a wave of recent suicide bombings by various militant groups killed more than 125 people across Pakistan. Pakistan's decades-long war with local Taliban, al-Qaida-linked militants and other Islamic extremists has killed tens of thousands of people.
All roads leading to the venue in Islamabad were blocked and all offices, schools and most businesses in the capital were closed on Wednesday.
Islamabad also used the summit as a chance to show its potential as one of Asia's emerging markets. "Our economic indicators are up," Sharif told the meeting.
Government officials have also described the summit as an opportunity to show that Pakistan cannot be isolated from the international scene. Last year, a key regional cooperation conference was cancelled after neighboring India and Afghanistan refused to attend; both nations blame Pakistani-based militants for carrying out attacks in their countries, and tensions with India have been high over cross-border violence in the disputed Kashmir region.
The heads of member states left Islamabad after the summit.
Pakistan has emerged as 20th most powerful country in the world in a new global ranking of “Best Countries” and the nation was also ranked 74th in overall top countries category.
The ranking from US News & World Report, the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School and global brand consultants BAV Consulting, also saw United States falling from 4th position to 7th this year in overall best countries category. Switzerland has been ranked the No.1 country in the world.
Pakistan’s arch rival India is ranked 16th most powerful country while in overall best countries category, the South Asian country grabbed 25th position. In terms of being an influential country in the world, Pakistan is ranked at 40th while in education category, the country is last among 80 evaluated countries.
The 2017 Best Countries rankings are based on a survey, conducted after the US presidential election, that asks 21,000 business leaders, informed elites and general citizens what their views are of certain aspects of different countries. The rankings are designed in a similar way to other US News's rankings of colleges, hospitals and cars.
In the category of most powerful nations, United States has been ranked No1 followed by Russia, China, the United Kingdom and Germany. Pakistan was ranked 61 among movers and upcoming economies, 59th in entrepreneurship category, 63rd in study abroad, 66th in Starting a business, 67th in heritage, 68th in open for business, 69th in green living, 70th in cultural influence 70th in women, 75th in headquarter a corporation, 76th in citizenship, 76th in transparency, 77th in quality of life, 78th in adventure, 78th in forward looking, 79th in raising children and 79th in travel alone category.
Nearly 90 percent of global survey respondents outside the US said that they paid attention to the US election. Hillary Clinton would have won the global election, with nearly 60 percent of the global vote. Support for Donald Trump was 83 percent in Russia.
According to the rankings, perceptions of the United States in a number of areas have dropped over the past year. The United States dropped in rankings for business, citizenship, adventure tourism, education, transparency and headquartering a corporation. Nearly 75 percent of survey respondents said they had lost some respect for US leadership after the 2016 presidential election.
The rankings evaluate 80 top countries across a range of criteria, from power and economic influence to citizenship and quality of life, to capture how nations are perceived on a global scale.
#Pakistan’s #economy has potential to grow by 7%, says Standard Chartered group CEO https://www.geo.tv/latest/134526-Pakistans-economy-has-potential-to-grow-by-7-says-Standard-Chartered-group-CEO …
Standard Chartered Group Chief Executive Bill Winters said on Thursday that Pakistan has become an ideal choice for foreign investors because of developments in the last three years.
In a meeting with journalists, Winters said that the country has seen notable development in the energy sector and that the security situation has also significantly improved.
He also that foreign investors’ interest in the country will increase on the successful holding of elections in Pakistan. While most international finance institutions expect Pakistan’s economy to grow by 5% going forward, Winters think it has the potential to grow by 7%.
Standard Chartered CEO Shazad Dada also expressed optimism about the country’s economic environment, saying that democracy gaining ground in the country is a positive sign. He said that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor has brought hope to the country. Dada said that a uniform economic agenda is important to attract further foreign investment.
#Irish tourist raped, strangled and murdered in #India, police allege. #rape #mysogyny #gender http://www.9news.com.au/world/2017/03/18/13/20/irish-tourist-raped-strangled-and-murdered-in-india-police-allege
An Irish woman whose body was found in India's western beach resort state of Goa had been raped and strangled, local police allege.
The body of Danielle McLaughlin, 28, was found near the beach resorts of Canacona on Tuesday.
“The medical reports confirm she was raped before the murder," senior police officer Sammy Tavares said.
"The autopsy found the cause of death was compression of neck and cerebral damage after she was hit on the head by a beer bottle".
The suspect, identified as Vikas Bhagat, a local with a criminal background, has been arrested, and will face rape as well as murder charges, Mr Tavares said.
Read more at http://www.9news.com.au/world/2017/03/18/13/20/irish-tourist-raped-strangled-and-murdered-in-india-police-allege#JHvKC42i36x5hFBY.99
‘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.
#Tourism thrives in #Pakistan as number of foreign tourists triples and domestic tourism up 30% since 2013. #travel
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.
THE EXPRESS TRIBUNE > PAKISTAN
Pakistan identified as top travel destination
The British Backpacker Society has identified Pakistan as it’s top travel desitination due to it being “one of the friendliest countries on earth, with mountain scenery that is beyond anyone’s wildest imagination”.
“Pakistan is the clear winner of the British Backpacker Society’s top 20 adventure travel destinations 2018 and we encourage keen travellers to book a trip now” the backpackers, who have explored over 101 countries, shared on social media. Other top destinations included Russia, India, Turkey, Kyrgyzstan and China.
Gulf News has carried the comments of two members of the BBS on Pakistan. Samuel Joynson and Adam Sloper said that Pakistan had a lot to offer travellers.
“Pakistan is one of the friendliest countries on earth. So, prepare to be invited into people’s homes, take more selfies than you can count, and have every preconception that you ever held about this area of the world changed forever,” Samuel said.
The pair visited Pakistan in 2016, and traveled from Lahore to Gilgit-Baltistan via the Kaghan valley. They ended their trip in the Hunza Valley and climbed the Hon Pass near Karimabad.
“We chose to climb the Hon Pass as Eric Shipton, one of Britain’s most famous mountaineers, described the view from the pass as ‘the ultimate manifestation of mountain grandeur’, and we wanted to follow in his footsteps and experience this spectacle,” Samuel recalled. “The view from the Hon Pass was indeed the greatest natural sight that either of us has ever seen, and we would recommend it to anyone with a keen interest in mountaineering.”
Samuel also shared a travel tip: “Head north to the astonishing peaks of the Karakoram along the unforgettable Karakoram Highway. It is beautiful, exciting and culturally interesting, and travellers are rewarded at the journey’s end-point with perhaps the most beautiful natural sight on earth, the Hunza Valley.”
British Backpacker Society is known for inspiring thousands of it’s online followers to visit less famous destinations in developing countries. Adam had a word of advice for international travelers concerned about their safety when visiting Pakistan:
“Our advice would be to put preconceptions on the security situation in Pakistan to one side, and conduct some independent research. You should certainly review travel advisories from respective governments, but also speak to local Pakistanis about the situation. We believe that travel is at its best when it changes a visitor’s preconceptions, and few experiences achieve this more than travelling in Pakistan” he implored.
Where to go in 2018: an insiders’ guide
From the Karakoram to the Seychelles, travel industry leaders pick emerging destinations for the coming year
For much of the past decade, Pakistan has been synonymous in many people’s minds with terrorism and unrest — the place Osama bin Laden was killed, where Malala Yousafzai was shot, and where climbers preparing to scale an 8,000m peak were murdered in their tents. And yet in the past three years, an improvement in the security situation has prompted the beginnings of an unlikely tourism surge. “While I am sure this will raise some eyebrows, we are starting to see a marked increase in tourism to Pakistan,” says Jonny Bealby of Wild Frontiers. His company took 55 per cent more clients to the country in 2017 compared with the previous year, and advance bookings are more than 100 per cent up on this point 12 months ago. In 2015 the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office relaxed warnings about visiting large areas of the mountainous north; figures from the state-owned Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation suggest total arrivals have tripled since then, to a total of 1.75m in 2017. A publicity drive — including covering London buses with photographs of Pakistani scenes — as well as celebrations in 2017 marking the 70th anniversary of the country’s formation, have helped raise the nation’s profile. Roads have been improved, including the resurfacing of large stretches of the fabled Karakoram Highway, and domestic airline connections increased. “Of course, I realise the country still has a long way to go before it can attract the numbers of adventure tourists that came here pre-9/11, but there is no doubt things are on the up,” says Bealby.
Ziarat forests are spread over nearly 110,000 hectares. No dendrological study has been conducted but mature trees are often thousands of years old, earning them the title of "living fossils".
The forest lies in mountains ranging from more than 1,000m (3,000 feet) above sea level to nearly 3,500 metres above sea level. The remarkable longevity of the trees allows research into past weather conditions and makes the species significant for climate change and ecological studies.
Pakistan declared it a Biosphere Reserve in 2013.
It's also a habitat for black bears and wolves, as well as urials, a type of sheep, and the Sulaiman markhor, a large species of wild goat.
Juniper berries are enjoyed for their flavour in cooking and their oil has several uses.
The forest in Ziarat is a popular tourist spot, some 120km (75 miles) east of the provincial capital Quetta.
It gained a reputation as a health resort after Pakistan's founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah stayed there in the summer of 1948, in the last days of his life.
But these days the area covered by the forest is decreasing. Locals criticise provincial officials for not doing enough to protect the forest, as BBC Hindi's Shumaila Jafri has reported.
Locals looking for firewood keep felling trees. There is no other source of fuel.
Piped gas would be a cheaper option but the gas supply was never extended to Ziarat. While Balochistan produces the bulk of Pakistan's natural gas, it is the most neglected when it comes to piped supplies.
There has been some illegal commercial felling but the damage is not extensive, thanks to awareness campaigns run by NGOs.
Forest officials say decreasing tree cover is partly due to the time a sapling takes to grow.
Only 10% of new saplings survive. Last year 20,000 saplings were planted but only 2,000 will go on to become mature trees.
The 10 Coolest Places to Go in 2019 by Ann Abel Contributor Travel Forbes
I know the difference between expensive travel and the truly luxurious
The Azores (Portugal), Eastern Bhutan, Cabo/Los Cabos (Mexico), Colombia, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Mongolia, Pakistan, Rwanda, The Turkish Riviera.
The world keeps getting bigger. Every traveler I know says their wish list grows longer, not shorter, every time they dip into a new region or even hear about one.
So how to decide? What’s newly (or still) safe or newly uncovered? What’s hovering between charming sleepiness and overdeveloped soullessness? What must we see before it changes forever? What will transform us?
I put those questions to experts at several high-end travel companies. These super-agents knows what they’re talking about, keeping their ears on their clients’ interests and their eyes on the adventures they themselves have in every corner of the world. Here (in alphabetical order) is what on their radar for next year.
“Explore the valleys of Hunza, Shigar and Khaplu via the renowned Karakoram Highway,” suggests Sara Barbieri, another specialist with GeoEx. “This little-visited region in the far northeast of the country offers the kind of startlingly striking scenery that compels you to gaze from the window of your 4WD without blinking, for fear of missing a moment of the majesty of the landscape—or one of the astounding suspension bridges that cross the surging rivers filled with snow melt. Add to this the warm welcome of the people, the glacial blue of Attabad lake, the centuries of history, the juxtaposition of granite to greenery, the chance to walk through an age old-apricot orchard along water channels cut by hand, and the blazing snow-covered glory of Rakiposhi, and you must acknowledge there is a grand adventure to be had.”
#Pakistan to host ice #skating, ice #hockey competition for the first time. Alongside PAF Naltar, Malam Jabba #Ski Resort would host #snowboarding National Ski Championship, Malam Jabba Ski Cup and CAS International Karakoram Alpine Ski Cup #wintersport https://dailytimes.com.pk/338350/pakistan-to-host-ice-skating-ice-hockey-competition-for-the-first-time/
The picturesque winter resort of Naltar in Gilgit Baltistan and the enchanting ski slopes of Malam Jabba in Swat brace for some exhilarating winter sports in the coming days.
The Winter Sports Federation of Pakistan (WSFP) has chalked out an elaborate calendar of events for the season. The winter sports season has already commenced at Pakistan Air Force (PAF) Naltar with Sadia Khan & Children Ski Cup this week. Besides, snowboarding and ice skating, ice hockey competitions would also be held there for the first time in the country.
Other than these, Shah Khan Ski Cup and Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Championship would be held. This year, inter-varsity championship for men and women have also been planned to promote winter sport in the educational institutions of the country. Alongside PAF Naltar, Malam Jabba Ski Resort would host National Ski Championship, Malam Jabba Ski Cup and CAS International Karakoram Alpine Ski Cup. WSFP has chosen the recently developed Rattu Ski Resort to host two events this year, including inter services ski cup and National cross country ski cup.
Prominent international skiers from across the world are arriving to participate in different ski racing categories. Besides international athletes, top level national skiers would take part in these races to showcase their talents in this exciting sport. Competing with the famous skiers of the world would provide an excellent opportunity to Pakistani athletes to learn from their competitors and improve their standing in the world rankings.
WSFP has also procured a snow-making machine to make it less dependent on snowfall in the area. With the installation of new tow-lift and the induction of Snow-Making machine, the winter sports enthusiasts would be able to enjoy a prolonged season this year.
Top #French adventure travel agency returns to #Pakistan after decade. The tour operator will offer four trips, ranging from 17 to 24 days, intended for lovers of high #mountains. #Tourism #Travel #adventure
Following the fast improving ranking of country in tourism, Terres d’Aventure, a French tour agency specialized in adventure travel, hiking and trekking has decided to re-programme Pakistan, after a decade.
According to an article appeared in French magazine Tour Mag, the tour operator would propose four trips, ranging from 17 to 24 days, intended for lovers of high mountains.
Two treks in the heart of the Karakoram Range are intended for good walkers.
“A hike for 13 days along the Baltoro glacier to the famous Concordia site, then on to the base camp of K2, the most beautiful mountain in the world according to mountaineers, and then to Gondogoro La (5 585m), from where one can view an exceptional panorama of four eight thousanders, K2, Broad Peak, Gasherbrum I and II”, the tour operator said.
The agency also offered another tour, a seven-day trek along the Batura glacier in Hunza.
“With few steep passages, this trek offers a gradual acclimatization and presents no major difficulties, offering exceptional views of 14 peaks over 7000 meters and vast glacial landscapes,” added Terres d’Aventure.
Established in 1976, Terres d'Aventure is one of the top French adventure travel agencies.
In a statement the agency said: “Au-delà des clichés relayés par la presse, et sans nier certaines difficultés politiques, nous recommandons le Pakistan pour ce qu'il est réellement : un peuple qui a beaucoup à offrir, et qui aspire à la paix et à l'ouverture sur le monde. Plusieurs régions sont sûres, notamment le Gilgit-Baltistan, et les autorités sont mobilisées pour assurer la sécurité des populations et des visiteurs”.
(Translation: Beyond the clichés relayed by the press, and without denying certain political difficulties, we recommend Pakistan for what it really is: …….. Several regions are safe, including Gilgit-Baltistan, and the authorities are mobilized to ensure the safety of people and visitors.)
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