Thursday, January 18, 2018

Pakistan's $20 Billion Tourism Industry is Booming

Pakistan's tourism industry, currently estimated at $20 billion (6.9% of GDP in 2016), is booming, according to data available from multiple reliable sources. World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) forecasts it to grow to over $36 billion within a decade.

Economic Impact of Tourism:

Pakistan tourism industry generates $20 billion in revenue and supports 3.6 million jobs directly and indirectly, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council. Foreign visitors generate nearly a billion US$ in exports.

Economic Contribution of Pakistan Tourism. Source: WTTC

Tourism Growth: 

Significantly improved security situation has helped boost annual tourist arrivals in Pakistan by 300% since 2013 to 1.75 million in 2016, while domestic travelers increased 30% to 38.3 million, according to the state-owned Pakistan Tourism Development Corp.  Hotel bookings increased 80 percent in 2016, according to Jovago, Pakistan’s biggest hotel booking website.

Courtesy: Nikkei Asian Review

By contrast, foreign tourist arrivals in the country’s larger neighbor, India, jumped from 6.97 million in 2013 to 8.8 million in 2016, according to Indian government figures. 88% of India's and 92% of Pakistan's tourism revenue is domestic. India's tourism industry is worth $209 billion (9.6% of of GDP in 2016), according to WTTC.

A story in the Financial Times, a British newspaper, quotes British tour operator Jonny Bealby as saying,   “While I am sure this will raise some eyebrows, we are starting to see a marked increase in tourism to Pakistan".  Bealby's company arranged 55% more clients to Pakistan in 2017 compared with 2016, and advance bookings are more than 100 per cent up on this point 12 months ago, according to the Financial Times.

Top Adventure Tourism Destination: 

British Backpackers Society has recently ranked Pakistan as its top destination for adventure tourism.  The Society describes Pakistan “one of the friendliest countries on earth, with mountain scenery that is beyond anyone’s wildest imagination”.

Pakistan Tourism Promotion in Jakarata, Indonesia
Pakistan's northern areas are a top destination for adventure-seekers interested in mountain climbing, white water rafting,  extreme kayaking and helicopter skiing.

Pakistan Brand Promotion on London Buses

Pakistan Tourism Promotion: 

Pakistan government's tourism campaign — including covering buses in several major world cities with beautiful pictures of Pakistan's tourist attraction — have helped raise the country’s profile. Increased investments in roads, airports and other infrastructure have helped ease travel.



Pakistan government has announced its decision to provide 30 day tourist visa on arrival for visitors from 24 countries on three continents.

Summary:

Tourism industry in Pakistan is booming with 300% increase in foreign tourist arrivals since 2013. It contributed $20 billion (6.9% of GDP in 2016) and supported 3.6 million jobs in 2016. World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) forecasts it to grow to over $36 billion within a decade.

Here's a video about Pakistan narrated by an American Journalist Cynthia Ritchie:

https://youtu.be/G8bzv3G9vjY




Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Pakistan Travel and Tourism Boom

Extreme Kayak Adventures in Pakistan

Helicopter Skiing in Karakorams

Climbing K2: The Ultimate Challenge

Indian Visitors Share "Eye-Opening" Stories of Pakistan

American Tourist Picks Pakistan Among Top 10 Best Countries to Visit

Pakistani American to Pakistani Diaspora: Go Back and Visit Pakistan

Riaz Haq's YouTube Channel

PakAlumni Social Network

31 comments:

Tonto said...

Its just a start . For a scenic country like Pakistan $ 20 Billion is nothing, only one billion revenue from foreign tourist is shameful. What can be done is to develop the tourist sites to facilitate tourist, that includes development of infra structure , tourist safety and arranging events that would attract foreigners. 92 % of tourists were domestic clearly stating the fact that people's purchasing power has increased over last 3 to 4 years.

Government needs to work on this. I hope that development of major tourist resorts along the coastal highway near Gwadar can also help earn large sum of money. They should arrange major events near the Himalayas attracting millions of mountain lovers from across the globe.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan keeps #terrorists on the run and #economy on a roll
Businesses' focus shifts from bombs and kidnappings to taxes and policy. #Taliban #TTP #terrorism #India #Karachi #Rangers

https://asia.nikkei.com/Politics-Economy/Economy/Pakistan-keeps-terrorists-on-the-run-and-economy-on-a-roll

KARACHI -- Terrorism, corruption, misrule: Negative perceptions have dogged Pakistan for years. But thanks to sweeping operations by the army and a powerful paramilitary force, those perceptions may be becoming outdated, and businesses are taking notice.

In Karachi, the country's largest city, motorcycles and elaborately decorated buses weave down dusty roads between colonial-era buildings. Less than a decade ago, these were truly mean streets. "Between 2010 and 2012, we saw one or two terrorist attacks every month and one or two targeted killings and kidnappings for ransom every day," recalled Army Maj. Gen. Mohammad Saeed. "There were 17 no-go areas which the police could not touch in Karachi."

At the time, even major hotels had occupancy rates of just 10% to 15%. Hundreds of shops and other businesses closed down.

Then the Rangers began to clean up.

The Pakistan Rangers, a paramilitary law enforcement organization overseen by the military and the Interior Ministry, set out to tackle the violence head-on. In 2013, the Rangers Sindh -- which operate in Sindh Province, including Karachi -- mobilized 15,000 troops. The provincial legislature granted them broad powers to search homes and make arrests, enabling them to quickly turn the tide.

In 2017, there were zero bombings and only five kidnappings, according to Saeed, who serves as director general of the Rangers Sindh. This is no small feat in a city with a swelling population of 17 million -- perhaps even 20 million if migrants from rural areas are factored in. "We destroyed all of the terrorists' pockets," he said, adding that hotel occupancy rates are over 90%.

The story is similar in Pakistan's other major cities. And as the Rangers have made headway, business sentiment has improved and growth has picked up.

Pakistan's real gross domestic product grew 5.3% in the fiscal year through June 2017, the quickest pace in 10 years. The central bank projects the growth rate for this fiscal year will approach 6%. Inflation has stabilized and exports are brisk.

"Unfortunately, Pakistan is a victim of negative perception," said Arif Habib, who heads the conglomerate Arif Habib Group. "There is a lot of difference between perception and reality."

But the rest of the world seems to be catching on to the positive changes, too: Foreign direct investment is estimated to reach a record $5 billion or so in the current fiscal year, up from $3.43 billion last year.

Last June, in a survey by the Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce & Industry, 89% of respondents said security concerns in Karachi had receded since 2013.

The OICCI is made up of 193 companies, mainly major foreign businesses in Pakistan. Each year, it surveys the members about factors that are hampering investment in Pakistan. "The top answer in 2015 was 'security, law and order,' but it fell to third place in 2017," said OICCI Secretary-General Abdul Aleem, who served as the chief executive of a state-run company. "It was overtaken by 'tax burden' and 'policy implementation.'"


Z Basha Jr said...

Timely article. with relaxed visa regime for foreign group' tourists it will only get better. Hope the agencies can take care of law and order as groups are always easy targets.Riaz sb.you are doing great service to the qaum. hope the agencies can recognize your efforts and include you in local think tanks.

Riaz Haq said...

A #British archaeologist named Hugh Trevor Lambrick, who was the Deputy Commissioner of #Larkana in 1940s, called (Shushangi) 'Toshangi' the #GrandCanyon of #Sindh . #Tourism #Pakistan on #Vimeo https://vimeo.com/253033673?ref=tw-share


A British archaeologist, author and civil servant named Hugh Trevor Lambrick, who was the Deputy Commissioner of Larkana in 1940s, called (Shushangi) 'Toshangi' the Grand Canyon of Sindh. It is one of the most dramatic places to visit in the Kirthars. The deep gorge (700ft deep) is formed by the waters of Kenjhi River which has been flowing in the area since time untold.
Salman Rashid, Travel writer, Fellow of Royal Geographical Society traveled in 1996 to this place from Ghaibi Dero (Shahdadkot Sindh).
We a group of trekkers i.e. Aziz Ahmed Jamali, Abdul Qadir Jamali, Muhammad Yaqoob, Asad Mir, Aqeel Baig & Sufi reached here from Khuzdar Baluchistan side

Riaz Haq said...

5 airlines to venture into Pakistan
Source: Xinhua| 2018-01-29 20:13:38|Editor: Lifang

http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2018-01/29/c_136934060.htm

ISLAMABAD, Jan. 29 (Xinhua) -- Five national and international airlines have applied for regular public transport airline license of Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to venture into the country's aviation industry, local reports said Monday.

The airlines are expected to get permission to carry out the flight operation in the country's skies during the next one year, which is likely to bring down passenger fares, local newspaper Express Tribune said.

Airlines including Askari Air, Air Siyal, Go Green, Liberty Air and Afeef Zara Airways have applied for the license to be a part of the aviation industry which is expected to be around 9 percent per annum and likely to keep the same pace till 2020, according to a forecast of the International Air Transport Association, a trade body of world's airlines.

Pakistan's air traffic has soared up to 40 percent over the past five years to 20 million passengers, and is continuously witnessing an upward trend due to improvement of law and order situation in the country, which is bringing in more tourists in the country.

The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has also resulted in the increase of air traffic in the country.

Most of the upcoming carriers will target low-profit, far-off destinations including Gwadar, Turbat, Panjgur, Khuzdar, Dalbandin, Zhob, in Balochistan province where CPEC projects are in full swing, and the tourist destinations of Rawalakot, Skardu, Chitral, Gilgit, Bannu and Parachinar.

The destinations could generate immediate profits because of their tourism potential and work on CPEC projects.

For these remote regions, the new carriers will bring airplanes suitable for small airports.

The entry of new airlines in the country's airspace is expected to further increase challenges of the country's national flag carrier Pakistan International Airlines, which was the sole operator in most of these routes in the past.

Riaz Haq said...

Adam N Weinstein

@AdamNoahWho
2h2 hours ago
More Adam N Weinstein Retweeted Govt of Pakistan
Relative to regional competitors for tourism #Pakistan has good urban infrastructure, historical sites within major cities, decent hospitals, good highways, & magnificent natural beauty within 2 hrs of major cities. Easy visas, int'l marketing, & more mid-level hotels would help.

https://twitter.com/AdamNoahWho/status/963437181095292928

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan aims to revive glory of ancient Mughal city Lahore
March 1, 2018 by Khurram Shahzad

https://phys.org/news/2018-03-pakistan-aims-revive-glory-ancient.html

Perched on scaffolding, restoration experts chip away at decades of grime and repair broken mosaic tiles in a bid to save the colossal murals depicting historic battles and regal ceremonies on the walls of Lahore fort.


The painstaking work is part of efforts to preserve Lahore's crumbling architectural history as officials juggle conserving its diverse heritage with building modern infrastructure in Pakistan's chaotic second city.

The metropolis, which once served as the capital of the Mughal empire that stretched across much of the subcontinent, has been subsumed into a myriad of civilizations across the centuries.

This rich past is most visible in the milieu of architecture salted across the Walled City of Lahore—from Hindu temples and Mughal forts to Sikh gurdwaras and administrative office built during the Raj.

"You get a history of a thousand years, 500 year-old houses and monuments and mosques, shrines and a very peaceful atmosphere," says Kamran Lashari, director general of the Walled City of Lahore Authority (WCLA).

Prime among them, and dating back to the 11th century, the Lahore fort was first built of mud and was then later reinforced with stone over the centuries by a long cast of Mughal emperors who oversaw its expansion and the accompanying artwork.

But periods of conflict along with searing heat, monsoon rains and years of neglect have taken a toll on the fort.

Despite the onset of decay, experts suggest the city's vast Islamic architectural heritage could make it a contender to rival more established Silk Road travel destinations.

"Lahore can easily compete with Samarkand. It nearly matches Ispahan," says Sophie Makariou, president of the Parisian-based National Museum of Asian Arts.

Makariou adds that its failure to shine is more to do with safety concerns that have plagued the nation after multiple attacks.

"Due to the bad reputation of Pakistan, it remains unknown," she explains.

Pearl of the Punjab

But as security across Pakistan continues to improve, officials are hoping to revive Lahore's lost glory.


More than 40 conservationists with the the WCLA—including engineers, architects and ceramists from across the globe—are currently working on restoring the mosaic mural on the fort's exterior.



"It's one of the largest murals in the world. It contains over 600 tile mosaic panels and frescos," says Emaan Sheikh from the Agha Khan Trust for Culture.

Restoration of the mural is just part of a larger project to refurbish the fort, which includes conservation projects in the royal kitchen, the summer palace and a basement, according to WCLA's director general Kamran Lashari.

Similar work by the WCLA has already been done to revamp the artwork at the historic Wazir Khan mosque and the Shahi Hammam—one of the only surviving Turkish Baths in the subcontinent that is approximately 400 years old.

The city's famed Delhi Gate, which once hosted extravagant Mughal processions arriving in Lahore from the east, has also been fully restored along with dozens of homes in the Walled City.

Many of those involved in the project are optimistic.

"The cities which are most famous for tourism, you can take London, Madrid, Istanbul, Rome, all the prerequisites which are available in those cities, are available in Lahore," claims Ahmer Malik, head of Punjab's tourism corporation, referring to Lahore's architectural and cultural attractions.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan's crumbling architectural heritage
Syed Raza Hassan


https://www.reuters.com/article/us-pakistan-architecture/pakistans-crumbling-architectural-heritage-idUSKCN1GD45N


Pakistan (Reuters) - When British colonial rulers hastily left South Asia at Pakistan’s painful birth in 1947, the ensuing chaos and violence meant little attention was paid to the architecture they built or influenced in Pakistan’s biggest city, Karachi.

More than 70 years later, architectural gems have been torn down and many are either crumbling or under threat from real estate developers in Pakistan’s commercial capital which is mushrooming into a mega-city.

The structures, weathered by the salty air, open the door to Karachi’s colonial scars, researchers say, pointing out that many of the original owners were among millions of Muslim and Hindu refugees who fled their homes amid communal and religious violence that accompanied the end of British rule in India in 1947 and the creation of Pakistan.

”Every brick of the heritage building narrates a story of those who left in 1947,“ said Akthar Baloch, a researcher who has written several books on Karachi’s heritage. ”They built them with love and affection.

"When people like me feel bad looking at the neglect of these heritage sites, one wonders how the families of the owners must feel if they ever visit Karachi." (Click reut.rs/2F03sEg for a picture package of Karachi's crumbling heritage buildings)

Karachi’s population has skyrocketed to nearly 17 million people in 2017 from an estimated 400,000 at independence, and every inch of the city has become a valuable commodity for developers building homes or drafting plans to alter the city’s skyline with new skyscrapers.

Jahangir Kothari Parade promenade, once an imposing British heritage site, is now obscured by a maze of overpasses and the shadow of Pakistan’s tallest building.

The promenade is part of a handful of buildings, along with the colonial-era Imperial Customs House, which have been restored to their former grandeur, but such projects are rare when the focus is on tearing down old and building new.

Rapid urbanization has ensured large-scale destruction, particularly in the old city areas, where more profitable multi-story residential buildings have sprung up.

But amid the new concrete, remnants of the colonial legacy can still be seen, often recognizable by their state of neglect.

The Saddar neighborhood of Karachi has perhaps the largest concentration of British architectural history, while in the city’s eastern district, the iconic old colonial jail has been declared a heritage site by Sindh province’s antiquities department.

So far more than 1,700 premises have been listed as heritage sites by the antiquities department and the process continues.

The Sindh Cultural Heritage Preservation Act, introduced in 1994, has helped provide legal protection for structures of historical significance. But courts are also busy with cases of developers trying to circumvent such protection.

Riaz Haq said...

Over 92,000 foreigners visit Pakistan since launch of CPEC

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/288568-over-92-000-foreigners-visit-pakistan-since-launch-of-cpec

Since the start of ground work on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the flagship multi-billion dollar project of “One Belt and One Road Initiative," more than 39,000 Chinese came to Pakistan in past five years.

More than 92,204 visas were issued by the government of Pakistan to foreign nationals in an apparent effort to expand foreign investment, business opportunities and tourism in the country during this period. Over 120 Pakistani missions abroad issued 29,622 visas to foreign nationals in 2013, 10,267 visas in 2014, 22,932 visas in 2015, 13,456 visas in 2016 and over 15,927 foreign nationals came to Pakistan in 2017, revealed official data/documents Geo News has had exclusive access to.

As many as 7,859 Chinese were issued visas in 2013, the starting period for the CPEC projects soon after the incumbent government of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) came into power. Following this development, Pakistani missions in China issued over 7,859 visas to Chinese citizens in 2013, 69 visas in 2014, 13,268 visas in 2015, 6,268 visas in 2016 and according to informed officials at Ministry of Foreign Affairs that estimated 12,287 visas were issued to Chinese nationals by the authorities last year.

In addition to it, officials revealed to this correspondent that about 91,000 Chinese nationals visited Pakistan on tourist visas in past five years. Some 27,596 visa extensions were also granted to Chinese on recommendations of ministries of interior, foreign affairs, water and power and planning and development, a 34 percent increase as compare to 2015-16, added the officials. This frequent flow of foreign nationals encouraged foreign direct investment (FDI) which jumped 163 percent to $222.6 million in July 2017 on a year-on-year basis, revealed official data collected from the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP). The main contributor to this foreign net inflows has been China, which is investing around $60 billion under the CPEC's initiative. Pakistan received $2.4 billion in 2016-17, highest since the PML-N government took the charge of the state’s economic affairs while FDI remained $1.45 billion in previous PPP regime.

The government under Prime Minister Youth Programme also trained over 110,000 youth, majority of them as the authorities claimed, would be associated with CPEC projects in coming years.

For security of these Chinese workers, the government of Pakistan has also deputed an estimated 37,000 security personnel to guard Chinese workers engaged in some 22 projects directly associated with the CPEC and 214 other small and mega projects in Pakistan. For this purpose, the government has deployed 15,780 military personnel trained under umbrella of the Special Security Division (SSD) and the Maritime Security Force (MSF). Balochistan would get more security, as a few wings (450 personnel) of the MSF for coastal area, six wings (6,700 personnel) of the Frontier Corps, 3,210 police constables and 1,320 Levies personnel would guard all the routes. More than 4,200 policemen, 1,290 Rangers, 5,500 private security guards and 740 Askari Guards would protect various projects linked to the economic corridor in Punjab.

Official data continued to reveal that Pakistan issued visas to 1,505 Australian nationals in 2013, 549 visas to Germans in 2013 and 575 visas were issued to German nationals in 2017. The Pakistani Embassy in New Delhi also issued over a thousand visas to Indian nationals in 2013 and 584 Indians were given Pakistani visas in 2015. As many as 786 Iranians were issued visas in 2013 and 945 visas were issued by Pakistani missions in Iran in 2016.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan has 116 diplomatic missions in other countries. This figure includes 85 embassies, 29 consulates and 2 permanent missions.



Pakistan ranks 27 in the world and 7th in Asia on Lowery diplomacy index.



India has 181 missions including 124 embassies and 48 consulates. 



India ranks 12th in the world and 3rd in Asia on Lowery Diplomacy Index.



United States is number 1 and China is number 2 on diplomacy index.



US has 273 diplomatic missions while China has 268. 



France ranks 3rd, Russia 4th and Japan 5th in the world. 



https://globaldiplomacyindex.lowyinstitute.org/country_rank.html

Riaz Haq said...

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".

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-43660466

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.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan: #Adventure #travel's best-kept secret? Alex Reynolds: "Bring an adventurous spirit and an open mind, and you won't have to find your way off the beaten track in Pakistan. The way will find you." #tourism https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/pakistan-adventure-travel/index.html … via @CNNTravel

When the British Backpacker Society released its list of 20 adventure travel destinations for 2018, the top spot was taken by a somewhat surprising entry: Pakistan.
Citing "mountain scenery that is beyond anyone's wildest imagination" and the friendliness of the locals, the society says the South Asian country will change "every preconception that you ever held about this area of the world."
So is Pakistan ready to step up?
Though the country was a tourism hotspot in the 1970s, recent decades have spawned plenty of fears about Pakistan travel, owing to political instability and terrorist attacks.
But though threats remain and there are indeed places travelers should avoid -- the US State Department still advises its citizens to reconsider traveling there entirely -- improved security backed by a government-led push to promote tourism means visitor numbers are on the rise.

In 2017, an estimated 1.7 million foreigners visited Pakistan, 200,000 more than the previous year.
In January 2018, it was announced that the country would be offering a multiple-entry 30-day visa on arrival to tourists from 24 countries including the US and UK.
Bookings are up 100% this year for Wild Frontiers, a tour operator based in the UK and US that have been running trips to Pakistan for 20 years.
For founder Jonny Bealby, it's not difficult to see why the country is appealing to travelers once again.
'Epic accessible landscapes'
"I call it adventure travel's best-kept secret," he says.
"For the adventurous traveler it offers so much. More epic accessible landscapes than you will find anywhere else, meaning landscapes you drive to rather than trek for days to.
"In Hunza [a mountainous valley in the Gilgit-Baltistan region] for example, you can sit on the rooftop at your hotel having breakfast and you've got seven 7,000-meter peaks all around you, which is pretty incredible."
Pakistan adventure travel destination

Bealby also points to the country's interesting cultural allures -- both in terms of architecture and people.
"The cuisine is of course great and the hotel accommodation is actually a lot better than most people think," he adds.
"Tie all those things together and you've got the perfect adventure travel destination."
According to Bealby, tourism in the north of the country has not yet been restored to Pakistan's heyday during the early to mid-nineties when hotels would need to be booked at least a year in advance, yet he has certainly noticed a change in attitudes in recent years.
"I would say that the security situation in Pakistan has improved radically in the last three years and it is now becoming a real possibility for people that previously might have been too wary of going to a place which they felt was unsafe."
Related content
23 ancient cities that have survived more than just time
'People were utterly delighted to see a foreigner'
For US-born travel blogger Alex Reynolds of lostwithpurpose.com, who has visited the country twice, the things she read were not enough to put her off.

shokat alam said...

You didn't mention the beautiful Naltar Valley any where? Naltar is very beautiful area of pakistan and I highly recommend everyone to visit the place

Riaz Haq said...

‘Emerging #Pakistan’ brand buses hit #Berlin's roads on #IndependenceDay2018, showing beauty of Pakistan with its highest peaks, majestic landscape, Made in Pakistan FIFA Football, magnificent architecture and vibrant and diverse culture. #Tourism

https://www.thenews.com.pk/latest/355059-emerging-pakistan-brand-buses-hit-the-road-in-berlin-on-independence-day


Berlin's iconic yellow buses are carrying brand Pakistan on the streets of the city on nation's 72nd Independence Day.

This branding campaign is running under the theme of 'Emerging Pakistan'.

The initiative is a part of celebrations planned by the Embassy of Pakistan in Berlin for the 71st Independence Anniversary of Pakistan this year


Berlin caters to hundreds of tourists, especially during the summertime, who will get to see these buses daily. For a brief time, many Berliners will see these buses portraying the diversity and beauty of Pakistan.

Speaking to this correspondent, Jauhar Saleem, Pakistan's Ambassador to Germany said, "We are endeavouring to showcase beautiful Pakistan, perhaps the best-kept secret in the world of tourism."

These special buses showcase the natural beauty of Pakistan with its highest peaks, majestic landscape, Made in Pakistan Football used for FIFA World Cup Russia 2018, monuments representing ancient civilisation, magnificent architecture and vibrant and diverse culture.

The banners on buses aim to attract foreign tourists to the wonderful land of Pakistan, for many that still remains unexplored.

Although for many Germans and Europeans, in particular, northern areas of Pakistan offer a mesmerizing adventure, an ancient Indus civilisation of Moen-Jo-Daro have always fascinated German archaeologists and researchers. Also, the culture and the ethnic richness of Pakistan is appreciated all over Europe.

Riaz Haq said...

Hospitality Management Training Program

http://hashoofoundation.org/thematic-areas/human-capital-development/hospitality-management-training-program/

Hospitality Management Training Program (HMTP) is one of the flagship programs of HF focused to impart knowledge and skills to young men and women giving them opportunities to learn & practice the skills required for the hospitality industry in Pakistan and abroad. HMTP was initiated in 1999 by introducing practical training in Marriott and Pearl Continental Hotels across Pakistan. HMTP has been expanded to Peshawar and Karachi. The qualification under this program offers food preparation, Culinary Art, Front Office, Reception, Operational Services, Food & Beverage Services and Accommodation Operations and Services. Other Technical and Vocational trainings include beautician, tailoring and professional skills training.

Following international vocational qualifications (basic to advanced diploma level) are being offered under this program:

Food Preparation and Culinary Art
Front Office and Reception Operation Services
Food & Beverage Services
Accommodation Operations and Services
HF trained over 5,000 youth since last few years, the program is facilitating youth with various International Vocational Qualifications (IVQs) curriculum/content, approved by City & Guilds UK and National Training Bureau, Islamabad.

Riaz Haq said...

#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.

Riaz Haq said...

G-B hosts first-ever #icehockey match in #Pakistan. Pakistan’s first-ever ice hockey match was played on Saturday as snow sports season kicked off in the scenic winter resort of Naltar in #GilgitBaltistan. #wintersport #Tourism #skiing https://tribune.com.pk/story/1877188/7-gb-holds-first-ever-ice-hockey-match-pakistan/

The match was played between the teams of Pakistan Air Force and G-B Scouts. Players from both sides showed some extraordinary skills but no team could score a goal within the stipulated time.


The fate of the match was decided on penalty shoot-outs, in which Shahsyar scored the only goal of the match, paving way for a PAF win.

The history of ice hockey in Gilgit-Baltistan region could be related to a local game, called ‘Ghatal’, which is also played with two sticks and a ball. To continue the legacy of this traditional game, ice hockey has been introduced in the region.

Earlier, the Winter Sports Federation of Pakistan (WSFP) chalked out an elaborated calendar of events for the 2018-19 season, according to a PAF spokesperson.

In a statement, he said the winter sports season has already commenced at PAF Naltar with Sadia Khan and Children Ski Cup this week. Besides snowboarding and ice skating, ice hockey competitions will also be held at the venue for the first time in Pakistan.

To continue the legacy of this traditional game, ice hockey has been introduced in the region.

Earlier, the Winter Sports Federation of Pakistan (WSFP) chalked out an elaborated calendar of events for the 2018-19 season, according to a Pakistan Air Force (PAF) spokesperson in a statement issued in Islamabad on Friday.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan's Kund Malir in #Balochistan featured among top 50 #Asian #beaches. This beautiful and untouched shoreline rests between the #desert, #mountain and #sea, making for some breathtaking views at the bottom edge of Hingol National Park. #Tourism https://www.thenews.com.pk/latest/413474-pakistans-kund-malir-featured-among-top-50-asian-beaches

KARACHI: With its scenic view, Pakistan 's Kund Malir beach is one of the most exotic beaches and definitely one of the top tourist attractions in the country.

Kund Malir beach now among Asia’s Top 50 Beaches. This extremely beautiful and untouched shoreline rests between the desert, mountain and sea, making for some breathtaking views at the bottom edge of Hingol National Park.

This golden beach, with its unparalleled serenity and so much more, is a must-see destination Pakistan. Venture off the coastal highway to relax on the smooth sands by the Arabian Sea.

This exceptional, natural marvel of the world is where the water meets a desert. It is an attractive desert beach with palm trees on the coastline. As this place has gained popularity recently by featuring into the top 50 beaches of Asia, Kund Malir is a clean beach with crystal clear, shimmering water.

The FlightNetwork’s most in-depth list of Asian beaches provides a complete look into the stunning shores of Asia – a continent with countless countries rimmed by aquatic wonders so extraordinary travelers must see to believe.

The Asia’s Top 50 Beaches list was prepared by collecting the insider knowledge of over 600 journalists, editors, bloggers, and agencies, who have made travel their life. The resulting expert guidance ensured the list of Asian beaches offers those that have a taste for adventure, balanced by ultimate relaxation, all the needed insight to plan an unforgettable beach-side journey.

Riaz Haq said...

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

https://www.thenews.com.pk/latest/421410-top-french-adventure-travel-agency-returns-to-pakistan-after-decade

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.)

Saqib said...

Well this is well crafted article, Pakistan had real potential of boosting it's tourism industry, before 9/11 tourism industry was contributing since then extremism killed that industry. Now it's reviving again, we hope travel companies Pakistan Tour Packages will create an industry with sustainable tourism.

Riaz Haq said...

#Tourism Boom in #Pakistan:“The mountain scenery is staggering, and it’s perfect for trekking, but there are fascinating cities too. #Islamabad is leafy and green, with wide boulevards; #Lahore has a remarkable Old City, gardens, museums and forts" #Gilgit https://tribune.com.pk/story/1946713/1-pakistan-become-tourisms-next-big-thing/#

Jane Westwood (Wild Frontiers) says that bookings for Pakistan tours have increased significantly during the past two or three years, an assertion that’s backed up by official tourism statistics. In 2015, Pakistan welcomed 563,000 overseas arrivals. That figure grew to 965,000 in 2016, 1.6m in 2017 and 1.9m last year. Some of those will be expats of Pakistani heritage visiting friends and family, but it is suggestive of a destination finally about to live up to the oft-applied billing of “tourism’s next big thing”.
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The image of Pakistan as an unsafe country for tourists is gradually changing and now many countries around the world see the potential for tourism in Pakistan, Telegraph reported on Monday.

According to the publication, Pakistan was once one of the highlights of the classic ‘hippie trail’ or ‘overland’ route from Europe to the Far East, a rite of passage for disillusioned Western youth. Peshawar and Lahore were considered not only safe – but also fine places to kick back for a few days in a budget hostel.

Prime Minister Imran Khan is committed to kickstarting tourism to help raise money for a welfare state. His policy has so far extended to tweeting pictures of the country’s beaches and snow-capped mountains, hosting a two-day tourism summit last week, and, most significantly, cutting the red tape and entry requirements that have the potential to put off visitors.

As of this month, residents of five countries – the UK, China, Turkey, Malaysia and the UAE – can take advantage of a new online e-visa system, while most restrictions on movement within the country have been abolished.

Jane Westwood of Wild Frontiers, one of the few UK operators to offer tours of Pakistan, welcomed the changes. “The old visa system was very convoluted,” she said. “Both travellers and tour operators needed to file numerous supporting documents and the whole process took two weeks or more – now it can be wrapped up in a matter of hours. It is also significantly cheaper, from £134 down to the equivalent of $60 [£46].”

She also praised the loosening of the No Objection Certificate (NOC) system, under which travellers needed special permission to visit certain parts of Pakistan. These have been scrapped for all but a few border regions, opening up parts of Kashmir, Chitral and Gilgit-Baltistan.


“It’s a beautiful country, and one of the most welcoming,” said Westwood, who has visited twice. “The mountain scenery is staggering, and it’s perfect for trekking, but there are fascinating cities too. Islamabad is leafy and green, with wide boulevards; Lahore has a remarkable Old City, gardens, museums and forts – a real combination of old and new. Then there’s the Kalasha Valleys, which have a unique pagan culture, with traditional lifestyles, dress and festivals.”


Riaz Haq said...

2,000-years-old #metal workshops found in #Peshawar #Pakistan. “The relics recovered show that the site was some sort of a metal workshop as we have found iron melting pots, molds, trowels, knives and drills, which were used at the workshop.” #Archaeology http://bit.ly/2LkbzTR

Pakistani archaeologists say they have discovered the remains of metal workshops from the Indo-Greek period dating back to the 2nd century BCE.

The archaeologists from the University of Peshawar (UoP) made the discovery at a site in the Hayatabad area of Peshawar, Dawn reported.

Professor Gul Rahim told journalists the site is located close to the border of the Khyber district, adding that excavation work at the site had been going on for the past three years.

He said they had found coins dating back to the Indo-Greek period and estimated to be about 2,200 years old.

The professor said that the Indo-Greeks had migrated from Afghanistan to present day Peshawar, and ruled the region for about 150 years.

“The relics recovered show that the site was some sort of a metal workshop as we have found iron melting pots, molds, trowels, knives and drills, which were used at the workshop,” Rahim said.

The workshop also likely produced arrows, bows, daggers, and swords, he added.

“The site shows that the workshop was divided into blocks, whereas remains of furnaces, grinder stones and other vestiges of the era are still clearly visible,” the professor said.

Professor Gul further said “this marks the first discovery of an organised Indo-Greek workshop in the province so far.”

Meanwhile, Mohammad Naeem, an archaeological surveyor, said that “as compared to Buddhist sites that were built using brick masonry, this site was made from clay so it was difficult to preserve it.”

He said that remains of the Indo-Greek period have also been found in Gor Khatri archaeological complex.

Jan Gul, an MPhil scholar at the UoP, said that it was the first time that students were able to see Indo-Greek remains, as previously only Buddhist and Mughal relics had been studied.

Riaz Haq said...

Malakand Division Attracts Influx Of Tourists After Swat Expressway's Opening

https://www.urdupoint.com/en/pakistan/malakand-division-attracts-influx-of-tourists-639566.html

SWAT, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 7th Jun, 2019 ) :All the six districts of Malakand division have witnessed massive influx of foreign and domestic tourists during week long Eid holidays following an opening of multi-faceted Swat Expressway to enjoy its pleasant and cool weather conditions.

The scenic hilly areas and tourism resorts in Malakand division including Swat, Dir Upper, Dir Lower, Chitral, Shnagla and Buner have attracted tourists in droves from plain areas of Pakistan mostly from Khyber Pakthunkhwa and Punjab provinces after the distance between Malakand division and Islamabad was cut short to only two and half hours following an opening of 81-kilometer long Swat expressway before Eidul Fitre on the directives of Chief Minister Mahmood Khan.

The four-lane fenced Swat expressway commences from Karnal Sher Interchange in Swabi district on Peshawar-Islamabad Motorway (M-I) and concludes at Chakdara in Dir Lower district after passing through 21 bridges and 1300 meters twin tunnels on National Highway N-45, inter-connecting Swat, Chitral, Dir Upper, Dir Lower, Shangla, Buner, Mohmand and Bajaur districts with rest of the country.

Former KP Chief Minister Pervez Khattak had performed the ground-breaking of Swat expressway on August 25, 2016 to provide an extra and fast track communication facilities to hundreds of thousands of travelers visiting this part of the country on daily basis.

The expressway brought massive surge in tourists at scenic Kalam, Malam Jabba, Maho Dhand, Fizagut, Maidan, Bahrain in Swat, Pir Baba in Buner, Komrat in Dir, Shangla and Chitral where finding a room in hotels, restaurants and rest houses for staying along with families was highly a challenging task these days.

Kalam has remained main centre of attraction of tourists due to its cool weather and pleasant climate where tourists from AJK, Punjab, KP and Gilgit Baltistan were seen in droves. They enjoyed waterfalls, lush green valleys, meadows, snow-covered peaks, water boating, horse and camel ridings in a very pleasant atmosphere.

Located on River Swat some 99 kilometers of Mingora Swat, Kalam's scenic areas Matiltan, Usho, Utror, Gabral and Mohodhand lake saw tourists of all social class during Eid vacations where low income groups stayed at makeshift hotels, tents and rooms of houses vacated by local people earning great profits.

"I came from Nowshera along with my friends to enjoy Eid vacations at Kalam due to its pleasant and cool weather to beat the scorching heat," Zeeshan Khan, 25, a tourist told APP. "The weather of Kalam is very pleasant and tourists can come here to enjoy its natural waterfalls, lakes and snow covered mountains peaks in a safe atmosphere," he said.

Malama Jabba, the country's lone skiing resort in Swat district has attracted influx of tourists with families enjoyed chair-lift ride.

'I came to Malam Jabba after visiting Kalam to enjoy Eid holidays in a pleasant weather," Haseeb Khan, a resident of Peshawar told APP.

"I enjoyed ride an imported chairlift at Malam Jabba as it was very comfortable, safe and tourists must come here to enjoy its natural beauty, lush green valleys and chairlift ride," he said. However, he complained over high prices being charged by private hotels, restaurants and shopkeepers that needed to be checked by the district administration and proper arrangements should be made for car parking in famous tourists' destinations to avoid traffic jams.

Haseeb said private hotels are charging Rs 6,000-10,000 per room per night stay from families at Kalam and demanded strong actions against profiteers.

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Chairlift at Malam Jabba, which was destroyed during militancy in 2008-09, has been reconstructed and opened for tourists, adding the newly reconstructed chairlift has been imported and safe in all aspect.

Riaz Haq said...

CAA begins development work on Swat, Chitral airports

https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2019/05/20/promoting-tourism-caa-begins-development-work-on-swat-chitral-airports/

In line with Prime Minister Imran Khan’s move to promote tourism in the country, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has started development works for Swat, Chitral and Parachinar airports.

Sources said the Swat airport will be made operational at a cost of Rs80 million while the development work will be completed within two months.

Saidu Sharif Swat Airport is known as a gateway of tourism which was built in 1978. Later, in 2004, owing to the volatile security situation, the airport was closed.

For the same reason, Parachinar airport was also shut down in 2004. On the directions of the secretary aviation, a high-level committee visited Swat and Chitral airports.

The committee, comprising engineers, experts and administrative, surveyed the construction site of runways, terminal building and the control tower.

Under the new aviation policy, the airlines would be given perks regarding landing and parking charges at Swat and Parachinar airports.

Riaz Haq said...

PM directs opening rest houses for general public, tourists

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/480379-pm-directs-opening-rest-houses-for-general-public-tourists

Prime Minister Imran Khan here on Monday directed the concerned authorities to open government’s rest houses for general public and tourists.


Chairing a high level meeting to review progress in tourism sector PM Imran said that the commercial usage of rest houses will not only boost tourism in the country but also generate revenue. He said, “It is the part of the government’s policy to open rest houses for general public.” The premier said that he would not tolerate any obstacle in implementation of the government’s policy. He directed the authorities to categorise all the rest houses in the county.

On the occasion Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief sectary apprised the meeting that there were 157 rest houses in the province while Punjab Tourism Minister Raja Yasir told the prime minister that the provincial government had opened 177 rest houses for general public.

Punjab Tourism Minister Raja Yasir, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Tourism Muhammad Atif and other high officials were present in the meeting.

Earlier on May 4, Prime Minister Imran Khan had said that while other countries earned billions of dollars from tourism alone Pakistan had in past neglected its cultural heritage.

Meanwhile, the prime minister issued special directions to BISP chairperson Sania Nishtar to help ensure prioritised treatment of physically handicapped individuals.

The premier in a cabinet meeting issued special directives for physically handicapped and challenged individuals. He directed Sania Nishtar to ensure welfare and prosperity of such individuals. He ordered that a set quota of 2% to be kept for differently-abled citizens of Pakistan in employment opportunities.

He also directed to ensure provision of free hearing aids wheelchairs and other things to handicapped at the working place. “We will make sure that the handicapped will be taken care of and will be issued Sehat Insaf Cards,” said Imran Khan.

Continuing on he said that to attain the dream and vision of making Pakistan an Islamic welfare state the state must look after its needy and poor. He stressed on the need to care for and work for the handicapped of the country.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan : in search of Shangri‑La. #GilgitBaltistan #Tourism | Travel | The Sunday Times story on the unmatched splendor and beauty of Pakistan’s northern areas https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/pakistan-in-search-of-shangri-la-3qqhwl02t


Riaz Haq said...

Opening of Swat Expressway facilitates people

https://www.dawn.com/news/1486990/opening-of-swat-expressway-facilitates-people

MINGORA: The tourists visiting Malakand division showed satisfaction over temporary opening of Swat Expressway during the Eidul Fitr holidays, saying it saved their time and shortened the journey between Islamabad and Swat by about two hours.

According to the district administration, more than 60,000 vehicles used the expressway to enter Swat.

“When we heard that the expressway was opened for traffic, we immediately planned to visit Swat on the second day of Eid. The expressway till Palai interchange is complete and is under construction at several locations onwards. But it is good that temporary roads have been built for light traffic,” said Haris Iqbal, a tourist from Islamabad, who was travelling to Swat with his family.

He said that he reached Swat in three hours using the newly opened expressway. The tourists said that they enjoyed lush green scenes stretched along the expressway.

“It has not only shortened the distance between Islamabad and Swat but the route also offers enchanting scenes of lush green landscape and beautiful mountains. I invite people from all over the country to come and travel on the route to see the natural beauty of Pakistan,” said Jamila Qureshi, a tourist from Lahore.

The expressway, which was temporarily opened for Eidul Fitr holidays, would be closed to traffic after the holidays. According to FWO officials, the motorway would be officially opened by Prime Minister Imran Khan after two months.

However, people of Malakand division requested the provincial government to keep the route open for them.

Former chief minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Pervez Khattak had inaugurated work on the 81-kilometre project in August 2016 and it was claimed the road would be completed by December 2017. However, the project could not be completed within the stipulated time.

Later, the PTI government claimed to open it by December 2018 and once again it could not be opened according to the schedule.

The four-lane road costing Rs40 billion starts from Colonel Sher Khan Interchange and passes through Sawabi and Mardan to reach Chakdara.

Riaz Haq said...

Where are people travelling in and around Pakistan on Eid?
Eid Al Fitr is the time everyone has been waiting for the whole year to enjoy the holidays

https://gulfnews.com/world/asia/pakistan/where-are-people-travelling-in-and-around-pakistan-on-eid-1.64363726


Technology and social media are greatly influencing our travel decisions as people are relying on Instagram photos and website reviews instead of tour guides.

Inspiration from social media
Amina Jaffri, 24, an Islamabad student, mostly relied on social media for travel ideas.

“The breathtaking sights I see on Instagram every day compelled me to explore undiscovered places of Pakistan,” she says.

“After finalising the places, I sought expert opinion on hotel and car bookings on Facebook groups” she shared, adding that plentiful group tour ads on social media also helped her plan the itinerary.

--

Sher Ali Saafi, one of Pakistan’s top travel photographers, who currently has 30k followers on Instagram, urges responsible tourism by treating people, culture and environment with respect. “Pakistan is beautiful and we can only keep it that way by not littering. The least we can do is bring back our own trash,” he advised.


As many adventure lovers are all set to brave crowds and traffic to vacation over the Eid holidays, Gulf News checks out the top five places Pakistanis are planning to travel to this Eid

1. Hunza


The mountainous valley of Hunza situated in a remote, pristine area of northern Pakistan is about 100 kilometres from Gilgit. The valley offers exceptional experiences and views from lofty peaks to historic buildings to unique culture and heritage. In central Hunza, the 1000-year-old Altit fort and 700-year-old Baltit fort offer a glimpse into local history. The famous Attabad Lake is also near Hunza, where visitors can enjoy fishing and boating. The mighty Passu Glacier and Hopper Glacier, are only two hours away from the Centre. British mountaineer Eric Shipton called the Hunza valley “the ultimate manifestation of mountain grandeur” with the magnificent Rakaposhi (7788m) as the valley’s star attraction. Eagle’s Nest Hotel in the village of Duikar, preached on a 2850 meter high ridge in Hunza valley offers splendid views of some of Pakistan’s highest peaks and unforgettable sunrises, according to the visitors.


2. Astore


Astore, a valley 120km long with an area of 5,000km2, is located at the eastern face of Nanga Parbat, a peak 8,125 meters high. The valley has more than 100 villages of which Chilm is the most gorgeous as it is the starting point of Deosai, the world’s second highest plateau. The main attraction of this place is Rama Meadows, a place covered with pine trees, milky-white steams, and ice-covered peaks in background. One-hour jeep ride away from the meadows is the heavenly Rama Lake at an elevation of 11000 feet. Altaf Ahmed, Gilgt-based tour operator, described Astore Valley as an “undiscovered paradise.” Minimerg is another secret location near Astore valley. Harpo Pass, Bubin Pass and Mazino Pass are a must visit too. “Astore is perfect for camping with a breathtaking view of towering mountains. The best time to visit is May to October,” says Altaf.

3. Fairy Meadows

The Fairy Meadows are unquestionably one of the most picturesque destinations in northern Pakistan that offers a little taste of heaven. This lush green, eye-soothing plain, offers striking views of Nanga Parbat, the ninth highest mountain, known to climbers as the ‘Killer Mountain’. “Clean white carpets of untouched snow. Mighty peaks of blue and grey and silver and purple flinging themselves into the sky, blocking out the last of the sun and promising a radiant evening filled with stars” is how Will Hatton of The Broke Backpacker described the Fairy Meadows.

4. Neelum Valley



5. Swat and Kumrat

Riaz Haq said...

$1.315b Karakoram Highway project to complete next year (2020)

https://nation.com.pk/28-Jan-2019/-1-315b-karakoram-highway-project-to-complete-next-year

The travel time from Havelian to Thakot will reduce from existing four hours to 1.5 hours after the completion of $1.315 billion Karakoram Highway (KKH) Phase-II, an early harvest project under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) framework, next year.

The road infrastructure project being completed at an estimated cost of US$ 1.315 billion, is likely to be completed in the year 2020, according to official sources on Sunday.

The project is located in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province with a total length of 118km, of which 39km is an expressway with subgrade width of 24.7m, and 79km is Class-II highway with subgrade width of 12.3m ( minimum widths of lanes are generally between 2.5 to 3.25 metres (8.2 to 10.7 ft).)

After the completion of the project, the travel time from Havelian to Thakot will be reduced from 4 to 1.5 hours.

Giving further details of the project, the sources informed that commercial contract was signed on December 22, 2015, between National Highway Authority and China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC).


The project includes 105 bridges among which 60 are large bridges, 42 medium and three small bridges. There are six tunnels, among which two on expressway and four on Class-II highway.

The groundbreaking ceremony was held on April 28, 2016. On the same day, the Pakistani Government and the Export-Import Bank of China signed the government to government loan agreement, and it came into force on June 24, 2016. The project formally commenced on September 1, 2016. The construction period is 42 months.

This project is to build a new road, not an up gradation of the existing road. As it is located in the mountainous area with complicated terrain, the construction work is extremely difficult. The milestones on tunnels, bridges, subgrades are all ahead of schedule. Two tranches of advance payment have been released in 2016.

Up to now, 2071 Pakistani staff have been employed on the project which has created many indirect jobs and played a positive role in the local economic development. The project also provides a great opportunity for cultivating and training a large number of engineering talents.

In terms of environmental protection, the executing company has hired a well-known local third-party environmental monitoring agency, and strictly complied with the local standard.

Riaz Haq said...

TCKP's Camping Pods, Tented Villages In KP's Hilly Areas Attract Influx Of Tourists During Eid Days


https://www.urdupoint.com/en/pakistan/tckps-camping-pods-tented-villages-in-kps-640729.html


The camping pods and tented villages setup by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Tourism Corporation(TCKP) has attracted influx of tourists in Hazara and Malakand divisions during week long vacations of Eidul Fitr.

The tourists were provided quality accommodations facilities in the 2-4 bed camping pods and tent villages in scores of tourist attractions places and resorts, including Bishigram in Swat, Sharan in Kaghan Mansehra, Thandiani in Abbottabad, Yakh Tangai in Shangla and Sheikhbadin in Lakki Marwat at affordable prices.

These pods have already been renovated by the TCKP ahead of Eidul Fitr to facilitate foreign and domestic tourists during current summer season, Director General TCKP Junaid Khan told APP on Sunday.

He said the idea of camping pods in remote scenic spots have remained highly successful where best accommodations facilitates were provided to thousands of tourists families at minimum prices compare to private hotels.

The pods were set up in all those tourists' spots where hotels and motels were not available.

He maintained that camping pods and tented villages in tourists' spots was the continuation of a process initiated by the TCKP to facilitate tourists and promote tourism in every nook and corner of the province.

As results of present Govt goal-oriented policies, he said, millions of domestic tourists have flooded to northern KP including Swat, Dir, Shangla, Buner, Chitral, Mansehra, Khagan, Naran, Abbottabad, Thandyani, Shogran, Galyat and other hilly areas where camping pods and villages proved were proved as a great blessing for them.

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The tourists were provided every facility at the camping pod including play land for kids, beds for sleeping, wash rooms, accommodations and kitchen.

The KP government had also provided other facilities including parking lots, washrooms, kids play areas and tent villages to tourists at tourists resorts.

The tourism resorts in Malakand division including Swat, Dir Upper, Dir Lower, Chitral, Shnagla and Buner have also seen flood of tourists from plain areas of Pakistan after the distance between Malakand division and Islamabad was cut short to only two and half hours following opening of 81-kilometer long Swat expressway before Eid.

The expressway have brought massive surge in tourists at scenic Kalam, Malam Jabba, Maho Dhand, Fizagut, Maidan, Bahrain in Swat, Pir Baba in Buner, Komrat in Dir, Shangla and Chitral where finding a room in hotels, restaurants and rest houses remained highly a challenging task during Eid days.

Kalam remained the main centre of attraction of tourists due to its cool weather where tourists from AJK, Punjab, KP and Gilgit Baltistan were seen droves.

While staying in pods and tented villages, they enjoyed waterfalls, lush green valleys, meadows, snow-covered peaks, water boating, horse and camel ridings.

Located on River Swat some 99 kilometers of Mingora Swat, Kalam's scenic areas Matiltan, Usho, Utror, Gabral and Mohodhand lake saw tourists of all social class where low income groups stayed at makeshift hotels, tents and rooms of houses vacated by local people earning great profits.

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The weather of Kalam is very pleasant and tourists can come here to enjoy its natural waterfalls, lakes and snow covered mountains peaks in a safe atmosphere after Eid mostly on weekends, he maintained.

Malama Jabba, the country's lone skiing resort in Swat district also attracted influx of tourists with families enjoyed chair-lift ride. 'I came to Malam Jabba after visiting Kalam to enjoy Eid holidays to beat the heat" Sajid Khan, a resident of Nowshera told APP.

"I enjoyed a ride at chairlift at Malam Jabba as it was very comfortable, safe and tourists must come here to enjoy natural beauty of the area after Eid," he said.

Riaz Haq said...

12 exotic beaches in #Pakistan. #Balochistan: Gaddani, Gwadar, Jiwani, Ormara, Kund Malir, Sonmiani, and Astola Islands. #Karachi (Sindh): Clifton, French, Hawke’s Bay and Sandspit. #ArabiaSea #beaches #tourism https://www.thenews.com.pk/latest/482211-12-exotic-beaches-of-balochistan-and-karachi

The Press Information Department (PID) of the Government of Pakistan on its Twitter showed some beautiful glimpses of 12 exotic beaches on the long coastline from Gwadar to Karachi.

The tweet states: “Pakistan offers some breathtaking beaches with unparalleled serenity. These are 12 exotic beaches where one can gaze at mesmerising waves of Arabian Sea. #BeautifulPakistan”


Pakistan's southern coastline meets the Arabian Sea, running along the provinces of Sindh and Balochistan. There are various beaches on the coastline but the PID has selected 12 of them.

The names of these beaches in Balochistan are: Gaddani, Gwadar, Jiwani, Ormara, Kund Malir, Sonmiani, and Astola Islands.

The beaches in Karachi (Sindh) are Clifton, French, Hawke’s Bay and Sandspit.