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June 17, 2019

Islamabad to get tourism facilitation centre


June 17, 2019

Islamabad : The federal government has decided to set up a Tourism Facilitation Centre (TFC) and ‘Aiwan-e-Sayahat’ in the federal capital to facilitate and sensitise the local as well as foreign tourists about the country’s diverse tourism potential.

The government has allocated Rs160 million in the Public Sector Development Programme for 2019-20 to promote tourism and market tourist resorts at national and International level, Chairman National Tourism Coordination Board (NTCB) Sayed Zulfikar Abbas Bukhari told this agency here Sunday.

He said the development work would be started soon after the feasibility study of the ’Aiwan-e-Sayahat’, for which the government had allocated Rs 40 million while the rest would be spent for branding of Pakistan abroad, he added.

The offices of NTCB and Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) would also put under the umbrella of the ‘Aiwan-e-Sayahat’ for better coordination among the relevant entities.

He pointed out that the collaboration among both institutions was mandatory as PTDC and NTCB were tasked with major responsibility of marketing the country’s historical, cultural, religion and adventurous tourism, besides the ethereal beauty offered by its northern areas.

Zulfikar Bukhari said the government was striving to improve Infrastructure support system across the country as tourist influx had increased in recent days due to the new visa policy launched by the government recently to ease visa restriction for tourists, he added.

The TFC would be established at F-6 sector of Islamabad to provide tourist friendly facilities wherein the tourist operators and guides would also help the tourists to shape their traveling plans.

PTDC Managing Director Sayed Intikhab Alam said the idea of ‘Aiwan-e-Sayahat’ was floated some eight years ago but could not see the light of the day due to blithe attitude of previous regimes towards tourism.

Contrarily, the incumbent government, was putting the tourism sector on priority giving it the due seriousness, he added.

Intikhab said the ‘Aiwan-e-Sayahat’ would comprise more than five floors.

To a query, he said a massive promotional campaign for tourism promotion would also be launched across the world besides an International conference to be held on the subject. Promotional songs, videos and competition also mark the government’s tourism promotional strategy, he added.

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