Promotion of Pakistan Tourism

Article excerpt

During the last few years Pakistan has been making intensive efforts to boost tourism (out-bound) and create awareness of attractions of group tours. Selling inclusive tour is a specialised field and calls for special training to meet the demand of the market. Since Gerry's Tours has stepped into inclusive tour business by establishing a separate section of tours, a considerable progress has been achieved in this field. Following a thorough study, it has now decided to promote in-bound tourism which is expected to provide a vital service. They also have received letters from abroad and recently from Yugoslavian Trade Commissioner in which they have enquired about the programmes.

Pakistan has an almost unlimited potential as a tourist destination. Its rich and varied resources, with proper promotion and likely to attract a steady stream of tourists. The awareness in this direction is generally building up, but a lot still remains to be done in terms of taking concrete steps towards finding ways and means for developing the infrastructure.

This include providing ground facilities for tourists at competitive cost, opening moderately priced hotels, motels and resthouses, better and cheaper means of public transportation, easing up procedural formalities for obtaining government permissions, setting up tourist information centers in the tourist information centers in the tourist generating countries, as well as within Pakistan and equipping these centers with up-to-date information data to enable them to properly project Pakistan as a major tourist destination.

Due to Pakistan's geographical position, the tourism market plans necessitate a programme with neighbour countries also and we must try to increase the cooperation with China and SAARC countries. We should propose to have joint promotions and sales missions with these countries, particularly in the market where PIA do not fly to. On the importance of tourism, there were a talk in the SAARC Conference in Islamabad and many of heads of the SAARC states stressed upon the need to develop the regional tourism. To raise such an important point from the SAARC forum is an encouraging factor, therefore, some practical steps to promote regional tourism required to be taken.

In tourism we have to cooperate with other countries to get the long-haul markets as consumers talk of how many places they could visit. Pakistan also stand to be benefited from increased traffic to China and India "if one looks at the tourist pattern it shows that tourists to these two countries visit Pakistan as well".

On the problem of lack of awareness, it is now only confined to certain markets. …