Monday January 24, 2022

Restrictions leave tourists high and dry

May 16, 2021

MINGORA: Droves of tourists from various parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa tried to reach Swat despite the imposition of restrictions to stop them from coming to the scenic valley during the Eid days.

The district administration had established a number of checkpoints along the main roads to turn the tourists away as per the orders from the government to help stop the transmission of the coronavirus.

The government had imposed restrictions on tourist activities and traveling to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The ban had created a great deal of disappointment among the nature lovers and travelers.

“We always plan a trip to Swat during the summer particularly at Eid, but we were disappointed with the ban,” said Haider Khan.

Crowds of sightseers and tourists flock to Swat and other scenic places during the summer and Eid, but this is the second season, which was overshadowed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The hotel industry in Swat and elsewhere in the province was badly hit by the restrictions on tourism activities and traveling.

A large number of tourists had to return due to the imposition of the restrictions as the checkpoints were heavily manned.

However, it was alleged that the ‘influential’ tourists, who had ‘connections’ in the administration did not face any problem in reaching Swat, Kalam and other picturesque places while the common people were not allowed to enter the limits of the district.

The local people also faced problems while traveling from one place to another due to the restrictions imposed by the government. Some tourists managed to sneak in through unfrequented routes via Shamozai and Landakia areas.

Deputy Commissioner Junaid Khan said the district administration had taken tangible steps to prevent the tourists from reaching Swat as per the orders from the government.

He added that restrictions were put in place and nobody was allowed to proceed. The official dispelled the impression that ‘influential’ tourists were allowed to travel to Swat.