Pakistan's $20 Billion Tourism Industry is Booming

Pakistan's tourism industry, currently estimated at $20 billion (6.9% of GDP in 2016), is booming, according to data available from multiple reliable sources. World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) forecasts it to grow to over $36 billion within a decade.

Economic Impact of Tourism:

Pakistan tourism industry generates $20 billion in revenue and supports 3.6 million jobs directly and indirectly, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council. Foreign visitors generate nearly a billion US$ in exports.

Economic Contribution of Pakistan Tourism. Source: WTTC

Tourism Growth: 

Significantly improved security situation has helped boost annual tourist arrivals in Pakistan by 300% since 2013 to 1.75 million in 2016, while domestic travelers increased 30% to 38.3 million, according to the state-owned Pakistan Tourism Development Corp.  Hotel bookings increased 80 percent in 2016, according to Jovago, Pakistan’s biggest hotel booking website.

Courtesy: Nikkei Asian Review

By contrast, foreign tourist arrivals in the country’s larger neighbor, India, jumped from 6.97 million in 2013 to 8.8 million in 2016, according to Indian government figures. 88% of India's and 92% of Pakistan's tourism revenue is domestic. India's tourism industry is worth $209 billion (9.6% of of GDP in 2016), according to WTTC.

A story in the Financial Times, a British newspaper, quotes British tour operator Jonny Bealby as saying,   “While I am sure this will raise some eyebrows, we are starting to see a marked increase in tourism to Pakistan".  Bealby's company arranged 55% more clients to Pakistan in 2017 compared with 2016, and advance bookings are more than 100 per cent up on this point 12 months ago, according to the Financial Times.

Top Adventure Tourism Destination: 

British Backpackers Society has recently ranked Pakistan as its top destination for adventure tourism.  The Society describes Pakistan “one of the friendliest countries on earth, with mountain scenery that is beyond anyone’s wildest imagination”.

Pakistan Tourism Promotion in Jakarata, Indonesia
Pakistan's northern areas are a top destination for adventure-seekers interested in mountain climbing, white water rafting,  extreme kayaking and helicopter skiing.

Pakistan Brand Promotion on London Buses

Pakistan Tourism Promotion: 

Pakistan government's tourism campaign — including covering buses in several major world cities with beautiful pictures of Pakistan's tourist attraction — have helped raise the country’s profile. Increased investments in roads, airports and other infrastructure have helped ease travel.

Pakistan government has announced its decision to provide 30 day tourist visa on arrival for visitors from 24 countries on three continents.


Tourism industry in Pakistan is booming with 300% increase in foreign tourist arrivals since 2013. It contributed $20 billion (6.9% of GDP in 2016) and supported 3.6 million jobs in 2016. World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) forecasts it to grow to over $36 billion within a decade.

Here's a video about Pakistan narrated by an American Journalist Cynthia Ritchie:

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Pakistan Travel and Tourism Boom

Extreme Kayak Adventures in Pakistan

Helicopter Skiing in Karakorams

Climbing K2: The Ultimate Challenge

Indian Visitors Share "Eye-Opening" Stories of Pakistan

American Tourist Picks Pakistan Among Top 10 Best Countries to Visit

Pakistani American to Pakistani Diaspora: Go Back and Visit Pakistan

Riaz Haq's YouTube Channel

PakAlumni Social Network


Riaz Haq said…
A #British archaeologist named Hugh Trevor Lambrick, who was the Deputy Commissioner of #Larkana in 1940s, called (Shushangi) 'Toshangi' the #GrandCanyon of #Sindh . #Tourism #Pakistan on #Vimeo

A British archaeologist, author and civil servant named Hugh Trevor Lambrick, who was the Deputy Commissioner of Larkana in 1940s, called (Shushangi) 'Toshangi' the Grand Canyon of Sindh. It is one of the most dramatic places to visit in the Kirthars. The deep gorge (700ft deep) is formed by the waters of Kenjhi River which has been flowing in the area since time untold.
Salman Rashid, Travel writer, Fellow of Royal Geographical Society traveled in 1996 to this place from Ghaibi Dero (Shahdadkot Sindh).
We a group of trekkers i.e. Aziz Ahmed Jamali, Abdul Qadir Jamali, Muhammad Yaqoob, Asad Mir, Aqeel Baig & Sufi reached here from Khuzdar Baluchistan side

Riaz Haq said…
5 airlines to venture into Pakistan
Source: Xinhua| 2018-01-29 20:13:38|Editor: Lifang

ISLAMABAD, Jan. 29 (Xinhua) -- Five national and international airlines have applied for regular public transport airline license of Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to venture into the country's aviation industry, local reports said Monday.

The airlines are expected to get permission to carry out the flight operation in the country's skies during the next one year, which is likely to bring down passenger fares, local newspaper Express Tribune said.

Airlines including Askari Air, Air Siyal, Go Green, Liberty Air and Afeef Zara Airways have applied for the license to be a part of the aviation industry which is expected to be around 9 percent per annum and likely to keep the same pace till 2020, according to a forecast of the International Air Transport Association, a trade body of world's airlines.

Pakistan's air traffic has soared up to 40 percent over the past five years to 20 million passengers, and is continuously witnessing an upward trend due to improvement of law and order situation in the country, which is bringing in more tourists in the country.

The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has also resulted in the increase of air traffic in the country.

Most of the upcoming carriers will target low-profit, far-off destinations including Gwadar, Turbat, Panjgur, Khuzdar, Dalbandin, Zhob, in Balochistan province where CPEC projects are in full swing, and the tourist destinations of Rawalakot, Skardu, Chitral, Gilgit, Bannu and Parachinar.

The destinations could generate immediate profits because of their tourism potential and work on CPEC projects.

For these remote regions, the new carriers will bring airplanes suitable for small airports.

The entry of new airlines in the country's airspace is expected to further increase challenges of the country's national flag carrier Pakistan International Airlines, which was the sole operator in most of these routes in the past.
Riaz Haq said…
Ziarat forests are spread over nearly 110,000 hectares. No dendrological study has been conducted but mature trees are often thousands of years old, earning them the title of "living fossils".

The forest lies in mountains ranging from more than 1,000m (3,000 feet) above sea level to nearly 3,500 metres above sea level. The remarkable longevity of the trees allows research into past weather conditions and makes the species significant for climate change and ecological studies.
Pakistan declared it a Biosphere Reserve in 2013.

It's also a habitat for black bears and wolves, as well as urials, a type of sheep, and the Sulaiman markhor, a large species of wild goat.

Juniper berries are enjoyed for their flavour in cooking and their oil has several uses.

The forest in Ziarat is a popular tourist spot, some 120km (75 miles) east of the provincial capital Quetta.

It gained a reputation as a health resort after Pakistan's founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah stayed there in the summer of 1948, in the last days of his life.

But these days the area covered by the forest is decreasing. Locals criticise provincial officials for not doing enough to protect the forest, as BBC Hindi's Shumaila Jafri has reported.

Locals looking for firewood keep felling trees. There is no other source of fuel.

Piped gas would be a cheaper option but the gas supply was never extended to Ziarat. While Balochistan produces the bulk of Pakistan's natural gas, it is the most neglected when it comes to piped supplies.

There has been some illegal commercial felling but the damage is not extensive, thanks to awareness campaigns run by NGOs.

Forest officials say decreasing tree cover is partly due to the time a sapling takes to grow.

Only 10% of new saplings survive. Last year 20,000 saplings were planted but only 2,000 will go on to become mature trees.
Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan: #Adventure #travel's best-kept secret? Alex Reynolds: "Bring an adventurous spirit and an open mind, and you won't have to find your way off the beaten track in Pakistan. The way will find you." #tourism … via @CNNTravel

When the British Backpacker Society released its list of 20 adventure travel destinations for 2018, the top spot was taken by a somewhat surprising entry: Pakistan.
Citing "mountain scenery that is beyond anyone's wildest imagination" and the friendliness of the locals, the society says the South Asian country will change "every preconception that you ever held about this area of the world."
So is Pakistan ready to step up?
Though the country was a tourism hotspot in the 1970s, recent decades have spawned plenty of fears about Pakistan travel, owing to political instability and terrorist attacks.
But though threats remain and there are indeed places travelers should avoid -- the US State Department still advises its citizens to reconsider traveling there entirely -- improved security backed by a government-led push to promote tourism means visitor numbers are on the rise.

In 2017, an estimated 1.7 million foreigners visited Pakistan, 200,000 more than the previous year.
In January 2018, it was announced that the country would be offering a multiple-entry 30-day visa on arrival to tourists from 24 countries including the US and UK.
Bookings are up 100% this year for Wild Frontiers, a tour operator based in the UK and US that have been running trips to Pakistan for 20 years.
For founder Jonny Bealby, it's not difficult to see why the country is appealing to travelers once again.
'Epic accessible landscapes'
"I call it adventure travel's best-kept secret," he says.
"For the adventurous traveler it offers so much. More epic accessible landscapes than you will find anywhere else, meaning landscapes you drive to rather than trek for days to.
"In Hunza [a mountainous valley in the Gilgit-Baltistan region] for example, you can sit on the rooftop at your hotel having breakfast and you've got seven 7,000-meter peaks all around you, which is pretty incredible."
Pakistan adventure travel destination

Bealby also points to the country's interesting cultural allures -- both in terms of architecture and people.
"The cuisine is of course great and the hotel accommodation is actually a lot better than most people think," he adds.
"Tie all those things together and you've got the perfect adventure travel destination."
According to Bealby, tourism in the north of the country has not yet been restored to Pakistan's heyday during the early to mid-nineties when hotels would need to be booked at least a year in advance, yet he has certainly noticed a change in attitudes in recent years.
"I would say that the security situation in Pakistan has improved radically in the last three years and it is now becoming a real possibility for people that previously might have been too wary of going to a place which they felt was unsafe."
Related content
23 ancient cities that have survived more than just time
'People were utterly delighted to see a foreigner'
For US-born travel blogger Alex Reynolds of, who has visited the country twice, the things she read were not enough to put her off.
Riaz Haq said…
‘Emerging #Pakistan’ brand buses hit #Berlin's roads on #IndependenceDay2018, showing beauty of Pakistan with its highest peaks, majestic landscape, Made in Pakistan FIFA Football, magnificent architecture and vibrant and diverse culture. #Tourism

Berlin's iconic yellow buses are carrying brand Pakistan on the streets of the city on nation's 72nd Independence Day.

This branding campaign is running under the theme of 'Emerging Pakistan'.

The initiative is a part of celebrations planned by the Embassy of Pakistan in Berlin for the 71st Independence Anniversary of Pakistan this year

Berlin caters to hundreds of tourists, especially during the summertime, who will get to see these buses daily. For a brief time, many Berliners will see these buses portraying the diversity and beauty of Pakistan.

Speaking to this correspondent, Jauhar Saleem, Pakistan's Ambassador to Germany said, "We are endeavouring to showcase beautiful Pakistan, perhaps the best-kept secret in the world of tourism."

These special buses showcase the natural beauty of Pakistan with its highest peaks, majestic landscape, Made in Pakistan Football used for FIFA World Cup Russia 2018, monuments representing ancient civilisation, magnificent architecture and vibrant and diverse culture.

The banners on buses aim to attract foreign tourists to the wonderful land of Pakistan, for many that still remains unexplored.

Although for many Germans and Europeans, in particular, northern areas of Pakistan offer a mesmerizing adventure, an ancient Indus civilisation of Moen-Jo-Daro have always fascinated German archaeologists and researchers. Also, the culture and the ethnic richness of Pakistan is appreciated all over Europe.

Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan to host ice #skating, ice #hockey competition for the first time. Alongside PAF Naltar, Malam Jabba #Ski Resort would host #snowboarding National Ski Championship, Malam Jabba Ski Cup and CAS International Karakoram Alpine Ski Cup #wintersport

The picturesque winter resort of Naltar in Gilgit Baltistan and the enchanting ski slopes of Malam Jabba in Swat brace for some exhilarating winter sports in the coming days.

The Winter Sports Federation of Pakistan (WSFP) has chalked out an elaborate calendar of events for the season. The winter sports season has already commenced at Pakistan Air Force (PAF) Naltar with Sadia Khan & Children Ski Cup this week. Besides, snowboarding and ice skating, ice hockey competitions would also be held there for the first time in the country.

Other than these, Shah Khan Ski Cup and Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Championship would be held. This year, inter-varsity championship for men and women have also been planned to promote winter sport in the educational institutions of the country. Alongside PAF Naltar, Malam Jabba Ski Resort would host National Ski Championship, Malam Jabba Ski Cup and CAS International Karakoram Alpine Ski Cup. WSFP has chosen the recently developed Rattu Ski Resort to host two events this year, including inter services ski cup and National cross country ski cup.

Prominent international skiers from across the world are arriving to participate in different ski racing categories. Besides international athletes, top level national skiers would take part in these races to showcase their talents in this exciting sport. Competing with the famous skiers of the world would provide an excellent opportunity to Pakistani athletes to learn from their competitors and improve their standing in the world rankings.

WSFP has also procured a snow-making machine to make it less dependent on snowfall in the area. With the installation of new tow-lift and the induction of Snow-Making machine, the winter sports enthusiasts would be able to enjoy a prolonged season this year.
Riaz Haq said…
#Tourism Boom in #Pakistan:“The mountain scenery is staggering, and it’s perfect for trekking, but there are fascinating cities too. #Islamabad is leafy and green, with wide boulevards; #Lahore has a remarkable Old City, gardens, museums and forts" #Gilgit

Jane Westwood (Wild Frontiers) says that bookings for Pakistan tours have increased significantly during the past two or three years, an assertion that’s backed up by official tourism statistics. In 2015, Pakistan welcomed 563,000 overseas arrivals. That figure grew to 965,000 in 2016, 1.6m in 2017 and 1.9m last year. Some of those will be expats of Pakistani heritage visiting friends and family, but it is suggestive of a destination finally about to live up to the oft-applied billing of “tourism’s next big thing”.
The image of Pakistan as an unsafe country for tourists is gradually changing and now many countries around the world see the potential for tourism in Pakistan, Telegraph reported on Monday.

According to the publication, Pakistan was once one of the highlights of the classic ‘hippie trail’ or ‘overland’ route from Europe to the Far East, a rite of passage for disillusioned Western youth. Peshawar and Lahore were considered not only safe – but also fine places to kick back for a few days in a budget hostel.

Prime Minister Imran Khan is committed to kickstarting tourism to help raise money for a welfare state. His policy has so far extended to tweeting pictures of the country’s beaches and snow-capped mountains, hosting a two-day tourism summit last week, and, most significantly, cutting the red tape and entry requirements that have the potential to put off visitors.

As of this month, residents of five countries – the UK, China, Turkey, Malaysia and the UAE – can take advantage of a new online e-visa system, while most restrictions on movement within the country have been abolished.

Jane Westwood of Wild Frontiers, one of the few UK operators to offer tours of Pakistan, welcomed the changes. “The old visa system was very convoluted,” she said. “Both travellers and tour operators needed to file numerous supporting documents and the whole process took two weeks or more – now it can be wrapped up in a matter of hours. It is also significantly cheaper, from £134 down to the equivalent of $60 [£46].”

She also praised the loosening of the No Objection Certificate (NOC) system, under which travellers needed special permission to visit certain parts of Pakistan. These have been scrapped for all but a few border regions, opening up parts of Kashmir, Chitral and Gilgit-Baltistan.

“It’s a beautiful country, and one of the most welcoming,” said Westwood, who has visited twice. “The mountain scenery is staggering, and it’s perfect for trekking, but there are fascinating cities too. Islamabad is leafy and green, with wide boulevards; Lahore has a remarkable Old City, gardens, museums and forts – a real combination of old and new. Then there’s the Kalasha Valleys, which have a unique pagan culture, with traditional lifestyles, dress and festivals.”
Riaz Haq said…
2,000-years-old #metal workshops found in #Peshawar #Pakistan. “The relics recovered show that the site was some sort of a metal workshop as we have found iron melting pots, molds, trowels, knives and drills, which were used at the workshop.” #Archaeology

Pakistani archaeologists say they have discovered the remains of metal workshops from the Indo-Greek period dating back to the 2nd century BCE.

The archaeologists from the University of Peshawar (UoP) made the discovery at a site in the Hayatabad area of Peshawar, Dawn reported.

Professor Gul Rahim told journalists the site is located close to the border of the Khyber district, adding that excavation work at the site had been going on for the past three years.

He said they had found coins dating back to the Indo-Greek period and estimated to be about 2,200 years old.

The professor said that the Indo-Greeks had migrated from Afghanistan to present day Peshawar, and ruled the region for about 150 years.

“The relics recovered show that the site was some sort of a metal workshop as we have found iron melting pots, molds, trowels, knives and drills, which were used at the workshop,” Rahim said.

The workshop also likely produced arrows, bows, daggers, and swords, he added.

“The site shows that the workshop was divided into blocks, whereas remains of furnaces, grinder stones and other vestiges of the era are still clearly visible,” the professor said.

Professor Gul further said “this marks the first discovery of an organised Indo-Greek workshop in the province so far.”

Meanwhile, Mohammad Naeem, an archaeological surveyor, said that “as compared to Buddhist sites that were built using brick masonry, this site was made from clay so it was difficult to preserve it.”

He said that remains of the Indo-Greek period have also been found in Gor Khatri archaeological complex.

Jan Gul, an MPhil scholar at the UoP, said that it was the first time that students were able to see Indo-Greek remains, as previously only Buddhist and Mughal relics had been studied.

Riaz Haq said…
Malakand Division Attracts Influx Of Tourists After Swat Expressway's Opening

SWAT, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 7th Jun, 2019 ) :All the six districts of Malakand division have witnessed massive influx of foreign and domestic tourists during week long Eid holidays following an opening of multi-faceted Swat Expressway to enjoy its pleasant and cool weather conditions.

The scenic hilly areas and tourism resorts in Malakand division including Swat, Dir Upper, Dir Lower, Chitral, Shnagla and Buner have attracted tourists in droves from plain areas of Pakistan mostly from Khyber Pakthunkhwa and Punjab provinces after the distance between Malakand division and Islamabad was cut short to only two and half hours following an opening of 81-kilometer long Swat expressway before Eidul Fitre on the directives of Chief Minister Mahmood Khan.

The four-lane fenced Swat expressway commences from Karnal Sher Interchange in Swabi district on Peshawar-Islamabad Motorway (M-I) and concludes at Chakdara in Dir Lower district after passing through 21 bridges and 1300 meters twin tunnels on National Highway N-45, inter-connecting Swat, Chitral, Dir Upper, Dir Lower, Shangla, Buner, Mohmand and Bajaur districts with rest of the country.

Former KP Chief Minister Pervez Khattak had performed the ground-breaking of Swat expressway on August 25, 2016 to provide an extra and fast track communication facilities to hundreds of thousands of travelers visiting this part of the country on daily basis.

The expressway brought massive surge in tourists at scenic Kalam, Malam Jabba, Maho Dhand, Fizagut, Maidan, Bahrain in Swat, Pir Baba in Buner, Komrat in Dir, Shangla and Chitral where finding a room in hotels, restaurants and rest houses for staying along with families was highly a challenging task these days.

Kalam has remained main centre of attraction of tourists due to its cool weather and pleasant climate where tourists from AJK, Punjab, KP and Gilgit Baltistan were seen in droves. They enjoyed waterfalls, lush green valleys, meadows, snow-covered peaks, water boating, horse and camel ridings in a very pleasant atmosphere.

Located on River Swat some 99 kilometers of Mingora Swat, Kalam's scenic areas Matiltan, Usho, Utror, Gabral and Mohodhand lake saw tourists of all social class during Eid vacations where low income groups stayed at makeshift hotels, tents and rooms of houses vacated by local people earning great profits.

"I came from Nowshera along with my friends to enjoy Eid vacations at Kalam due to its pleasant and cool weather to beat the scorching heat," Zeeshan Khan, 25, a tourist told APP. "The weather of Kalam is very pleasant and tourists can come here to enjoy its natural waterfalls, lakes and snow covered mountains peaks in a safe atmosphere," he said.

Malama Jabba, the country's lone skiing resort in Swat district has attracted influx of tourists with families enjoyed chair-lift ride.

'I came to Malam Jabba after visiting Kalam to enjoy Eid holidays in a pleasant weather," Haseeb Khan, a resident of Peshawar told APP.

"I enjoyed ride an imported chairlift at Malam Jabba as it was very comfortable, safe and tourists must come here to enjoy its natural beauty, lush green valleys and chairlift ride," he said. However, he complained over high prices being charged by private hotels, restaurants and shopkeepers that needed to be checked by the district administration and proper arrangements should be made for car parking in famous tourists' destinations to avoid traffic jams.

Haseeb said private hotels are charging Rs 6,000-10,000 per room per night stay from families at Kalam and demanded strong actions against profiteers.


Chairlift at Malam Jabba, which was destroyed during militancy in 2008-09, has been reconstructed and opened for tourists, adding the newly reconstructed chairlift has been imported and safe in all aspect.
Riaz Haq said…
CAA begins development work on Swat, Chitral airports

In line with Prime Minister Imran Khan’s move to promote tourism in the country, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has started development works for Swat, Chitral and Parachinar airports.

Sources said the Swat airport will be made operational at a cost of Rs80 million while the development work will be completed within two months.

Saidu Sharif Swat Airport is known as a gateway of tourism which was built in 1978. Later, in 2004, owing to the volatile security situation, the airport was closed.

For the same reason, Parachinar airport was also shut down in 2004. On the directions of the secretary aviation, a high-level committee visited Swat and Chitral airports.

The committee, comprising engineers, experts and administrative, surveyed the construction site of runways, terminal building and the control tower.

Under the new aviation policy, the airlines would be given perks regarding landing and parking charges at Swat and Parachinar airports.
Riaz Haq said…
PM directs opening rest houses for general public, tourists

Prime Minister Imran Khan here on Monday directed the concerned authorities to open government’s rest houses for general public and tourists.

Chairing a high level meeting to review progress in tourism sector PM Imran said that the commercial usage of rest houses will not only boost tourism in the country but also generate revenue. He said, “It is the part of the government’s policy to open rest houses for general public.” The premier said that he would not tolerate any obstacle in implementation of the government’s policy. He directed the authorities to categorise all the rest houses in the county.

On the occasion Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief sectary apprised the meeting that there were 157 rest houses in the province while Punjab Tourism Minister Raja Yasir told the prime minister that the provincial government had opened 177 rest houses for general public.

Punjab Tourism Minister Raja Yasir, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Tourism Muhammad Atif and other high officials were present in the meeting.

Earlier on May 4, Prime Minister Imran Khan had said that while other countries earned billions of dollars from tourism alone Pakistan had in past neglected its cultural heritage.

Meanwhile, the prime minister issued special directions to BISP chairperson Sania Nishtar to help ensure prioritised treatment of physically handicapped individuals.

The premier in a cabinet meeting issued special directives for physically handicapped and challenged individuals. He directed Sania Nishtar to ensure welfare and prosperity of such individuals. He ordered that a set quota of 2% to be kept for differently-abled citizens of Pakistan in employment opportunities.

He also directed to ensure provision of free hearing aids wheelchairs and other things to handicapped at the working place. “We will make sure that the handicapped will be taken care of and will be issued Sehat Insaf Cards,” said Imran Khan.

Continuing on he said that to attain the dream and vision of making Pakistan an Islamic welfare state the state must look after its needy and poor. He stressed on the need to care for and work for the handicapped of the country.
Riaz Haq said…
Opening of Swat Expressway facilitates people

MINGORA: The tourists visiting Malakand division showed satisfaction over temporary opening of Swat Expressway during the Eidul Fitr holidays, saying it saved their time and shortened the journey between Islamabad and Swat by about two hours.

According to the district administration, more than 60,000 vehicles used the expressway to enter Swat.

“When we heard that the expressway was opened for traffic, we immediately planned to visit Swat on the second day of Eid. The expressway till Palai interchange is complete and is under construction at several locations onwards. But it is good that temporary roads have been built for light traffic,” said Haris Iqbal, a tourist from Islamabad, who was travelling to Swat with his family.

He said that he reached Swat in three hours using the newly opened expressway. The tourists said that they enjoyed lush green scenes stretched along the expressway.

“It has not only shortened the distance between Islamabad and Swat but the route also offers enchanting scenes of lush green landscape and beautiful mountains. I invite people from all over the country to come and travel on the route to see the natural beauty of Pakistan,” said Jamila Qureshi, a tourist from Lahore.

The expressway, which was temporarily opened for Eidul Fitr holidays, would be closed to traffic after the holidays. According to FWO officials, the motorway would be officially opened by Prime Minister Imran Khan after two months.

However, people of Malakand division requested the provincial government to keep the route open for them.

Former chief minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Pervez Khattak had inaugurated work on the 81-kilometre project in August 2016 and it was claimed the road would be completed by December 2017. However, the project could not be completed within the stipulated time.

Later, the PTI government claimed to open it by December 2018 and once again it could not be opened according to the schedule.

The four-lane road costing Rs40 billion starts from Colonel Sher Khan Interchange and passes through Sawabi and Mardan to reach Chakdara.

Riaz Haq said…
Where are people travelling in and around Pakistan on Eid?
Eid Al Fitr is the time everyone has been waiting for the whole year to enjoy the holidays

Technology and social media are greatly influencing our travel decisions as people are relying on Instagram photos and website reviews instead of tour guides.

Inspiration from social media
Amina Jaffri, 24, an Islamabad student, mostly relied on social media for travel ideas.

“The breathtaking sights I see on Instagram every day compelled me to explore undiscovered places of Pakistan,” she says.

“After finalising the places, I sought expert opinion on hotel and car bookings on Facebook groups” she shared, adding that plentiful group tour ads on social media also helped her plan the itinerary.


Sher Ali Saafi, one of Pakistan’s top travel photographers, who currently has 30k followers on Instagram, urges responsible tourism by treating people, culture and environment with respect. “Pakistan is beautiful and we can only keep it that way by not littering. The least we can do is bring back our own trash,” he advised.

As many adventure lovers are all set to brave crowds and traffic to vacation over the Eid holidays, Gulf News checks out the top five places Pakistanis are planning to travel to this Eid

1. Hunza

The mountainous valley of Hunza situated in a remote, pristine area of northern Pakistan is about 100 kilometres from Gilgit. The valley offers exceptional experiences and views from lofty peaks to historic buildings to unique culture and heritage. In central Hunza, the 1000-year-old Altit fort and 700-year-old Baltit fort offer a glimpse into local history. The famous Attabad Lake is also near Hunza, where visitors can enjoy fishing and boating. The mighty Passu Glacier and Hopper Glacier, are only two hours away from the Centre. British mountaineer Eric Shipton called the Hunza valley “the ultimate manifestation of mountain grandeur” with the magnificent Rakaposhi (7788m) as the valley’s star attraction. Eagle’s Nest Hotel in the village of Duikar, preached on a 2850 meter high ridge in Hunza valley offers splendid views of some of Pakistan’s highest peaks and unforgettable sunrises, according to the visitors.

2. Astore

Astore, a valley 120km long with an area of 5,000km2, is located at the eastern face of Nanga Parbat, a peak 8,125 meters high. The valley has more than 100 villages of which Chilm is the most gorgeous as it is the starting point of Deosai, the world’s second highest plateau. The main attraction of this place is Rama Meadows, a place covered with pine trees, milky-white steams, and ice-covered peaks in background. One-hour jeep ride away from the meadows is the heavenly Rama Lake at an elevation of 11000 feet. Altaf Ahmed, Gilgt-based tour operator, described Astore Valley as an “undiscovered paradise.” Minimerg is another secret location near Astore valley. Harpo Pass, Bubin Pass and Mazino Pass are a must visit too. “Astore is perfect for camping with a breathtaking view of towering mountains. The best time to visit is May to October,” says Altaf.

3. Fairy Meadows

The Fairy Meadows are unquestionably one of the most picturesque destinations in northern Pakistan that offers a little taste of heaven. This lush green, eye-soothing plain, offers striking views of Nanga Parbat, the ninth highest mountain, known to climbers as the ‘Killer Mountain’. “Clean white carpets of untouched snow. Mighty peaks of blue and grey and silver and purple flinging themselves into the sky, blocking out the last of the sun and promising a radiant evening filled with stars” is how Will Hatton of The Broke Backpacker described the Fairy Meadows.

4. Neelum Valley

5. Swat and Kumrat
Riaz Haq said…
$1.315b Karakoram Highway project to complete next year (2020)

The travel time from Havelian to Thakot will reduce from existing four hours to 1.5 hours after the completion of $1.315 billion Karakoram Highway (KKH) Phase-II, an early harvest project under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) framework, next year.

The road infrastructure project being completed at an estimated cost of US$ 1.315 billion, is likely to be completed in the year 2020, according to official sources on Sunday.

The project is located in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province with a total length of 118km, of which 39km is an expressway with subgrade width of 24.7m, and 79km is Class-II highway with subgrade width of 12.3m ( minimum widths of lanes are generally between 2.5 to 3.25 metres (8.2 to 10.7 ft).)

After the completion of the project, the travel time from Havelian to Thakot will be reduced from 4 to 1.5 hours.

Giving further details of the project, the sources informed that commercial contract was signed on December 22, 2015, between National Highway Authority and China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC).

The project includes 105 bridges among which 60 are large bridges, 42 medium and three small bridges. There are six tunnels, among which two on expressway and four on Class-II highway.

The groundbreaking ceremony was held on April 28, 2016. On the same day, the Pakistani Government and the Export-Import Bank of China signed the government to government loan agreement, and it came into force on June 24, 2016. The project formally commenced on September 1, 2016. The construction period is 42 months.

This project is to build a new road, not an up gradation of the existing road. As it is located in the mountainous area with complicated terrain, the construction work is extremely difficult. The milestones on tunnels, bridges, subgrades are all ahead of schedule. Two tranches of advance payment have been released in 2016.

Up to now, 2071 Pakistani staff have been employed on the project which has created many indirect jobs and played a positive role in the local economic development. The project also provides a great opportunity for cultivating and training a large number of engineering talents.

In terms of environmental protection, the executing company has hired a well-known local third-party environmental monitoring agency, and strictly complied with the local standard.
Riaz Haq said…
TCKP's Camping Pods, Tented Villages In KP's Hilly Areas Attract Influx Of Tourists During Eid Days

The camping pods and tented villages setup by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Tourism Corporation(TCKP) has attracted influx of tourists in Hazara and Malakand divisions during week long vacations of Eidul Fitr.

The tourists were provided quality accommodations facilities in the 2-4 bed camping pods and tent villages in scores of tourist attractions places and resorts, including Bishigram in Swat, Sharan in Kaghan Mansehra, Thandiani in Abbottabad, Yakh Tangai in Shangla and Sheikhbadin in Lakki Marwat at affordable prices.

These pods have already been renovated by the TCKP ahead of Eidul Fitr to facilitate foreign and domestic tourists during current summer season, Director General TCKP Junaid Khan told APP on Sunday.

He said the idea of camping pods in remote scenic spots have remained highly successful where best accommodations facilitates were provided to thousands of tourists families at minimum prices compare to private hotels.

The pods were set up in all those tourists' spots where hotels and motels were not available.

He maintained that camping pods and tented villages in tourists' spots was the continuation of a process initiated by the TCKP to facilitate tourists and promote tourism in every nook and corner of the province.

As results of present Govt goal-oriented policies, he said, millions of domestic tourists have flooded to northern KP including Swat, Dir, Shangla, Buner, Chitral, Mansehra, Khagan, Naran, Abbottabad, Thandyani, Shogran, Galyat and other hilly areas where camping pods and villages proved were proved as a great blessing for them.


The tourists were provided every facility at the camping pod including play land for kids, beds for sleeping, wash rooms, accommodations and kitchen.

The KP government had also provided other facilities including parking lots, washrooms, kids play areas and tent villages to tourists at tourists resorts.

The tourism resorts in Malakand division including Swat, Dir Upper, Dir Lower, Chitral, Shnagla and Buner have also seen flood of tourists from plain areas of Pakistan after the distance between Malakand division and Islamabad was cut short to only two and half hours following opening of 81-kilometer long Swat expressway before Eid.

The expressway have brought massive surge in tourists at scenic Kalam, Malam Jabba, Maho Dhand, Fizagut, Maidan, Bahrain in Swat, Pir Baba in Buner, Komrat in Dir, Shangla and Chitral where finding a room in hotels, restaurants and rest houses remained highly a challenging task during Eid days.

Kalam remained the main centre of attraction of tourists due to its cool weather where tourists from AJK, Punjab, KP and Gilgit Baltistan were seen droves.

While staying in pods and tented villages, they enjoyed waterfalls, lush green valleys, meadows, snow-covered peaks, water boating, horse and camel ridings.

Located on River Swat some 99 kilometers of Mingora Swat, Kalam's scenic areas Matiltan, Usho, Utror, Gabral and Mohodhand lake saw tourists of all social class where low income groups stayed at makeshift hotels, tents and rooms of houses vacated by local people earning great profits.

The weather of Kalam is very pleasant and tourists can come here to enjoy its natural waterfalls, lakes and snow covered mountains peaks in a safe atmosphere after Eid mostly on weekends, he maintained.

Malama Jabba, the country's lone skiing resort in Swat district also attracted influx of tourists with families enjoyed chair-lift ride. 'I came to Malam Jabba after visiting Kalam to enjoy Eid holidays to beat the heat" Sajid Khan, a resident of Nowshera told APP.

"I enjoyed a ride at chairlift at Malam Jabba as it was very comfortable, safe and tourists must come here to enjoy natural beauty of the area after Eid," he said.

Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan allots over 400 acres of land for #Kartarpur #Gurdwara. 80% work on #Pakistan side completed. #Indian #pilgrims to leave Kartarpur in fixed time but those from #UK, #US, elsewhere on valid visas can stay longer. #sikhs #tourism via @indiatoday

The corridor will connect Darbar Sahib in Pakistan's Kartarpur with Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Gurdaspur district and facilitate visa-free movement of Indian Sikh pilgrims, who will have to just obtain a permit to visit Kartarpur Sahib, which was established in 1522 by Sikh faith founder Guru Nanak Dev.

Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar on Tuesday announced increasing the land allotted for Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur from three acres to 42 acres and further said that any kind of construction will not be done on the land, which remained under cultivation of Guru Nanak, The News reported.

"We want to convey this message to the Sikh brethren living all over the world that there will be no cut inland for Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur and Guru Nanak, rather 42 acres land has been allocated for Gurdwara Darbar Sahib and 62 acres for cultivation," Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar said during his visit to the corridor to review the pace of work on the project.

"In this way, total land for Gurdwara Darbar Sahib will be 104 acres," Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar said.

The governor, who also heads the committee for religious tourism and heritage, said the total land for Kartarpur Corridor will be 408 acres.

Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar said 80 per cent of the work on the Kartarpur Corridor has been completed as per the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan and hope that it would be completed before 550 birth celebrations of Guru Nanak this year.

Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar also hoped that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend the inaugural ceremony of Kartarpur Corridor, the report added.

Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar said it was a "good omen" that second round of talks between Pakistan and India on the Kartarpur Corridor remained successful.

Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar further said special transport would be provided from check-point to Darbar Sahib to the Indian Sikh pilgrims visiting this holy place. He said construction of three 'langar Khanas' was underway at Darbar Sahib where Sikh pilgrims would be provided quality meal and other facilities, the report added.

The pilgrims coming from India would have to return back from Kartarpur in the given time and the ones coming from the UK, the US and other countries on valid visas would be granted permission to stay here and houses are being built for them, it added.

Pakistan is building the corridor from the Indian border to the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib while the other part from Dera Baba Nanak up to the border will be constructed by India.

Last November, India and Pakistan agreed to set up the border crossing linking Gurudwara Darbar Sahib, the final resting place of Guru Nanak Dev, to Dera Baba Nanak shrine.

Kartarpur Sahib is located in Pakistan's Narowal district across the river Ravi, about four km from the Dera Baba Nanak shrine.

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had on November 26 last year laid the foundation stone of the Kartarpur Corridor in Gurdaspur district.

Two days later, Pakistan Prime Minister Khan laid the foundation stone of the corridor in Narowal, 125-km from Lahore.
Riaz Haq said…
10 Interesting Facts About #Pakistan
The South Asian country has given the world the youngest-ever Nobel Peace Prize winner and the world’s highest ATM. 2 Nobel Laureates, First #Muslim woman PM, World's Largest #Irrigation System, World's First PC Virus

1. Two Pakistanis have won the Nobel Peace Prize: the late Abdus Salam, a theoretical physicist who in 1979 shared the Nobel Prize in physics for his contribution to electroweak unification theory, and Malala Yousafzai, a woman's education activist who in 2014 shared it with Kailash Satyarthi of India. Yousafzai was 17 when she was awarded the Nobel, making her the youngest-ever laureate.

2. The name Pakistan derives from two words, "Pak," which is Persian for holy, clean or pure, and "istan" derives from the Hindi word "isthan," which means a place.

3. Pakistan has six designated UNESCO World Heritage sites: the archeological ruins at Moenjodaro; the Buddhist ruins of Takht-i-Bahi and neighboring city remains at Sahr-i-Bahlol; the fort and Shalamar Gardens in Lahore; the monuments at Makli; Fort Rohtas; and the ancient ruins of Taxila.

4. Pakistan has the world's largest contiguous irrigation system, according to the United Nations.

5. If you play soccer – called football by most people around the world – it's likely you've put a boot into a product made in Pakistan. Workers in the country hand-sew many of the soccer balls distributed around the world, and as The Atlantic reports, roughly 40% of all soccer balls in the world are made in one Pakistani city: Sialkot.

6. The world's first PC virus was created by two Pakistani brothers. Basit Farooq Alvi and Amjad Farooq Alvi created "Brain," which was discovered in 1986 and targeted IBM PC platforms.

7. Some of the highest mountains in the world are located in Pakistan. The world's second-tallest mountain is in the country and has many names: Dapsang or Chogori locally, Mount Godwin-Austen in English and Qogir Fengin Chinese. But most people know it simply as K2, standing at 8,611 meters, or 28,251 feet.

8. The Karakoram Highway is the world's highest paved international road, according to Travel+Leisure magazine. The 800-mile highway connects Pakistan to western China, and reaches a maximum height of 15,300 feet.

9. Speaking of heights, the ATM at the world's highest elevation belongs to the National Bank of Pakistan and sits in the Khunjerab Pass, in Gilgit-Baltistan. It was established in November 2016 and is 15,397 feet above sea level.

10. The late Benazir Bhutto was the first woman to head a democratic government in a Muslim-majority country.

Riaz Haq said…
This Popular Solo Travel Vlogger Says #Pakistan Could Be World’s #1 #Tourism Destination. She says it after visiting 44 countries. She has more than 381,000 followers on Instagram, 421,000 followers on Facebook, and 324,000 on her YouTube channel @forbes

Pakistan. It’s not exactly on every solo female traveler’s bucket list. But that doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be. Especially if you ask vlogger and content creator Eva zu Beck, who thinks Pakistan could be the world’s #1 tourism destination.

And she doesn’t say this lightly. Having visited 44 countries and with more than 381,000 followers on Instagram, 421,000 followers on Facebook, and 324,000 YouTube channel subscribers as a result of the incredible travel content she creates – from videos exploring forgotten islands in Yemen to exploring Aleppo, Syria alone – she knows a thing or two about the world’s most under-the-radar destinations.

But it wasn’t just her fearlessness that caught my eye, it was her content on Pakistan that really pulled me in. Because she didn’t just visit for a week or two, she lived there for an extended period of time (10 months to be exact), taking her time to really dig into what Pakistani culture, and it’s people, are truly like, creating videos and telling stories on her experiences there that are unlike anything else I’ve seen out there.

She headed straight into “Taliban Territory” to live with a local family. She trekked to the base camp of the world’s second tallest mountain. She traveled to the world’s highest paved international border crossing. She met with female carpenters to hear their stories. She took on Karachi alone. And she’s appeared on Pakistani TV.

And while she developed her content independently of the government and tourism board, they took notice. Even inviting her to meet Prime Minister Imran Khan at a tourism conference, presenting to him her impressions of Pakistan as a travel destination from a foreign visitor's perspective (and where she originally shared her thoughts on Pakistan having the potential to be the #1 tourism destination in the world).
Riaz Haq said…
Condé Nast travel magazine ranks #Pakistan number 1 among world’s top 20 #tourism destinations.”Pakistan has more peaks taller than 22,965ft than China and Nepal combined, making it an almost magnetic spot for adventure travellers and intrepid hikers”

The adventure traveller’s must-visit goes from strength to strength
Thwarted by tales of terrorism and Taliban rule, Pakistan’s tourism industry has been stymied for the past two decades. But ancient valleys, relaxed visa restrictions and a high-profile royal visit in the offing mean this remarkable country is finally getting the focus it deserves.

Because this is a place of exquisite landscapes, where green spaces are overlooked by towering mountains. In fact, Pakistan has more peaks taller than 22,965ft than China and Nepal combined, making it an almost magnetic spot for adventure travellers and intrepid hikers. Visitors can follow in Michael Palin’s steps while traversing the 12,250ft Shandur Pass, home to the world’s highest polo field, or meet with the Kalash people of the Hindu Kush, famed for their cowrie-shell headdresses and brighter-than-bright embroidery. In Lahore, the sight of 100,000 worshippers crammed into the sandstone 17th-century Badshahi Mosque will leave you breathless, while Mughal-era architectural masterpieces stand resplendent on bustling street corners.

‘Having operated tours in Pakistan since the late 1990s, I’ve had a ringside seat to its troubled tourism industry, but finally it seems to be improving,’ says Jonny Bealby, founder and CEO of adventure-tour operator Wild Frontiers. ‘A focus on security measures, which saw the British FCO lift its advice against travel to large parts of the north, and the election of Imran Khan, who has vowed to increase international tourist numbers, has already had an impact,’ he says.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are also due to visit this Autumn to witness the magic of the mountains first-hand, while many of the frustrating permits previously required to travel here have been dropped. Hardy visitors will find that little has changed since Mughal times – with the peaks’ gemstone mines, fairy meadows and winding trails worn into the ground by heavy-laden yaks – while the Karokoram, stretching upwards from the north-west frontier and carved into the ancient bedrock, is one of the world’s most astonishing highways.
Riaz Haq said…
Top 20 best holiday destination in 2020


(CN Traveller)
Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan: Archeologists Discover Ancient World's Biggest Ivory Workshop Near #Karachi in #Sindh Province. More than 40 kilograms of ivory fragments unearthed in renewed excavation of the ancient port city of Bhanbhore’s #Islamic period 800 Years Ago.

KARACHI, Pakistan – Archaeologists revisiting the ruins of the 2,100-year-old port city of Bhanbhore in Pakistan’s Sindh province say they have found evidence of the biggest-ever ivory carving industry in the ancient world, certainly in the Islamic period.

No less than 40 kilograms (nearly 90 pounds) of ivory shards from workshops that date to about 800 years ago have been unearthed in the ruins of the ancient city – and that’s just what the workmen of antiquity were throwing out.

The excavators didn’t find finished ivory goods this time around, the archaeologists elaborate. “It’s like the waste coming out of a carpentry workshop,” archaeologist Simone Mantellini of the University of Bologna tells Haaretz.

The latest excavation of Trench 9 at the site, halfway between the Bhanbhore grand mosque – one of the earliest in the region – and its southern gate, began in 2017, about a century after the city’s scientific exploration began. The new dig is a joint project of the Sindh government’s Department of Culture and Antiquities and the Italian Foreign Ministry, through the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Milan.

The new exploration is led by the latter’s professor emeritus Valeria Piacentini with Mantellini and Agnese Fusaro, an archaeologist and ceramics specialist at the University of Barcelona.

The discovery in Trench 9 “is definitely the largest ivory workshop discovered in the world,” Mantellini says. Yet he suspects the ivory dumps found so far – detritus from a massive industry of carving elephant tusks during the Islamic period – is just the beginning: Archaeologists have only uncovered just a small part of the industrial area, he tells Haaretz.

On the mouth of the Indus River

Millennia after the event, it is hard to nail down the oldest cities and civilizations in the world. Intense settlement certainly began over 9,000 years ago, based on finds around the Mediterranean – including in Israel and Turkey – and the Indian subcontinent too. Settlements have been found in Balochistan, western Pakistan, that also date to around 9,000 years: they may have been the harbinger of the Indus Valley Civilization (also called the Harappan Civilization). That spanned today’s Afghanistan, Pakistan and northern India, and is thought to go back around at least 7,500 years.

Discovered by accident in the mid-19th century, the ancient city of Harappa is located in modern Pakistan. About 400 kilometers (250 miles) away from Bhanbhore in Sindh province are the spectacular ruins of Mohenjo Daro, dated to at least 4,500 years ago and one of the biggest known settlements of the Indus Valley Civilization. Mohenjo Daro was abandoned in the 19th century B.C.E. as that civilization declined, possibly due to climate change and drought. Interestingly, the site’s original name was Moen Jo Daro, which in the Sindhi language means “Mound of the Dead.” Later, when the qualities of the infrastructure left everyone slack-jawed, it was changed to “Mohen Jo Daro” (“Mound of Happy People”).

Bhanbhore was founded rather later, in the first century B.C.E., at the mouth of the Indus River, about 65 kilometers east of Karachi. Founded during the Scytho-Parithan period, it continued throughout the Hindu-Buddhist period and the Muslim period, until collapsing in about the 13th century. Its name was not lost, though: Popular Pakistani folklore names Bhanbhore as the hometown of Sassi, the “Juliet of Sindh,” and Punno, her Romeo, who was a trader.
Riaz Haq said…
#BritishAirways compete with #Virgin Atlantic for flights/passengers to/from #Pakistan. BA plans to add a 2nd route to Pakistan, 4 times a week from #London Heathrow to #Lahore as Virgin Atlantic starts service #Manchester-#Lahore. #tourism #economy #PTI

British Airways (BA/BAW) has announced that it plans to added a second route to Pakistan, from London Heathrow to Lahore.

The move comes just days after Virgin Atlantic announced that it was launching services to Islamabad and Lahore from London and Manchester.

The British Airways flight will operate 4 times-per-week using a Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

BA director of network and alliances, Neil Chernoff, said: ““Our new flights will give us the opportunity to open up more of Pakistan to travelers from the UK, so they can experience its delights and rich culture,”

Adding: “We also think this will be hugely popular with the British Pakistani community, giving them more convenient options to visit family and friends.”

The first flight will operate on 12th October, a month before Virgin’s operations begin.
Riaz Haq said…
#Islamabad's Faisal Mosque ranked 16th most beautiful building in the world. London's St Paul's Cathedral is No 1, Taj Mahal is 8th, the Great Pyramid of Giza is 19th, Sydney Opera House 43rd and Angkor Wat 49th. #Pakistan

For the building ranking, which was created by Roofing Megastore, 100 of the world's most famous architectural works were analysed against the golden ratio, with researchers plotting the most common points found on a building, such as the top and bottom corners, the building's centre, and equidistant points around the circumference, before comparing the distance between these markers to those laid out by the ratio

It's long been used as a barometer of beauty and numerically is a ratio of 1:1.618. So a building that aligns with it would contain shapes and structures that have a relationship with each other in this ratio.

For reasons that can't really be explained, humans find objects that unfold with this ratio of expansion inherently beautiful.

Fascinatingly this 'golden ratio' can be found in Sonic the Hedgehog's head, in flowers, waves and even galaxies.

Riaz Haq said…
Travel & Tourism
Development Index 2021
Rebuilding for a Sustainable
and Resilient Future

Pakistan is most improved, moving up 6 places from 89th to 83rd.

India's ranking dropped 8 places from 46th to 54th.

As mentioned, Japan is the top performer in both
the APAC region and globally, with Australia (7th)
and Singapore (9th) ranking in the global top 10.
However, it is lower-middle-income economies such
as Viet Nam (+4.7%, 60th to 52nd), Indonesia
(+3.4%, 44th to 32nd) and Pakistan (+2.9%, 89th
to 83rd) that have improved their TTDI scores the
most since 2019. China, which ranks 12th on the
TTDI, has the region’s largest T&T economy, while
the Philippines, which depended the most on T&T
for its GDP in 2020, ranks 75th. Although Japan
and Singapore lead the ranking in the Eastern APAC
and South-East Asia subregions, respectively, India
(54th) is the top scorer in South Asia.

Relatively stagnant TTDI results reinforce the difficult
situation the T&T sector faces. On average, TTDI
scores increased by just 0.1% between 2019 and
2021, with only 39 out of 117 economies covered
by the index improving by more than 1.0%, 51
increasing or decreasing within a 1.0% range and
27 declining by over 1.0%.
Aside from the United States (2nd), the top 10
scoring countries are high-income economies in
the Europe and Eurasia or Asia-Pacific regions.
Japan tops the ranking, with fellow regional
economies Australia and Singapore coming in7th and 9th, respectively. Meanwhile, Italy joined the top 10 (up from 12th in 2019) in 2021, while
Canada slid out (10th to 13th). The remaining top
10 TTDI performers are Spain (3rd), France (4th),
Germany (5th), Switzerland (6th) and the United
Kingdom (8th). Viet Nam experienced the greatest
improvement in score (+4.7%, 60th to 52nd) on
the overall index, while Indonesia (+3.4%, 44th
to 32nd) and Saudi Arabia (+2.3%, 43rd to 33rd)
had the greatest improvement in rank. Meanwhile,
Malaysia (-3.0%, 29th to 38th), India (-2.6%, 46th
to 54th) and Mongolia (-2.1%, 76th to 84th) had
the largest declines in ranking.
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistani peaks set to attract record number of international climbers

As many as 1,400 mountaineers from around the globe, including the first female Arab climber, are expected to scale some of the world’s highest peaks located in Gilgit-Baltistan this year.

It’s a stark contrast to the previous year, when 550 foreign climbers arri­ved for adventure tourism.

The Gilgit-Baltistan tourism department had already issued 700 permits to international climbers, and as many were expected to be issued this summer, an official told Dawn.

The climbers — coming from Europe, the United States, the United Arab Emirates, China, Russia, Poland, Japan and Norway — are eyeing to summit various peaks, including five eight-thousanders (i.e. mountains towering above 8,000 metres) and 20 seven- and six-thousanders.

Pakistan boasts five of the world’s 14 eight-thousanders, inclu­ding the world’s second-highest peak K2 (8,611 metres), followed by Nanga Parbat (ranked ninth at 8,126 metres), Gasher­brum-I (11th at 8,080 metres), Broad Peak (12th at 8,051 metres), and Gasher­brum-II (13th at 8,035m).

Moreover, 40 Pakistani mountaineers are also in the race, including Sajid Ali Sadpara, Sir­baz Khan, Abdul Joshi, She­roze Kashif, Samina Baig and Naila Kiani.

As many as 3,000 local porters have been hired by several expedition teams to carry the supplies.

Peaceful environment

Alpine Club of Pakistan Secre­tary Karrar Haidri said many international expedition team members from various countries had already arrived in Pakistan. He said this was the highest number of international mountaineers coming to Pakistan since the 9/11 attacks in the United States.

Mr Haidri said a record number of more than 400 climbers would attempt to scale K2, the second-highest — and also the most challenging — peak in the world.

He believed that the prevailing peaceful environment in Pakistan and the introduction of online visas had helped attract such a large number of international tourists this year.

GB Tourism Mini­ster Raja Nasir Ali Khan told Dawn the tourism department was ready to facilitate climbers and cope with emergencies. He said 1,200 international climbers had applied for permits, adding that this year would witness record adventure tourism activity in Pakistan.

Home Secretary Iqbal Hussain Khan told Dawn the GB government and the army had all arrangements in place to rescue climbers in case of emergency.

Adventure Pakistan CEO Muhammad Ali Nagri told Dawn several expeditions had reached base camps while more were on the way.
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE)
Hotel & restaurant industries of Pakistan seem to be in their incubation phase – with significant room for improvement, particularly if the country wishes to keep up with global trends. KB by


The tourism and hospitality industry has been rising in significance in Pakistan over the past few years, contributing 5.9% to national GDP and generating 3.8 million jobs in the year 2019. In terms of growth rates, this industry expanded by 3.5% in the same year, compared to the 2.5% expansion of the Pakistani economy as a whole.

Considering the general growth of the tourism and hospitality industry of Pakistan, the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics carried out a series of focus group discussions and collected data via questionnaires with key stakeholders in the restaurant and tourism sectors – two of the primary contributors to the hospitality and tourism industry – to ascertain salient bottlenecks in these markets and how they can be corrected.

1.Introduction and Overview

The tourism and hospitality industry constitutes a significant portion of global trade and investment. In 2019, it made up 10.4% of global GDP and supported 334 million jobs – amounting to approximately 1/10 of the international workforce.

During the 2014-2019 period, the industry was responsible for a whopping ¼ of all new jobs created – indicating a thriving demand for the service around the world. In terms of tourist expenditures, the majority – i.e. 71.7% – go to domestic services, signifying a general preference for local options.

In the Asia-Pacific region, of which Pakistan is a part, the GDP arising from tourism and hospitality stood at USD 3.061 trillion in the year 2019 – and generated approximately 185.1 million jobs. It was the highest performing region in terms of annual growth of the industry worldwide.

In the subsequent year, the tourism and hospitality industry took a significant hit around the world – leading to the loss of 62 million jobs, an aggregate decline of 18.5%. The brunt of the impact was absorbed by the SME sector, which constituted 80% of enterprises in the industry.
Riaz Haq said…
Boost to tourism: First international flight lands at Skardu airport
In a touching gesture, the captain of the flight opened a window and proudly hoisted the national flag

SKARDU: A historic moment unfolded at Skardu International Airport as flight PK 234 touched down, marking it the first-ever international flight to land on Skardu soil.

The arrival was celebrated with a heartwarming water cannon salute, painting the skies with a majestic display of water arcs.

In a touching gesture, the captain of the flight opened a window and proudly hoisted the national flag, symbolising the unity and pride of the nation. Traditional hats and thoughtful gifts were joyously distributed among the passengers aboard the inaugural flight, setting the tone for a remarkable journey.

While the initial tourist count was modest, with only 80 passengers on this milestone flight, officials from the national airline revealed that these travelers had embarked on a journey from Dubai to Skardu, making a connecting stop at Skardu. This strategic connection is expected to pave the way for an influx of tourists, injecting new life into the local tourism industry.

The residents of Skardu are excited at this as a momentous step towards boosting the region’s tourism. With Skardu being renowned for its breathtaking landscapes and rich cultural heritage, the commencement of international flights is anticipated to open doors to a world of opportunities.

The successful landing of the first international flight on the auspicious occasion of Independence Day has added an extra layer of jubilation to the festivities.

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