PCJCCI urged to revive tourism in Pakistan
There is a dire need to revive the tourism sector of Pakistan which has faced a serious setback due to catastrophic floods last year, stated by Moazzam Ghurki, President Pakistan China Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCJCCI) during a think tank session held at PCJCCI Secretariat on Thursday. Damage to infrastructure has further aggravated the humanitarian situation, as partial or complete destruction of over 3,000km of roads and 145 bridges impedes the ability of people to access markets or essential services. Talking about the devastating floods which killed over 1,600 people and affected over 33 million others, he said that the flashflood had hit the tourism industry hard as tens of hotels and restaurants in tourist resorts of northwest Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province were swept away by flood waters, and many others were seriously damaged and not recovered yet.
President PCJCCI said that I feel extremely worried for these people because it is really hard to earn their livelihood at this hour of political turmoil and economic instability. He said that CPEC has spread a vast network of roads from the south, east and north of Pakistan, making the tourist resorts in north Pakistan accessible to tourists, and it will play a vital role in the revival of the tourism sector when the situation becomes normal.
Fang Yulong, Senior Vice President PCJCCI talking about the potential of the tourism industry after the normalcy in the country, following the floods, he said that it will not only create economic activity in the local areas but will also have a positive impact on the national economy. Currently, 300,000 people in the country are associated with the tourism industry, and with an uptick in the number of tourists in the country due to better roads and connectivity, the number is likely to increase to 500,000 in the coming years, he added.
Hamza Khalid, Vice President PCJCCI said that Flood happened during the last days of the peak season of tourism in the northern areas of Pakistan when usually hundreds of tourists throng to the northern areas. He said that still we are unable to construct back the damage caused by flood, there is a dire need to make teams to assess the losses incurred to the tourism industry due to floods, and according to rough estimates it will take at least two to three years to rebuild infrastructure for tourists in the northern areas. He added that Pakistan generates good revenue from foreign tourists visiting the country for adventure tourism. However, this year’s floods also discouraged foreign tourists, he said.
Salahuddin Hanif, Secretary General PCJCCI added that global warming is also feared to pose a great threat to his country’s adventure tourism industry as the glaciers are melting at a rapid pace, and overall temperatures in the country are rising. We should create awareness against climate change effects and facilitate private tour operators to boost tourism and promote the country’s image in the international arena.