PESHAWAR/ ABBOTTABAD - The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Government has formally opened tourism sector including archaeological and cultural tourism under standard operating procedures (SOPs) across the province.

According to a notification of Sports, Tourism, Archaelogy and Youth Affairs Department, the decision of opening of tourism and sports sectors has been taken in pursuance of the decision of National Coordination Council (NCC) chaired by Prime Minister on August 6, 2020.

According to the notification, tourism sector including archaeological and culture tourism has been opened from August 7, 2020 in the province.

Similarly, sports sector except contact sports such as rugby, wrestling, kabadi, boxing, would be opened from August 10.

Sports competitions would be held without spectators and both these sectors are open under SOPs.

Tourists throng Hazara

Thousands of tourists from across the country thronged to Galyat, Thandyani, Kaghan, Naran and Shugran as the government opened the tourism sector after controlling the COVID-19 in the country. 

Hotels and restaurant owners have also thanked the government for listening to their grievances regarding their losses owing to the closure of the tourism industry during the pandemic of coronavirus.  

The tourism industry besides other sectors were closed to contain COVID-19 pandemic surged in the country in March 2020.

After the announcement of the reopening tourism sector, thousands of tourists from across the country have rushed in the upper parts of the Hazara division including Galyat, Thandyani, Kaghan, Naran and Shugran. 

The tourists are also enjoying the travel on the most beautiful motorway of Pakistan Hazara motorway which also reduced the travel time and provided an alternative route with the best facilities.

Amjad Ali, a tourist from Lahore told the media that they were stuck in the house after the outbreak of the coronavirus from the last five months but after lifting of ban on tourism by the government he along with his family has started the journey to Hazara division. 

He said they would visit Galyat, Kaghan, Naran, Shugran and Babusar Top which were the most beautiful tourist attractions in Hazara with beautiful rivers and lakes.  

The Hotels Association Hazara Division President thanked Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and federal governments for granting permission to tourism, saying, it would help them to recover their huge losses and provide a chance to the tourists to enjoy the serene beauty of the Hazara and Northern areas of Pakistan.