ISLAMABAD: Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination Dr Fehmida Mirza on Friday said that the National Task Force on Tourism, in the first phase, would identify 20 new tourism sites in different potential areas of the country to attract local and foreign tourists.
“A report containing 20 new sites will be compiled for onward submission to the prime minister so that he could better project the country’s tourism potential during his visits abroad,” she said while addressing a news conference along with members of the task force, which met on Friday.
Among others, the meeting chaired by Dr Fehmida Mirza was attended by Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan Ali Amin Gandapur, Punjab Minister for Higher Education and Tourism Raja Yasir Humayun Sarfaraz, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Tourism, Sports Culture and Youth Affairs Muhammad Atif Khan, Gilgit-Baltistan Minister for Tourism Fida Khan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir Minister for Tourism Mushtaq Ahmed Minhas, besides representatives of Sindh and Balochistan.
Sharing details of the meeting, the minister said that the task force had decided to seek suggestions from all stakeholders and the general public to finalise a slogan for the tourism promotion drive, adding that three proposals would be submitted by each province. She also invited the suggestions from the general public especially youth, urging the younger generation and media to play their due role in projecting a soft image of the country.
The minister said that a mobile application would be launched having links of all tourism departments and sites with all relevant details and pictures to facilitate tourists planning to visit there within the country and abroad.
Fehmida Mirza said that nature had bestowed the country with such scenic sites, mountains and lakes that could not be spotted in any other part of the world, stressing the need for their effective projection at both local and international level.
She said that Prime Minister Imran Khan was giving a special focus on the promotion of the tourism industry as he believed that this sector had great potential in strengthening the national economy and projecting the country’s true image abroad.
She said that the federal government had recently announced a relaxation in visa policy with the purpose to attract more and more tourists in Pakistan, adding that all other impediments in this regard would be removed gradually in collaboration with provincial governments.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Tourism, Sports Culture and Youth Affairs Muhammad Atif Khan said that tourists would be educated about the norms and traditions of the areas before their visit to any tourism site. Similarly, awareness would be created among locals about the importance of tourism promotion in the generation of employment opportunities and national development, he added.