With the approval of creating three hundred posts of tourist police, the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) has taken one more step in the formalisation of the tourism bureaucracy and industry. Introducing the tourism police will indeed lead to overall growth in the jobs. More importantly, the measure will significantly enhance the sense of security and safety amongst the visitors who go to hill stations of KP to spend some moments of leisure.

More than any other economic activity, the success or failure of a tourist destination depends on the ability to provide a safe and secure environment for its visitors. This perception of safety and security is vital to the success of a tourist destination. If an individual perceives an absence of security, then the government cannot promote the sector under discussion. The introduction of tourism police will ensure the key to favourable and satisfying development of tourism — with three underlying principles of peace, safety and security.

The travel industry has been placed in the position of allocating its scarce resources to convince tourists that it is safe to travel. The security issue has necessitated the tourism/visitor industry’s viewing of law enforcement agencies as a vital component within the industry. As for this new force, it is, however, essential to ensure that this is the soft face of law enforcement.

It is expected from the newly established special wing of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Tourism Authority that it will maintain a balance between tourist and local welfare. Moreover, it must try to diffuse any tension between the residents of the area and visitors in an amicable manner. Friendly and helpful peacekeepers charged with keeping the environment clean and listening to tourists’ concerns is what is needed. Lastly, the authorities must train the new force on how public dealing is done if they want to promote tourism in the province.