Recognizing the Tourism Potential of Pakistan on World Tourism Day
By Khushal Khan
World Tourism Day is commemorated on 27 September each year since 1980. The date marks anniversary of the adoption of UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Statuses in 1970. The theme of this year’s World Tourism Day is “Rethinking Tourism”, to focus on re-imagining the sector’s growth, both in terms of size and relevance. The International Day of Observance, which is the official day, will be hosted by The Republic of Indonesia on September 27, 2022.
As per UNWTO, travel and tourism have grown to become one of the leading economic sectors in the world driving socio-economic development across the globe. Tourism plays a major role in development of emerging economies. Travel and tourism have great association with other industries in the national economy making major indirect earns and enhancing foreign investment, opportunities of trade, investments in private, public and local infrastructure.
According to the 2018 report of WTTC (World Travel and Tourism Council), the South Asian region GDP had 8.9% share from the tourism sector ($281.6 billion). It will be 9.0% of GDP ($301.8 billion) with auxiliary income of 6.2% by the year 2028 to reach 9.4% of GDP ($579.6 billion). In 2017, the WTTC (World Travel and Tourism Council) mentioned that Pakistan’s tourism revenue was 19.4 billion USD and made up 6.9% of the GDP. The amount is expected to rise to $36.1 billion by 2030.
Pakistan has a rich cultural and natural diversity. In addition, the strategic location, historical and cultural sites, and diverse cultural values offers eye-catching destination for the world tourists. The mystic ranges of Karakoram, Hindukush and Himalayas with alpine meadows and permanent snow line are the hub of tourism with stupendous tourist destinations and mountaineers. In the recent years Pakistan’s tourism industry has taken great strides with a wider interest and acknowledgment from different parts of the world. The enhanced security after a long concerted effort of the Armed Forces and security agencies of Pakistan through multiple military operations has made it possible for the government to make tourist-friendly policies. The tourism sector received a boon after the Armed Forces of Pakistan successfully curbed the menace of terrorism from the country. International tourists are now seen walking on the roads making food and travel Vlogs safely.
The last couple of years saw an unprecedented upsurge in the tourism industry and great revenue was generated in response. The revival of tourism in the country has also created opportunities for the local people specially those living in the remote areas with minimum earning opportunities. It also helped in projecting a positive image of Pakistan and promoting its culture across the globe. As per the recent report of World Economic Forum, Pakistan moved up to six places in International travel and tourism development index that includes 117 countries. The government of Pakistan in coordinated efforts with the security agencies has taken solid measures to keep the tourists and tourism spots safe in the country. Such measures would not only help in promoting the country’s culture worldwide but will also help in enhancing the tourism economy.