Pakistan and Turkey have agreed to establish a Centre of Excellence in Tourism & Hospitality Management in Islamabad.

The project was given final shape during a meeting between Federal Minister for Education, Professional Training & National Heritage Shafqat Mahmood and Deputy Minister for Culture & Tourism of Turkey Dr. Serdar Çam here.

During their meeting, both sides also explored further opportunities for collaboration in education,

technical training, culture and tourism sector.

Shafqat Mahmood briefed the Turkish dignitary about potential of tourism sector of Pakistan. He

said that domestic tourism in Pakistan reached its peak during current year but stressed on the need for more efforts to attract more foreign tourists.

He also conveyed his gratitude to the people and leadership of Turkey for standing by Pakistan on issues of its core national interest, particularly Kashmir issue. He also assured Pakistan’s support on issues that concerns Turkey. Both sides expressed the hope that the upcoming Pakistan visit of Turkish President Erdogan will provide further momentum to bilateral ties.

Shafqat said that Pakistan is establishing National Skills University in Islamabad and the proposed Centre of Excellence in Hospitality & Tourism Management will part of it as its campus. He remarked

that Pakistan Government is revising national education curriculum in order to make it relevant to market needs.

Earlier, Pakistan delegation visited Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) headquarters and were briefed by its Vice President Prof. Dr. Birol Çetin about the organization’s global as well as Pakistan operations. He informed that since 2010 when TIKA office was established in Pakistan, TIKA has undertaken about 148 projects in Pakistan in various sectors focussing on education, health, skills development, employment generation and women empowerment.

Turkish side showed keen desire to do more projects in the area of technical education and vocational training.