Islamabad/Peshawar    -   President Dr. Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Imran Khan have said that promotion of tourist activities in rural areas can help increase the volume of national economy and put the country on the road to development and prosperity. In his messages on the World Tourism Day, the president said this sector is not just a leading source of employment, particularly for different segments of rural society, but also provides opportunities for regional integration and socio-economic inclusion for the most remote areas.

The president said for a country like Pakistan where majority of the population is still living in rural areas, tourism could have a significant contribution in socio-economic development.

He said it is a matter of great satisfaction that the federal and provincial governments are taking collective measures for development of tourist sites and promotion of tourism. The President said all these efforts will contribute in transforming the tourism industry to become a major sector of national economy in the near future.

In his message on the occasion, Prime Minister Imran Khan said that various initiatives taken by the Government of Pakistan for promotion of tourism are giving emphasis to development of rural areas.

He said several new destinations have been explored for tourists in rural areas of the country which is expected to uplift the economic and social status of local population.

The Prime Minister said Pakistan has diverse landscapes from mountains to sea along with a dynamic history and has limitless potential for tourism, which the world has yet to discover. Separately in a tweet yesterday, President Dr. Arif Alvi said Pakistan is a land of peace, beauty and hospitable people.

He said the Himalayas, Karakorum and Hindu Kush displayed their spectacular majestic beauty in Nanga Parbat and K2. He said, “Ancient ruins of Mohenjo-daro and Harappa, and Buddhist sites adorn our valleys and plains, do visit us.”

The president said there is so much that can be said, but the land and its people can be appreciated only by being here. He said “You will fall in love once you experience us”.

Meanwhile, like other parts of the country, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Tourism Department Sunday celebrated World Tourism Day amid spectacular tourism events at Khanpur Dam in Haripur district.

Special tourism, sports and cultural events were also held in different districts and tourists places in KP in connection with world tourism day.

An impressive festival was held at Khanpur dam in connection with the day where special programmes like paragliding, para motor flying, drone flying, family boating, magical show for children, traditional food and musical events besides others cultural events organized for families, nature lovers and tourists. Colours of Galiyat event was held at Hazara division under an aegis of Galiyat Development Authority in which over 70 students of National College of Arts, Lahore participated and made special paintings at different places on Baryan Road to make it attractive.

Speaking at function at Khanpur, Secretary Tourism, Sports, Culture, Archeology, Museum and Youth Affairs, Abid Majeed said that restoration of tourism and holding of tourism related activities at new places was the top most priority of Khyber Pakthunkhwa Government.

He said efforts was underway to bring all new tourists sites at national mainstream through public private partnership at every district of the province.

Under KITE project, he said MOU has been signed for identification of archeological sites and installations of 540 signboards in 10 districts for awareness of masses whereas work on installation of 83 signboards at Mardan and work on 20 information signboards at Takht Bhai was underway.

He referred to various steps taken by the KP Government regarding installation of machinery for disposal of solid waste at three different places, establishment of Rescue 1122 stations at Galiyat, Thandyani, Shogran, Kumrat, Kalash and procurement of emergency equipment besides others measures for promotion of tourism.

He said a five-day Eagle Camp 2020 titled Perwaaz Janoon in connection with World Tourism Day was held at Kalam where 100 students participated from across the country aimed at to create awareness about historical sites in Swat.

Similarly, study tours visits for students of different schools and colleges to Peshawar Museum were arranged in connection with world tourism day. The students were provided information about ancient sculptures, statues, artifacts and monuments. Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister KP, Shahab Ali Shah, Director General Culture and Tourism Authority KP, Captain (Retd) Kamran Ahmed Afridi and others officials were also present.