LAHORE – The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry Thursday urged the Punjab Government to announce Tourism Policy as this important sector is suffering huge loss for want of effective measures for the promotion of Tourism.

The demand was raised at a seminar on World Tourism Day organised by the LCCI Standing Committee on Tourism, Hospitality and Skill Development here at the Lahore Chamber and Industry. The speakers included CEO Sozo Theme Parks Engineer Sohail Lashari, Convener of the Committee Ahmad Shafique, Ex-MD Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation Masood Ali Khan, Managing Director Punjab Tourism Development Corporation Habibur Rehman and Organiser Lahore Basant Festival Syed Zulfiqar Hussain.

LCCI former Senior Vice President and CEO Sozo Theme Parks Engineer Sohail Lashari said that it is very unfortunate that the Tourism Industry which is bigger than oil and all over the world governments are getting huge revenues but in Pakistan the situation is the other way round. He said that the government has failed to showcase the tourism potential of the country therefore effective measures are needed to be taken.

Engineer Sohail Lashari said that tourism in Pakistan is on the decline while 467 million record tourists traveled in the world in the first half of 2012 and is likely to reach one billion tourists by the end of the year.

He said despite concerns over the global economy, international tourism demand continues to show resilience. The number of international tourists worldwide grew by 5 per cent between January and June 2012 compared to the same period of 2011 (22 million more).

The Convener of the Committee Ahmad Shafique said that the government should come up with some clear-cut tourism policy for the redressal of the grievances of the businessmen attached with this sector. He said that after Eighteenth Amendment no visible work was done by the provinces for the promotion of tourism sector that has a huge potential.

PTDC Managing Director Habibur Rehman said that Punjab Government had constituted a committee for the revival of tourism and for policy making in this regard.

 He said that after the Eighteenth Amendments all the provinces are making their tourism policies and same is being done in Punjab. He, however, said his department had sought funds from the government for working on tourism development.