Rawalpindi-The Managing Director of Pakistan Tourism and Development Corporation (PTDC), Chaudhry Abdul Ghafoor said the World Bank (WB) should support PTDC to develop tourist facilities and resort in Pakistan by sponsoring different projects.

He said this during a meeting with a delegation of WB in his office here on Friday. The WB delegation comprised of Senior Private Sector Specialist and Tourism Expert Wouter Schalken, Maha Ahmed, Rural Development Specialist, Kiran Afzal, Senior Private Sector Specialist and Sarmad, Consultant Private Sector.

He told delegation that the corporation was responsible for promotion and development of tourism industry, project and publicize the country’s history, culture, arts, literature, archaeological monuments etc.

He added that after 9/11 incident and war on terror in neighbouring country, the tourism industry was adversely affected. Furthermore, issuance of negative travel advisories by western world was also the major factor for collapse of tourism industry in Pakistan. Now due to positive policies of the present government and operation Zarb-i-Azb, the law and order situation in Pakistan has improved and Pakistan is now completely safe and secure peaceful country. “We are ready to welcome tourists from all over the world,” he said.

He told that including CPEC, a large number of development projects are ongoing, through which over 3 billion people would reap the benefits. With the purpose of poverty alleviation, job creation as well as earning of foreign exchange for Pakistan, PTDC would develop tourist facilities and resorts along the corridor through joint ventures as well as securing private investments. After restoration of peace in the country, a remarkable increase in foreign tourist flow has been witnessed as compared to previous years.

Chaudhry Ghafoor stressed upon the need that WB might approach government and recommend retaining PTDC on federal level as well as help PTDC by sponsoring its ongoing projects which are stopped due to shortage of funds after 18th constitutional amendment. The project included Bus Terminal at Nankana Sahib, Motel at Hawks Bay, Karachi, Moenjodaro Motel, Motel at Baran Kalay and Tourist Facilitation Centres at Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Muzaffarabad, Gilgit, Peshawar and Quetta.

He informed the delegation that a number of lands owned by PTDC were open for investment specifically meant for tourism projects located for construction of Ski Resort, Islamabad for construction of Aiwan-e-Sayyahat / PTDC Head Office,  Rawalpindi for construction of multi storey building, 172 Acres at Gaddani Beach, Balochistan for tourist resort, Sukkur for development of tourist village Banjosa Lake, AJK, Muzaffarabad, AJK, Thaleechi GB, Buffer KP, Garam Chasma at Chitral, 25 Acres land at Islamabad and Construction of a wildlife park / sanctuary with a motel near Kalar Kahar on Motorway is under consideration.

Head of WB delegation Wouter Schalken, while speaking on the occasion, said that Pakistan’s tourist destinations worth more than any other part of the world. “All we lack is appropriate publicity and promotion in right direction. We recommend PTDC to project tourism destinations of all the country over national and international media aggressively to bring more foreign tourists in Pakistan,” she said. She added that World Bank Pakistan would submit PTDC’s proposals to higher level to provide maximum support.

Muhammad Inayat, Project Engineer PTDC, Mukhtar Ali, Manager (Publicity) and Arshad Ali, Protocol Officer also attended the meeting. The WB delegation refused to talk to media after holding meeting with PTDC MD saying they were not allowed to speak with media.