By Sheikh Fakhar-e-Alam
Since independence, Pakistan has been promoting peace and stability in the region and in any international conflict.
Pakistan has sacrificed more than 100,000 lives in the war on terror to bring stability to the region.
During the past two decades, Pakistan remained the victim of terrorism, but due to the resilience of the nation and professionalism of its armed forces, the country has eradicated the menace of terrorism.
The intensity of blasts and terrorism incidents has been reduced.
Pakistan has lost billions of dollars in the war on terror. However, in the recent past, the country’s economy is emerging, it’s law and order situation becoming better.
It is opening up new venues for tourists, and special incentives are given to foreign investments in various sectors, ease of visa processing, government initiatives to open health and education opportunities for foreigners are also in process.
Pakistan is full of magnificent sites which will make you fall in love with the country.
It is rich in lavish greenery, forests, the world’s tallest mountains, man made sculptures, wonderful lakes, backdrops of Indus Valley civilization, Sikh heritage, Mughal architecture, beautiful folk music, outstanding culture and a resilient nation.
According to Global Peace Index 2020, Pakistan is improving on the peace front.
The tales of Pakistani hospitality are also renowned in the entire globe. Online visa services are launched by the Pakistan government for visitors from 175 countries and visa upon arrival for 50 countries, making a visit to Pakistan easier.
Pakistan has played host to a flood of international travel vloggers who have showcased to the world the magnificence of the country, particularly the northern regions like Swat, Naran, Fairy Meadows, Chitral, Hunza and Skardu.
According to a British Backpacker Society report, Pakistan was declared the world’s third potential adventure destination for 2020.
Mountains and desert safaris, wild boar hunting, mountaineering, trekking, white water rafting, trout fishing, camel and yak safaris and bird watching are among the activities that have attracted adventure and nature fans to Pakistan.
Tourists will find whatever landscape their hearts desire here. Wherever you go in Pakistan, you will be struck by what one viewer called the country’s majestic geography.
Pakistan is known for its range of natural landscapes and varied cultures.
The best thing about the country is its diversity. Every part of the country has some thing unique to offer.
Condé Nast Traveler, one of the world’s best travel portals, has listed Pakistan as one of the top tourist destinations for 2020.
London-based travel company Wild Frontiers has also listed Pakistan as one of its top travel destinations for 2020.
Lakes and mountains deserve their share of attention, whether you are hiking K2 in the spectacular Karakoram Range or enjoying the scenery from the beautiful Saif ul Maluk Lake traversing the northern region.
A country of amazing contrasts, lively colors, lush vegetation, stunning buildings and delicate mosques. The beauty of Pakistan is further enhanced by the snowy peaks, blue skies filled with birds of prey and clear streams.
If someone travels in Northern KP, every turn he takes brings picture postcard scenery.
Karakoram, High Himalayas and Hindu Kush ranges with their alpine meadows and permanent snow lines, coniferous forests down the sub-mountain scrubs, the vast Indus plain merging into the great desert, the coast lines and wetlands, all offering a remarkably rich variety of vegetation and associated wildlife, including avifauna, both endemic and migratory.
The government needs to introduce infrastructure development to attract tourists.
Firstly, each place has its own peculiarities and these can become attractions. So, the government should promote that uniqueness. Special incentives should be given to local and international food chains.
Secondly, to attract tourists, festivals like Shandure polo festival, national horse and cattle show, Chilimjusht, Sibi festival and Basant should be made more attractive through new innovations, and many more should also be planned.
Special artworks and sculptures to promote tourism should be prepared by local experts specifically for different visitor target groups on tourism sites.
Tourists who visit our sites are full of expectations, which should be met accordingly.
Thirdly, employ the latest technologies to promote tourism such as web, social media and words of mouth. Social media and online travel platforms are the main ways of attracting and engaging millions of potential tourists.
Fourthly, attract social media influencers here to promote Pakistan’s tourism. These influencers can be celebrities, vloggers, bloggers or anyone with lots of followers on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and blogs.
Lastly, the government should seek partnerships with organizations with similar interests in order to build trust and gain new resources.
Such partnerships can include hotels, motels, international food chains, restaurants, tour operators, travel agents, entertainment venues or even local authorities in Pakistan.
International tourists should feel free and relaxed while planning to visit Pakistan.
On top of that, foreign investors will also be assured of safety, security and protection for their assets and investments in the tourism industry.
The government and people of Pakistan respect the tourists. Those who have already visited the country will dream of coming back again.
Let’s strive to make Pakistan a new tourist heaven!
(Sheikh Fakhar-e-Alam is Islamabad-based Veteran Journalist and Ph.D. Media Studies Fellow, Academic Researcher and Media Analyst.)