ISLAMABAD    -     President of Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI), Engineer Daroo Khan Achakzai Saturday said Pakistan could cope with ongoing economic crisis by focusing on tourism, which has a huge potential and is one of fastest growing sectors in the world.

He expressed these views while congratulating Dr Kaiser Rafique, CEO Discover Pakistan, for launching first ever tourism channel in Pakistan during a meeting in which United Business Group (UBG) Chairman Iftikhar Ali Malik was also present, said a news release.

“The tourism industry of Pakistan has the potential to turn the country into a hub of economic activity as the total contribution of the industry in the global economy is more than $7.58 trillion,” he added.

He said travel and tourism industry contributed just 2.7 per cent in Gross Domestic Production of Pakistan. Daroo Khan said that the chamber had already forwarded its proposals for the promotion of tourism sector to the Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan who is also ambitious to transform Pakistan into tourism country. Iftikhar Ali Malik on this occasion said Pakistan needs to market itself as a tourism destination as it is endowed with beautiful landscapes and other attractions.

He said Pakistan should learn from a great deal of initiatives taken by Muslim countries like Malaysia, UAE, Dubai and other countries.

He further said that there was a need of formulation of marketing and branding strategy for tourism sector for improving tourism industry, which can help in highlighting the soft image and other facilities of tourism.

Iftikhar Malik also appreciated Prime Minister Imran Khan’s efforts in terms of providing E-Visa facility to 175 countries and on arrival visa to 50 countries but there is a much need to improve the travel and tourism infrastructure which was also pointed out by the World Economic Forum in September 2019.

Dr Kaiser Rafique, CEO, Discover Pakistan expressed his gratitude for encouraging him in tourism field. He said there was need to create awareness among the business community and investors about the huge potential of tourism sector.

“Tourism is the main source of foreign exchange in several countries like Switzerland, Sri Lanka. We must develop this sector to attract local and foreign tourists, he added.