ISLAMABAD TOURISM FESTIVAL 05 – 07 MARCH, 2021 Cricket Grounds F9 and F6/3, Islamabad
Seminar held on 04 February, 2021, Serena Islamabad.
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A very well organized, first of its kind Seminar was held on 04 February to announce the launching of the first Annual Islamabad Tourism Festival from Friday 05 – Sunday 07 March, 2021 at the F9 Park Cricket Ground and Shalimar Cricket Ground F6-3, Islamabad. On a note that adventure in Pakistan goes beyond the mountain zones, a brain child of Syed Sajjad Hussain Shah, President, Pakistan HangGliding and Para-Gliding Association (PHPA); the Festival aims to promote special interest Flying Adventure Tourism, hand in hand with Pakistan Culture and Gourmet Cuisines; to attract international and local thrill seekers to the beautiful capital of Pakistan, making it: Islamabad-Destination Pakistan.The seminar was held in joint collaboration with PHPA, National Tourism Coordination Board (NTCB) and Cutting Edge Group.
Attended by about 250 delegates, the Seminar was graced by honorable dignitaries from the Federal Government of Pakistan and renowned contributors in Pakistan Tourism and a team of pilots. Islamabad Tourism Festival (ITF) is a welcoming occasion for people to intermingle, observing SOPs, in open space and indulge in adventure and fun activities highlighting Air Shows and Adventure Activities like Para Gliding, Accuracy Landing, Wing-Suite Flying, Trike Flying, Sky Diving and Power-Para Gliding as part of the Field Marshal Para Gliding Championship. The sky will be dotted with a rainbow of colors as international and local participants will demonstrate their skill above the ground. The festive event will give a platform to tourism professional to display and announce their travel products. Visitors will be entertained by a number of activities and road shows including Cultural Show from different provinces, Horse Dancing, musical concert, Food Court presenting different regional taste.
After the recital of the Holy Quran, and Pakistan National Anthem, the Federal Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Mr. Shibli Faraz delivered the opening address. Having had served the Pakistan Air Force, Mr. Faraz showed his keen interest and passion in the development of adventure sport of Flying, while urging the country and tourism and travel community on “Diplomacy through Tourism”.
The President of PHPA, Mr. Sajjad Shah in his address admired the initiative of the PM H.E. Imran Khan’s vision to giving top priority to tourism and attracting international tourists, which will not only generate foreign exchange; will attract world brand hotels and resorts to invest in Pakistan tourism, which will create an awareness in the concept of eco-friendly infrastructure development. Tourism will garner quality of life as employment in tourism will create more job opportunity, for every citizen – from a cab driver, shop owner, medical practitioner to road side cafes and hoteliers are directly or indirectly involved in tourism. Professionally trained with a degree in tourism studies, Mr. Shah recall his travel experiences in 86 countries and how nations with successful tourism model has built up a strong Visitors Economy. He give example of Japan’s tourism receipts that exceed the revenue of the worldwide sale of Toyota cars. The vision of Mr. Shah has introduced the 1st Cholistan Powered-Paragliding Cross-Country Race, taking place at Cholistan Desert Jeep Rally on 14 February, 2021. His drive to promote the adventure of flying will also spread its wings to the coastal areas of Pakistan. Mr Sajjad Shah is the pioneer in introducing Para Gliding and Hang Gliding (PGHG) in Pakistan holding international PGHG championship events, attracting world renowned pilots to Pakistan – the world’s only natural destination with mountains, deserts and the sea.
According to Mr. Omar Ayub Khan, the Federal Minister for Power and Petroleum: “In the post-pandemic era, the Capital City and the whole country wanted an uplift and Islamabad Tourism Festival will certainly help doing so.” He emphasized that para gliding require special skill and admired the efforts of PHPA in bringing Pakistan international recognition as a challenging para gliding destination.
After the special song on the occasion of Islamabad Tourism Festival rendered by Sahir Ali Bagga; souvenirs were presented to honorable guests in a ceremony by Mr. Sajjad Shah and Mr. Arif Malik (Chairman, Cutting Edge Group).
Lunch was followed at the conclusion of the Seminar. The floor area of the venue at Serena Hotel had on display Gyro Captor, Hang Glider, Micro Light and Para Trike.
Words/ Pictures: Saifuddin IsmailjiFounder: e-Travelers Club travel update