LONDON - Internationally renowned Pakistani mountaineer Nazir Sabir has called for exploiting the full potentials of tourism sector including adventure tourism in Pakistan by providing the visitors  “on arrival visa” at the airports, in order to attract good number of tourists for the benefit of the country.

“By facilitating the foreign tourists, Pakistan can fetch much needed precious foreign exchange, as the country offers tremendous opportunities and potentials in the field of tourism, specially in the trekking and adventure tourism sector”, he told APP here on Sunday.

Nazir Sabir belongs to Hunza Gilgit Baltistan and was the first Pakistani Mountaineer who had surmounted the world highest peak, the Mount Everest in May 17, 2000.

He had also climbed the K-2 in 1981, the second highest peak in the world besides climbing four 8000 meters peaks in Pakistan. Nazir Sabir was currently visiting United Kingdom (UK) for attending an international Tourism and investment conference.

He said that tourism was the second largest industry in the world but regretted that Pakistan being the home of five out of 14 8000 meter peaks and one of the best attractive and beautiful tourists destinations, the country was only able to get 5 per cent of the worlds tourism share.

He said that Pakistan could increase its share in world’s tourism by facilitating the foreign visitors and providing “On arrival visa to the tourists including the adventure tourists”.

Nazir Sabir recalled that this facility was available to the foreign tourists coming from 64 countries few years back which attracted a good number of tourists from different countries of the world including the UK. This visa facility , he said was also extendable.

He said that the”mountain wealth” of Pakistan was simply incomparable at this globe, while 100 meters long glaciers outside the polar world were situated in Northern Pakistan. He added that three mountain ranges, Karakorum, Himalaya and Hindukush were also situated in Pakistan thus making the country “a paradise for the world mountaineers”.

Nazir Sabir who was also a former Provincial Minister for Education criticised the devolution of tourism to the provinces under the 18th Constitutional Amendment without building the capacity of the provinces, specially of Gilgit-Baltistan.

He was of the view that this had badly affected the tourism sector in Gilgit Baltistan.He appealed to the govt for the revival of the previous Federal Ministry of Tourism in its original form and status in the country. To a question, he said that tourists including from UK were very keen to visit and explore Pakistan as one of the best tourist destinations. Nazir Sabir welcomed the policies and initiatives announced by the Prime Minister Imran Khan for the promotion of tourism in the country. He hoped that these initiatives of the government would help boost tourism in Pakistan.