ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Imran Khan said that the promotion of tourism activities in rural areas could help increase the volume of the national economy and put the country on the path to prosperity and development as Pakistan has unlimited tourism potential.
“This sector is not only a major source of employment, especially for different segments of rural society especially for young people and women but also provides opportunities for regional integration and socio-economic inclusion for the most remote areas,” the president said in his message on “World Tourism Day. “commemorated today (27 September).
He said it was great that Pakistan joined hands with the rest of the world to celebrate the Day.
This day is celebrated annually under the auspices of the World Tourism Organization of the United Nations (UNWTO), to raise awareness in the international community about the impact of tourism on society, culture and economic growth of a country.
This year’s theme is “Tourism and Rural Development”.
The President said for a country like Pakistan where the majority of the population still live in rural areas, tourism can make a significant contribution to socio-economic development.
Pakistani rural communities offer a unique natural and cultural heritage.
“It is my great satisfaction that the federal and provincial governments are taking collective action for tourism site development and tourism promotion and all these efforts will contribute to transforming the tourism industry into a major sector of the national economy in the near future,” he said.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan said that the various initiatives being taken by the Pakistani government for tourism promotion put more emphasis on rural development.
“Several new destinations have been explored for tourists in the country’s rural areas which hopefully can elevate the economic and social status of local residents,” he said in a “World Tourism Day” commemorative message.
He said today, they celebrate the Day as a country that hosts some of the most bizarre sights and cultures of interest in the world.
The prime minister said the tourism sector provided a boost to economic development in rural areas, which badly need economic activity.
Tourism not only helps empower rural communities by creating jobs and increasing trade, but also enables them to protect their heritage and allows others to experience their extraordinary culture and traditions, he added.
He further said placing rural development at the heart of tourism policy through education, investment, innovation, technology and employment has changed the livelihoods of millions of people and helped preserve culture and the environment.
The prime minister said he wanted to inform the international community that Pakistanis are waiting anxiously for tourists from all over the world to convey their hospitality to visit their mountains, deserts, rivers, forests and beaches.
“Pakistan has a diverse landscape from mountains to sea along with a dynamic history. Pakistan has unlimited tourism potential that the world has yet to discover, “he said.
Pakistan Tourism Development Company (PTDC) has been transformed to transform it so that its employees are exposed to cutting-edge technology to make Pakistan a well-known tourist destination.
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