ISLAMABAD - PTDC Managing Director, Ch Abdul Ghafoor Khan met Head of Pakistan Desk on Economic Affairs, Department of State Washington DC, James Plaseman at American Embassy Friday.

Economic Officer of US Embassy in Pakistan, Pete Giorgiani and Economic Advisor for US Embassy Mubashar Gondal were also present in the meeting. Managing Director PTDC briefed them on tourism sector in Pakistan. Ch. Ghafoor told that Pakistan and US have successfully completed seventy years of diplomatic relations and USAID is providing Pakistan with support in health, education and infrastructure development in rural areas of the country.

There are countless opportunities available for tourism in Pakistan but negative image from international media resulted in low foreign tourist flow to Pakistan, whereas the actual situation is contrary. Pakistan is completely peaceful and safe for foreign tourists. Ch Ghafoor told that in his recent visit to Qatar, he met Secretary General UNWTO Talib Rifai and requested to hold UNWTO Conferences in Pakistan as well as help Pakistan in removing negative travel advisories. UNWTO’s response was positive. Pakistan is about to launch an exclusive travel channel on Pakistan Tourism where documentaries on tourism attractions and culture of Pakistan will be aired 24/7.

Ch. Ghafoor said that positive policies of the present government are resulting in creation of new jobs, increased exports as well as opportunities for investment in tourism and other sectors of the economy. Tourist spots and historical places are spread all over the country from Khyber to Karachi and Khunjerab to Gwader. Pakistan signed a few agreements with different countries to cooperate in the field of tourism . Pakistan is about to appoint tourism coordinators all over the world who will work as a representatives of Pakistan tourism industry abroad to increase tourist flow to the country by taking tour operators and travel agents in the loop. PTDC has also taken up the matter with government to introduce visas on arrival facility to group tourists.

Ch Ghafoor added that support of US Embassy is required to promote tourism and create awareness in US about peace in Pakistan. A large number of American tourists spend their holidays abroad every year. Support of US Embassy can bring a large number of US citizens to Pakistan for tourism purpose. Ghafoor also stated that Pakistan requests support of US government in launching aviation services for tourism to introduce air and heli safaris for tourists.

Head of Pakistan Desk on Economic Affairs, Department of State Washington DC, James Plaseman appreciated the efforts and initiatives of Ch Abdul Ghafoor as Managing Director Pakistan tourism for promotion and development of tourism in the country. Ch. Ghafoor also said that PTDC may come-up with new tourism development projects and initiative which will be considered for implementation in upcoming meetings. Ch. Ghafoor invited them to visit Northern Areas of Pakistan.