RAWALPINDI -  Managing Director (MD) Pakistan Tourism Chaudhry Abdul Ghafoor Khan called on Punjab Minister for Labour and Human Resources Raja Ashfaq Sarwar on Thursday to inform him of the developments in the tourism sector made by the present government. In the meeting, UK-based Pakistani investor Javed Mujahid, was also present.

The MD stated that after assuming office, he categorised tourism into different sectors and found religious tourism to be on top. There are numerous sacred religious places in the country which if advertised properly and provided with high quality facilities will attract a larger number of tourists. This will increase foreign exchange earnings of the country and contribute to the national economy. MD stressed that there is peace in the country and the Pakistani people are ready to welcome tourists.

He added that there are several projects in pipeline for the development of tourism in the country, including Bus Terminal in the Nankana Sahib, the establishment of motels in the Hawks Bay Karachi, Moenjodaro, Baran Kalay (KP) and tourist facilitation centres in Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Muzaffarabad, Gilgit, Quetta and Peshawar.

Apart from this, PTDC owns lands in several areas across the country, which can be set up for tourist facilities through joint ventures. These lands are meant for construction of Aiwan-e-Sayyahat/ PTDC Headquarters in Islamabad, Naltar valley ski resort, 172 acres at coast of Gudani in Balochistan, Sukkur, Banjosa Lake (Azad Kashmir) Muzaffarabad (Azad Kashmir), In addition, a modern Wildlife Park and resort will be set up with modern facilities near the Kular village on the motorway.

The provincial minister Raja Ashfaq Sarwar said that tourism sites in Pakistan have a beauty and individualism just like those of other countries. He highlighted that promotion of these sites through media and other means can bring fruitful results. He assured that the recommendations of PTDC will not only be presented at provincial but federal level so that all possible support can be provided.

Pakistani investor Javed Mujeed said he is running big chains of hotels and resorts in the UK and now wants to invest in the tourism of his country. There are many opportunities for tourism in Pakistan, but this sector needs investment so that we will be able to provide world-class facilities to tourists. A beautiful resort is being set up at Rawalpindi, which will be constructed on pattern of the Ottoman Mughal style. He said that many tourists and doctors from UK come to Pakistan every year, and face issues obtaining visas. PTDC should try to eliminate the visa-related difficulties faced by tourists.

Chaudhry Abdul Ghafoor said that they are committed to end visa-related issues and will resolve the problem soon. He also appointed Javed Majeed as Honorary Coordinator of Pakistan Tourism in London.