Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday said there was a lot of tourism potential in Pakistan and promotion of that sector would not only strengthen the economy but also create business and job opportunities to numerous local people.

The prime minister stated this while chairing a meeting about the promotion of environment-friendly tourism in the country. The meeting deliberated upon the promotion of tourism in Khyber Pakhunkhwa, Punjab, coastal areas of the country, and protection and renovation of historic buildings in Northern Areas.

The meeting was attended by Advisor to the PM on Environment Malik Amin Aslam, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan, Special Assistant to the PM on Overseas Pakistanis Syed Zulfikar Abbas Bukhari, Special Assistant to the PM on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, KP chief secretary, senior officials and experts from the construction sector.

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The prime minister told the meeting to lay down a policy about the promotion of tourism, keeping in view the environmental, natural beauty and local values and traditions. He directed to formulate an advance policy and necessary measures regarding provision of facilities to the tourists on their arrival in the Northern Areas in coming months.

Imran Khan also directed to complete process of preparing a master vision plan in next six weeks regarding the promotion of tourism at four coastal areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and one each in Punjab and Balochistan provinces. The master vision plan would prove to be helpful about foreign investment in the tourism sector and the construction of infrastructure in the country.

The prime minister directed the KP chief secretary to complete the process of revival of the government rest houses in the province and its handing over to the private sector for the promotion of tourism in the province.

The officials informed the prime minister that work of zoning about tourism in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had been completed, adding that three zones had been completed at Ghizar, Astore and Shigar in Gilgit Baltistan for promotion of tourism.

The prime minister was told that help was being sought from Agha Khan Foundation about protection and renovation of old buildings for the promotion of tourism in Northern Areas.