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    KPK Tourism Authority– Ideas………….Prof. Rahmat Karim Baig,

     

     

    THE KPK govt. of  PTI has decided , according to news paper reports, to establish an Authority to promote Tourism in the province. It is a good initiative and has to be appreciated  but much work is required in this field to attract tourists towards destinations in the province which are situated in distant districts  and access to those destinations is not easy but an adventure. This Authority has to  do a good deal of home work before formulating rules  and taking measures. There are many kinds of tourism such as:

    1. Adventure tourism ( Mountaineering, trekking, jeep Safaris, snow boarding, exploring etc.)
    2. Cultural tourism ( Visits to sites of cultural heritage, Buddhist or Kalash  culture fans etc.)
    3. Research tourism ( Research scholars that come mostly from abroad as well as Pakistanis )
    4. Religious tourism ( the Sikhs and Hindus from India and elsewhere etc. or Muslim pilgrimages)
    5. Eco tourism ( that a tourists should not disturb  ecology and leave only his foot print )
    6. Drug tourism ( Many people travel for drugs and prowl for dens through their own network)
    7. Sex tourism ( as in certain cities outside Pakistan but not for our homeland)

    In fact there are two components of Tourism  that need be catered  for;

    1. Domestic tourism is to be given first priority but our domestic tourists demand good roads to drive their own cars with their families and in this case our domestic tourists is not aware  of the SENSE of tourism. He or she does not care for travel etiquettes  such as they spread trash instead of cleanliness vs. foreign tourists who carry all trash in shopping bags and keep in their pockets till they reach trash bins and drop it into the bins- this SENSE is not yet developed in our domestic tourists  ..and  related matters like these  have to be publicized in all types of media to train potential tourists, at school, college, University, Madaaris levels. This is important and domestic tourists always expect high level facilities which are missing in our tour destinations hence they are disappointed and give bad report of a tour so this discourages potential clients.
    2. For foreign tourists facilities count little. They are already trained and adjust easily but our present Tourism Policy is not Foreigner FRIENDLY as Visa policy is very intricate/ NOCs are discouragingly improper so this sector has to be tackled carefully after consultation with authorities.

    As far as Mountaineering is concerned  foreign climbers should be given ONE WINDOW OPERATION as they have limited time and gigantic task to climb a high peak and they stay far far away from human settlements  so their needs are greater hence deserve more friendly behavior from all stake holders. Other adventure tourists like hikers local or foreign  be encouraged to abide by rules and the rules need be friendly. Restricted ZONE  rule must be abolished right away.

    In order to erect a smooth structure for this Industry all stake holders- Govt. functionaries,  transporters, Hoteliers, guides, tour operators, rest/guest house owners, travel  guide book writers, home stay  stake holders  etc. should be invited to give out put in the light of their experiences to make this bid a success.

     

    Prof. Rahmat Karim Baig, Chitral

    [email protected]

     

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