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May 30, 2020

TRAC to chalk out strategy for revival of tourism industry

Islamabad

May 30, 2020

Islamabad : In the wake of Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak, the Chairman National Tourism Coordination Board (NTCB) constituted Tourism Recovery Action Committee (TRAC) to evaluate the rapidly evolving situation and put forth recommendations with regards to financial implications of the crisis, immediate support measures for tourism businesses and strategizing recovery of the tourism industry. The committee was well represented by all Provincial Governments, tourism related associations (PATO, TAAP, PHA) and experts from the private sector.

TRAC proactively consulted all stakeholders and developed three-pronged Recovery Strategy and Action Plan to counter the socio-economic impact of Covid-19 on tourism sector of Pakistan. Besides this, Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)/guidelines were also developed for Hotels and accommodation facilities, Food outlets/Eateries, Tours Operator Companies, Tourist transportation and Airlines to adopt precautionary measures to address issue of health, hygiene and safety of the tourists, employees and businesses.

The strategy includes but not limited to survival of the tourism industry and mitigating the impact of Covid-19, revival and accelerated recovery phase and positioning for the future to revamp tourism in post Covid-19. These measures would support the tourism business and help recover the tourism industry as a whole. Whereas, Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) were developed with an objective to mitigate adverse health hazards and impact on all stakeholders of travel and tourism industry. The TRAC emphasized that there is a dire need to reduce fear factor and induce discipline amongst the businesses of tourism sector.

Managing Director PTDC, Syed Intikhab Alam, informed that both the documents were shared with all provincial governments and tourism related associations for implementation. NTCB at the federal level will be coordinating with relevant ministries and organizations for implementation of the measures suggested by the TRAC.

The travel and tourism industry around the globe faced unprecedented challenges of survival. As per revised statistics from UNWTO, international tourism can be declined to 60-80 per cent in the year 2020, making it worse for the tourism industry worldwide. Likewise, travel and tourism industry of Pakistan is facing the same economic crisis and hurdles in operation due to travel restrictions. Moreover, tourism sector of Pakistan comprises of small and medium entrepreneurs and daily wagers whose source of income has a steep decline due to prevalence of Covid-19 crisis. It is hoped that the measures suggested by TRAC for survival, revival and recovery will help tourism business to handle the situation swiftly and fast track the recovery process of the tourism industry.