ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Imran Khan has constituted a National Coordination Committee on Tourism (NCCT) on Wednesday in order to tap the potential of tourism assets in the country. According to a notification, the committee will seek to raise the competitiveness of the tourism industry and “maximize utilization of Pakistan’s natural, cultural, historical, archaeological, religious and geographical tourist assets for employment creation, poverty reduction, sustained economic growth, social inclusion and quality of life improvement”.

Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development, Sayed Zulfikar Abbas Bukhari, will be convener of the committee.

He will head the committee whose members comprise chief secretaries of the ministries of industry and production, religious affairs, aviation, interior, communication, defence and climate change.

The deputy governor of the State Bank of Pakistan, managing director of the Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation, chairman Evacuee Trust Property Board and all chief secretaries or additional chief secretaries are members of the committee.

The notification stated that the Cabinet Division will be responsible for providing secretarial support to the committee.

The committee has been constituted to facilitate and coordinate government’s commitment to give tourism a priority in mainstream development and steer the country towards becoming the fastest growing tourism destination.

According to the Terms of Reference, the committee will oversee and review implementation of national tourism strategy and integration of provincial and regional policies.

It will act as a focal point for inter-provincial, inter-ministerial, inter-departmental and inter-agency coordination to resolve implementation issues with respect to tourism development sector.

Geo-mapping and profiling of all the tourist spots and tourism and hospitality business and products will also come under the scope of the committee. It will identify barriers to tourism development with complete recommendations for their removal to create an enabling environment for tourism sector.

The committee will devise effective regulatory and implementation mechanism of national minimum standards.

While ensuring its monitoring and coordination with all stakeholders for its strict compliance.

The committee has been tasked to promote investments through public private partnership and small and medium enterprises. It will also suggest measures to promote formal training of manpower engaged with the tourism industry for capacity building.

The convener shall brief the Prime Minister fortnightly on impediments, recommendations for improvement, and overall progress on implementation of Prime Minister’s guidelines and directions.