Peshawar          -        Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan has said that four different spots in District Mansehra have been selected to be developed into full fledge tourist destinations whereas 10 more spots would be added.

He said this during his visit to the scenic tourist spot of Shogran in district Manchester on Friday where he inaugurated three different projects of access roads to local tourist destinations.

On this occasion, the Chief Minister announced to build rest areas for tourists in Shogran Valley.

Addressing the inaugural ceremony, Mahmood Khan said that SOPs had been prepared to open tourism sector in the province, and a decision to this effect would be made soon after the upcoming Eid in consultation with the federal and provincial governments.

He termed the promotion of tourism sector in the province as one of the top priorities and said that as per the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan, the provincial government was making concerted efforts to boost tourism sector on modern lines in order to provide maximum employment opportunities to the people and strengthen economy of the province.

He remarked that besides identification of new tourist spots in the province, access roads are being constructed in order to facilitate access of local and foreign tourists to these newly identified tourist spots.

“An amount of Rs. 2400 million has been allocated in the new Annual Development Program for the construction of access roads to various tourist points in Hazara Division whereas work is in progress on a total of 370 km long roads infrastructure in various tourists spots of the province within estimated cost of Rs.20 billion under the KITE project,” he said.

The Chief Minister maintained that due to the corona situation, economy of the province has been badly affected and the provincial government is facing a budget deficit of Rs.53 billion but despite such financial crisis the provincial government has not made any compromise on developmental portfolio.

He said that like other sectors, tourism sector had also been affected due to the prevailing corona situation and the provincial government is fully cognizant of the difficulties faced by the people attached with tourism industry due to lockdown measures.

Touching upon the mega developmental schemes of his government, Mahmood Khan remarked that BRT, Malam Jabba Sky Resort, Billion Tree and Swat Motorway projects were the flagship projects of the provincial government.

He also announced construction of building for Tehsil Headquarters Hospital Balakot, establishment of two girls degree colleges in Balakot and construction of concrete bridges on river Kunhar.