Pakistan’s tourism is beginning to prosper once again as the annual arrivals in the country are tripling since 2013. This was reported by Bloomberg, a leading business reporting network.
According to the report, tourists are visiting the Swat Valley, the northern region known as the Switzerland of Pakistan.
It was previously controlled by the Taliban between 2007 and 2009. It’s where the Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai was shot in 2012.
According to the state-owned Pakistan Tourism Development Corp., as the security keeps improving, annual tourist arrivals to Pakistan have more than tripled since 2013 to 1.75 million last year, while domestic travelers rose 30 percent to 38.3 million.
The World Travel and Tourism Council puts the total contribution of tourism to Pakistan’s economy at $19.4 billion last year or 6.9 percent of the gross domestic product.
In a decade, it is expected to rise to $36.1 billion.
Jonny Bealby, the managing director of Wild Frontiers Adventure Travel Ltd, has run trips to Pakistan for 2 decades, said his tours to the South Asian nation are up 60 % from last year.
Pakistan has started a tourism drive and placed adverts on the sides of London’s iconic red buses, this summer.
According to Nadine Malik, chief executive officer of Jovago Asia,
“Hotel bookings also increased last year by 80%. Many Pakistanis want to travel, but going abroad is difficult.”
“It’s hard to get visas — it’s not easy and it’s not cheap,’’
Ayesha Siddiqa, a research associate at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London said,
“A lot of people go to India because it publicizes itself as a tourist destination,’’ It’s much more accessible.’’
Mukhtar Ali, a spokesman for the Pakistan tourism agency, said,
“The government is considering expanding the visa-on-arrival service beyond the current 16 countries.”
Meanwhile, resort spots like the northern town of Naran are buzzing with construction work, while hotels and restaurants enjoy a healthy trade from Pakistani holidaymakers.
The Super Savari Express started the colorful bus sightseeing tours in the Karachi in 2015 and wants to expand with regular trips around Lahore and Islamabad next year.
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