First international conference on the majestic mountains of Pakistan was successfully held at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris.
According to a press statement issued here on Friday, more than 500 enthusiasts of alpinism, adventure sports and tourism from many European countries, including Finland, France, Germany, Holland, Ireland, Poland, Slovenia, Switzerland and the United Kingdom attended the conference.
Ambassadors of many countries, top ranking tour operators of France, notables of the Pakistani community and media persons were also present.
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi addressed the inaugural session of the conference through a special video message. He said that Pakistan was unique and diverse in terms of its landscapes and offered a variety of activities and attractions for tourists of all shades.
The foreign minister further said that promotion of tourism was a priority of the new government. “Besides developing modern facilities and new resorts for visitors, the government’s tourism policy would also ensure that tourism remains sustainable and eco-friendly while preserving nature and its resources for future generations,” he said.
Ambassador of Pakistan to France Moinul Haque, in his welcome remarks, thanked all moderators and panellists for their participation. He also invited the guests to visit Pakistan and explore its hidden secrets.
Pierre Mazeaud, a well-respected French politician and jurist, who is also an accomplished mountaineer, was the guest of honour. He spoke of his various expeditions to Pakistan and hoped that the conference would help in further promoting tourism in the country.
One-minute of silence was also observed to pay homage to the mountaineers who lost their lives during their expeditions on the mountains of Pakistan in 2018.
Later, three separate panel discussions were held on the themes of “Conquering the Heights”, “Seeking New Adventures”, and “Sublime and Sustainable Tourism”. World-renowned mountaineering and extreme sports experts and specialists of bio-diversity and eco-tourism took part in the discussions.
Special documentaries highlighting mountaineering and adventure sports and tourism opportunities of the panellists about their expeditions and projects in Pakistan were screened during the conference.
The audience was later enthralled by the mesmerising performance of the popular Pakistani instrumental band ‘Khumariyaan’. Multiple activities were also planned on the sidelines of the conference. The top tour operators of Pakistan had set up stalls to introduce tour packages specially prepared for European tourists and adventure seekers.
The participants also benefited from the specially set up virtual reality show to experience paragliding over the mountains of Pakistan with famous French paragliders Antoine Gerard.