PAKISTAN TOURISM OPENING 2nd WEEK AUGUST 2020
（subject to change at any time due to COVID-19 situation）
Think of all the tourism attractions that make you dream to travel and explore a destination. You will find it all in Pakistan.
Landscapes etched in ultimate manifestation of mountain grandeur and at the base of lofty mountains, travel the winding Karakoram Highway up to the Khunjerab top – the highest paved road on the Earth. Off-road and along the way, discover some of the world’s longest glaciers-tranquil lakes-meandering rivers dotted with flower and fauna.
Along the coastal belt of Karachi (Sind) and Balochistan – sublime beaches drench in turquoise green-blue Arabian Sea that lay beneath hidden marine treasures.
In between the mountain ranges and the sea, the magical desert landscape tells tales of mysteries of the yore hidden in the dunes of lost river, as anxiously worded by the folks.
A mosaic of culture closely knitted by a population of 22 million, living in glittering capitals and in the mountain highs, athirst to welcome visitors with an open heart in their homes.
More than 7000 years of ancient civilization is witnessed in the ruins of Harappa, Mohenjadaro and Gandhara land, on the rocks of Gilgit-Baltistan and in the museums of Lahore, Suwat and Peshawar.
You will be astounded with the modern history and cultural influences written past hundreds of years on the monuments, remnants and artifacts handed down by the monarchs, pilgrims and builders.
And than, there is Special Interest Tourism for hang gliders, train enthusiasts, bird watchers, geologists and festivals including – and not to miss, the spectacular Shandur Polo (Shandur, Chitral), Silk Route Festival (Gilgit-Batistan), Folk Festival (Islamabad).
All unseen or impossible to experience elsewhere in any one particular travel destination; Nowhere in the world will you find the three greatest mountain systems in the world (The Himalaya-Karakoram-Hindukush) meeting at a particular junction at Besham, Kohistan; the blind dolphins of the Indus River, Markhor – the National Animal; and rare indigenous bird species like Chakaur, plants and trees native to the land.
Once you get an addiction to Pakistan’s mild spicy cuisines, your taste buds will tease you to have more and more. Some of the tonge teasers include BBQ kebab, Mughlai dishes, nihari, different kind of lentils cooked to offer a taste sensation and in snacks – pakora, samosa, pani puree (spicy dips). For the desserts, try the traditional kheer (rice pudding), Gulab jaman and seasonal fruits with no shortage of universal dessert menu including rich delicious cakes and sweets.
Unfortunately, Pakistan Tourism had suffered in the past due to lack of vision, a dynamic approach in marketing strategy and negative transmutation by media. Recently, with the vision of the PM Imran Khan, the year 2020 was marked an important year for Pakistan tourism in taking off.
Many global travel influencers in the Industry including Forbes and Conde’ Nast voted Pakistan number one and among the top 5 travel destinations in the world. Unfortunately COVID-19 has devastate this whole scenario of the opening of tourism and new efforts are underway to make a post COVID-19 revival of tourism as international travel slowly and cautiously may begin after July 2020.
RECOVERY TASKFORCE TO COUNTER COVID-19 CRISIS
National Tourism Coordination Board (NTCB) had recently called on a high level meeting to develop a strategy and action plan to ensure recovery of tourism sector in the post Covid-19 scenario. Chaired by Mr. Aftab Rana, President – Sustainable Tourism Foundation of Pakistan (STFP), the virtual meeting was attended by key tourism and travel authorities, associations and stakeholders.
Under a special Tourism Recovery Action Committee (TRAC), action plans has been formulated and submitted as recommendation (18 May, 2020) for adoption and action to be taken by primary stakeholders: NTCB, Provincial Tourism Departments and Private Sector Travel Trade Association. Key issues were focused on:
1) Survival of Tourism Industry and mitigating impact of COVID-19 through offering facilitation to Companies to keep afloat and relief to daily wage earners.
2) Revival and Accelerated Recovery through Government and International agencies like IATA in form of stimulus, tax subsidies and incentives as recovery package.
3) Post COVID-19 Future Positioning to Revamp Tourism.
Implementation of strict guideline issued by UNWHO and local government instruction to follow Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) under strict laws and supervision by authorities.
4) Initiate aggressive marketing with an effective brand and declare the VISIT PAKISTAN YEAR 2022. The campaign must begin by last quarter 2020 with a dynamic strategy including participation at Travel Events (particularly regional (physical) events like PATA Adventure Travel Mart 2021, ITB-Asia Singapore, October 2021, ITCMA-CTW 28-30 September 2021). Digitalize marketing; FAM trips for international Tour Operators and Travel Media on Barter Exchange basis involving local airlines, hotels, restaurants, DMCs and local hosts.
For details of Action Plan, visit: https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox/QgrcJHsbfltJRrpzhkRvDWqWBrMwJjkMRMg?projector=1&messagePartId=0.1
Photos By: Saifuddin Ismailji
Founder: e-Travelers Club travel update.