Lahore - Pakistan needs to market itself as tourism destination as it is endowed with beautiful landscapes, sceneries, historical heritage and other attractive places for international tourists.

These views were expressed by the Chief Executive Officer of Pacific Asia Travel Association Mario Hardy while speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry on Friday. The LCCI Vice President Nasir Saeed, Managing Director Tourism Development Corporation of Punjab (TDCP) Ahmer Malik and Chairman Pacific Asia Travel Association Lt. Col. ® Akbar A. Shareef also spoke on the occasion.

Mario Hardy said that image of Pakistan is not as bad as being portrayed at global level. He said that Pakistan should highlight its soft image through its missions abroad and media.

He informed the participants that Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) was founded in 1951 and it is a not-for profit association that is internationally acclaimed for acting as a catalyst for the responsible development of travel and tourism to, from and within the Asia Pacific region. He said that the Association provides aligned advocacy, insightful research and innovative events to its member organisations, comprising 97 governments, state and city tourism bodies, 27 international airlines, airports and cruise lines, 63 educational institutions, and hundreds of travel industry companies in Asia Pacific and beyond. 

Managing Director of Tourism Development Corporation of Punjab (TDCP) Ahmer Malik said that Pakistan is making gradual progress in tourism sector and various measures have been taken in a short span of time. He said that Pakistani mission abroad are doing well to attract foreign visitors to Pakistan.

He said that visits of a number of high powered delegations to Pakistan and international conferences in Lahore are an ample proof of the fact that thoughts of international community towards Pakistan are taking a positive change. He informed that participants that a regional tourism conference will be held in Lahore very soon that would also help highlight the tourism potential of Pakistan.