Byline: Syed Fazl-E-Haider
Pakistan witnessed a massive increase of 317 percent in tourist traffic at cultural sites over the past five years, according to a recent report by Gallup Pakistan, a research organization affiliated with Gallup International Association.
The report released in September indicates that tourism could be a potential game changer that could revitalize the struggling economy of the country. The tourist traffic at museum sites increased by approximately 50 percent with the number of visits increasing from 1.7 million in 2014 to around 2.7 million in 2018. The tourist traffic in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan has also experienced a similar trend at its museum sites, whereas in Punjab and Sindh, the number of visits at museum sites fluctuated over the years. But overall, the provinces recorded maximum number of visits in 2018. Total visits by foreigners increased by more than two folds for both cultural and museum sites in Pakistan. The trend among all four provinces for total foreign visits saw a gradual increase.
Tourism has been the fastest growing industry of the last decade, as disposable incomes grow throughout the world. The rapid expansion of tourism industry has brought economic benefits to many contemporary societies. By virtue of its natural treasure trove, captivating scenery, significant sites of multifold importance, variety of flora and fauna, diversity of climates and unique geology, Balochistan possess huge potentials for development of tourism. Pakistan can earn millions of rupees in terms of foreign exchange by developing tourism industry in Balochistan. Infrastructure, organization and management are the key areas relating to the development of tourism in the province. The tourism issues also need to be reviewed from a sociological perspective. The government must take significant steps to exploit fully the coastal tourism potential of the province.
Put in order
The present PTI government need to take some serious steps to develop tourism industry in the province. The restriction on the movement of foreign tourists and visitors in Balochistan should immediately be lifted. Like other three provinces, the government should establish Tourism Development Corporation in Balochistan. The government should encourage the participation of private sector for tourism development in the province offering it incentives and necessary concessions in this regard. Information centers for guidance of tourists...