LAHORE-Government should immediately reopen the recreational parks as around four-month closure has not only put the investment of billions of rupees at stake but is also a reason of mental stress amongst the masses. These views were expressed by the representatives from travel and tourism sector while addressing a press conference at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry. LCCI Vice President Mian Zahid Jawaid Ahmad, LCCI former President Sohail Lashari, Convener LCCI Standing Committee on Tourism & Travel, EC member Mian Shaheryar Ali Malik and Dr. Sheheryar Jovindah, spoke on the occasion.

They said that implementation of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and safety measures would be ensured. They said that recreational parks are an important part of tourism industry of Pakistan. Government decided to close down all recreational parks about four months ago to control spread of coronavirus. Since the lockdown started, investor related to recreational parks are suffering, spending a lot but earning nothing. They said that government has taken good decision to open businesses throughout the country. Recreational parks should also be allowed to open as business community has invested billions of rupees and playing a proactive role in promotion the tourism industry.

They said that recreational parks are one of local community attractions for physical activities and relieve stress after hard work. They said that recreational parks contribute not only to physical activities but also the social wellbeing of their community, enhance property value and contribute to health. Apart from that, parks are significant to the image of the city. They said that COVID-19 has caused a huge loss to the tourism industry. Opening of recreational parks would be the first towards rehabilitation of this billions of dollars worth sector.

While talking about potential in tourism sector of Pakistan, they said that attention and public-private partnership is needed as country has all components for becoming a heaven for the foreigners, as well as local tourists. They added that most of destinations in Pakistan are still a hidden and untapped treasure.

They said that tourism industry can inject billions of dollars to the national economy besides generating millions of employment opportunities and huge revenue to the exchequer. Country is endowed with all ingredients to attract foreign tourists but dire need is to market itself as a tourism hub at the international level.

They said that nothing else can be better than recreational activities to reduce mental stress. Stress-free environment is likely to double productivity besides having long-term positive impact on overall relationship between the employee and the employer.