Rawalpindi-Pakistan and Nepal share tourist attractions including mountains, culture, and cuisine. Now it is time to project a good image of the region including Pakistan and Nepal as peaceful countries, he said.

Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) Managing Director (MD) Chaudhry Abdul Ghafoor expressed these views during a meeting with the Nepalese Ambassador Sewa Lamsal Adhikari here on Wednesday. Pakistan is a land of opportunities, he said.

He said Buddhist remains in Pakistan are sacred for Nepali nationals but due to lack of knowledge and publicity, tourist flow from Nepal to Pakistan is very low.

“We are making efforts to ease the visa formalities as well as an introduction of visa on arrivals facilities to group tourists through designated tour operators including Nepal,” Ghafoor added. The Government of Pakistan is ready to provide maximum security and cooperation in this regard, he said.

The MD said that they are working on promotion of tourism, sports, and entertainment. Nepal and Pakistan will promote health tourism especially, he said.

Islamabad City Tour Bus Service would be launched soon with an inaugural ceremony at Pak-China Centre Islamabad, he said. New motels would be added to the existing chain of accommodation facilities of PTDC, the official said. Both the countries should exchange lists of tour operators dealing in mountaineering and trekking to jointly promote this common attraction, Ghafoor said. He invited the ambassador to visit PTDC Head Office and the Farm House in addition to Northern Areas.

The Nepalese ambassador said there are no two views that Pakistan is a beautiful country and she had already visited Swat valley and soon she would be visiting Gilgit-Baltistan. She said we wish to work together and portray a soft tourist friendly peaceful image of the region by using the SAARC forum.

She hoped that both governments would cooperate in this regard. Adhikari told that a delegation from Nepal is expected to visit Pakistan from July 5. Pakistani tourism stakeholders would be invited to a meeting with the delegation, he said.

PTDC MD assured all possible assistance for the delegation and also said that the ambassador’s visit to Gilgit-Baltistan would be arranged by PTDC.