Peshawar   - Sports, Tourism, Archaeology, Museums, Culture and Youth Affairs Department under the KP Integrated Tourism Project (KITE) have awarded contracts of nine archaeological sites for conservation, preservation and development in the province. 

These sites include Bhamala World Heritage Site in Khanpur, Shapola Stupa and Jamrud Fort in Khyber district, three historical mosques namely Pishmal Mosque, Main Kalam Mosque and Udegram Mosque in Swat, Hund Museum in Swabi, Chakdara Museum in Lower Dir and Mardan Museum in Mardan. 

A number of initiatives are being taken under the KITE project to promote and develop culture and religious tourism by exploring and developing the archaeological treasures. 

The initiatives are also aimed at preserving the archaeological sites and making these spots hubs of activities for cultural and religious tourism. The sites included in the scheme are highly important, globally known with one of them is already enlisted on prestigious world heritage list of UNESCO.

The activities under these contracts will include conservation work - structural remains shall be preserved, expansion and face lifting of existing buildings, display of objects, illumination, provision of tourists/visitors’ facilities i.e. information centre, tuck and souvenir shops, cafeteria, paths, toilets, audio/video solutions, parking, benches, dustbins.

The KP government is undertaking several initiatives to employ the tourism sector as a key driver of economic growth and job creation in the province. 

To create an enabling environment for the private sector to participate and develop the tourism value chain, the KP government has entered into a partnership with the World Bank through an International Development Association (IDA) loan for the KITE project. 

The KITE is a $70 million IDA (World Bank) project which aims to create tourism-enabling infrastructure, enhance tourism assets and strengthen destination management for sustainable tourism development in the province.