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September 26, 2020

Impediments to revival of tourism industry

Lahore

September 26, 2020

LAHORE:Owing to the keen interest shown by Prime Minister Imran Khan in promoting the tourism in the country, the department seems to be taking serious steps to fulfill the commitment to the PM to meet his expectations in true letter & spirit.

Despite the fact that the Provincial & Federal Tourism Departments had not been able to carve a commendable nitch in promoting tourism in the country other than concentrating on a handful of already revenue generating tourist attractions (Mainly in the Northern Areas of the country), not much serious work has ever been done for promoting and selling the tourist attractions and highly valuable historic and cultural assets to the local and foreign tourists for the last many decades. The natural and man-made hurdles in achieving the desired goals in the tourism sector had been raising a big question mark on the planning, execution of the half-cooked plans made by the tourism department's big wigs and the overall socio-political situation in the country has cost the country dearly in the past in the terms of expected revenue from this sector.

Moreover, the confusing distribution of work among many provincial and federal institutions looking after this sector in the form of corporations, authorities and provincial departments hindered the achievement of the desired results. The overlapping of jurisdictions, authorities and workings also caused a great loss to this rich and potentially very significant sector. In the absence of a single authority under which all the tourism related official institutions could work in a harmonious way has been identified by many officials.

However, after the PM's resolve to develop and take it to new heights, the officials and stakeholders are resorting to enhanced planning for the revival of this industry in the country. A meeting chaired by Adviser to Chief Minister, Asif Mehmood, has given final touches to the programmes prepared for World Tourism Day, main event of that would be held in Shalimar Gardens tomorrow (Sunday). Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar will be the chief guest at the event. “The theme of World Tourism Day this year is ‘tourism and rural development’ and all programmes should reflect this theme”, directed the Adviser. The meeting was informed that encroachments at the front of Shalimar Gardens had been removed; however, few hawkers continued their work on late hours. Asif Mehmood directed that no such activity should be allowed at the heritage site. “PHA, Archaeology department and district administration should work in collaborated way for the preservation and beautification of archaeological sites” he said.

He expressed his dissatisfaction over TDCP briefing and directed that comprehensive presentation be arranged for final approval.