PESHAWAR - The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa gov­ernment has decided to relax the lockdown in tourist locations and start activities under the concept of “controlled tourism”.

Speaking to The Nation here yesterday, Tourism Corporation KP Managing Junaid Khan said that camping huts have been set up at tourist locations and hill stations and other arrangements are also being made for the tour­ist season and soon tourist activ­ities may start with certain SOPs.

“Tourism industry is a major source of revenue generation for KP, especially for people who lives close to tourist spots. This is why we are making arrangements but this time we are introducing the concept of ‘controlled tourism’ to prevent the coronavirus spread,” he added.

He also said that the main aim of the controlled tourism is to pre­vent corona-affected people from spreading the contagion in the co­rona-free tourist locations.

He said the next meeting at fed­eral level would decide about the resumption of tourism activities.

Explaining the controlled tour­ism, the official said that only fam­ilies would be allowed to visit tourist locations and that too with anti-coronavirus SOPs.

He said the SOPs include how to maintain room services, entry and exit at hotels, sanitation facilities, walkthrough gates, hotels staff screening, measures for trans­portation, disinfection of vehicles at tourist spots and under which SOPs

 tourists would be allowed to go outdoors.

“After the prime minister’s de­cision to resume tourism activi­ties under SOPs, the KP govern­ment got SOPs approved from the cabinet. All the affairs are in fact decided by the National Tourism Coordination Board at federal lev­el, which comprises secretaries of tourism from various provinces and tourism corporation official and other stake-holders.

This is why, we in KP just did our homework on chief minister’s di­rectives regarding SOPs so that the hospitality industry stakeholders are already trained before resum­ing work in tourist locations,” Ju­naid Khan added.

Gohar Khan, the caretaker of a Local Government Department rest house in Nathiagali, told this correspondent by phone that there have been very few tour­ists in the Galyat region due to the coronavirus lockdown in recent weeks.

“At the moment, there is no tour­ist at our rest house. However, a small number of people sometimes visit and stay at the rest houses in Galyat after getting permission from the government authorities,” he added. It may be mentioned here that KP has tourist locations in abundance but there are still many places where roads and oth­er facilities are required.