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January 12, 2019

Think-Tank on tourism meets: Atif says special police force, visa-on-arrival for tourists being mulled

Peshawar

January 12, 2019

PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Senior Minister Muhammad Atif Khan has said that a special police force would be raised to ensure protection and security to 2000-year-old Buddhist heritage and ancient relics in the province.

The senior minister, who also has the portfolio of Sports, Tourism, Archaeology, Culture, Museums and Youth Affairs said this while speaking to the participants of second meeting of the Think Tank on Tourism here on Friday. Over 32 experts on tourism and tour operators from across the country attended the meeting. “We are working out modalities to issue visas on arrival to the citizens of 100 countries, who come to KP for tourism purposes,” Atif Khan said, adding that 20 more tourist spots had been identified, where infrastructure would be developed at a cost of Rs5 billion to facilitate visitors.

He said that if the newly identified tourist resorts in the province were developed and rehabilitated on modern lines, it would start generating a handsome revenue for the province as well as local populace. He said concerted efforts were being made to introduce KP as a tourism brand to the world to attract more tourists and visitors to the province.

The minister said that for this purpose, tourism authority, tourism police force were being established besides taking measures on war-footing for the promotion of religious and adventure tourism in the province. “We are also negotiating modalities with the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) for developing five ski slopes to attract tourists,” he added.

He said a 10-member high level task force had been constituted to remove bottlenecks in the way of tourism promotion and develop new tourist resorts.

“The Tourism Department is also devising a comprehensive strategy for the promotion of tourism in the recently merged tribal areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa,” he said, adding that potential of tourism would fully be explored and exploited to make it a huge revenue-generating sector for the government.

He said that the network of tourist policing will be expanded to other areas to provide foolproof security to the visitors to a particular place.

The minister said improving the tourism sector was not possible without the involvement of the private sector and other stakeholders. He said the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government was taking steps to promote tourism by taking all stakeholders on board.

The minister said the agenda of the Think-Tank meeting included promotion of sustainable tourism and strengthening the sector, taking input from stakeholders for development of new tourism sites.

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