The Ministry of Tourism organised a one-day ‘National Tourism Workshop – 2008’ along with a photographic exhibition for developing ‘Tourism Vision- 2030’ to upgrade the National Tourism Policy.
The workshop also aimed at projecting Pakistan as an ideal tourist destination endowed with splendid natural wealth and beauty. Caretaker Federal Minister for Minorities Raja Tri Dev Roy was the chief guest who inaugurated the exhibition by cutting the ribbon while Secretary, Ministry of Tourism Dr Shahzad Qaiser and Managing Director of Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) Najeeb Khawar Awan were also present on the occasion.
The workshop included discussions on various aspects of tourism such as adventure tourism, cultural and religious tourism, investment potential in tourism and Eco tourism to obtain the recommendations from all the stakeholders to envisage and formulate ‘Tourism Vision 2030’.
The main objective of organising the event is to reintroduce and highlight the importance of tourism in context of overall world tourism and portrays Pakistan as an ideal place to visit since it has fabulous and diversity of natural beauty.
Addressing the participants of the workshop, Minister Raja Tri Dev Roy stressed the need that group tours should be brought in Pakistan to enhance the tourism activities and this thing would play an effective role in tourism sector.
Raja Tri Dev was of the view that Pakistan is one of the most beautiful countries in the world and that promotion of group tourism could bring more fruitful results than handling individual tourist.
He hoped that participation of stakeholders in the workshop would certainly help the Ministry in providing right direction toward the promotion of domestic and foreign tourism.
He also appreciated the display of over 100 photographs of Pakistan’s scenic beauty, archaeology, culture, and adventure.
Earlier, in his welcome address, Secretary, Tourism Dr. Shahzad Qaiser stressed the need for promotion of tourism by way of facilitating the private sector.
“Tourism is the only sector which contributes substantially in the poverty alleviation and improving the living standards of the local community,” he added.
Dr Shahzad Qaiser told that the workshop is being conducted so that a clear path is visible before us since government of Pakistan Planning Commission has formulated Vision 2030 for Pakistan.
“We want our tourism sector to be in consonance with this vision and that’s the reason that one of our central topics in the workshop is to formulate Tourism Vision 2030 and update the present National Tourism Policy accordingly,” he added.
Richard Garstang a tourism expert from South Africa also addressed the function and highlighted the sustainability in tourism sector and presented a draft plan for promotion of eco-tourism in Pakistan.
Later, the participants of the workshop were divided in seven different groups for group discussions and after deliberations, the participants again gathered for third session in which presentations were given.
At the end of this session, Dr. Asad Shah member Infrastructure Planning Commission who was the chief guest of the concluding session addressed the participants.
He said that the Ministry of Tourism must define the area and should come up with a PC-I for getting assistance from the government for the promotion of tourism in Pakistan.
He emphasised that the Ministry should concentrate on the provision of super structure. He also pointed out that the public sector needed to double its investment in infrastructure while stressing the private sector to also increase their quantum of investment.