Byline: Ahsan Nisar
Globally, the tourism industry generates nearly 10% of the world GDP, while in Pakistan its share is merely 2.7%. In many countries, this share is around 30% with almost similar opportunities for attracting tourists. Malaysia with its 'Malaysia Truly Asia' brand earns roughly $20 billion annually through tourism while Turkey earns $40 billion. India under the slogan of 'Incredible India' continues to attract more and more tourists despite its not so impressive infrastructure and transportation system. Pakistan's tourism potential is unlimited. Trekking, mountaineering, white water rafting, wild boar hunting, desert jeep safaris, skiing, are some of the attractions for adventurous travelers. While the government is creating a broader policy to attract foreign tourists to the country, it is up to the private sector to step in to cater to the requirements of the tourists on the ground. All these efforts will result in a new era of progress and prosperity in the country.
Despite such richness in culture, tradition, historical sites, civilization, beautiful valleys, Pakistan has failed miserably to attract bulk number of the tourists to the country, whereas our neighbors have done impressively. It is rightly said that Pakistan, while being rich in natural resources, lacks management that would befit the tourism industry, which was earlier marred by terrorism and, in the recent past, the negligence from the successive governments. To take the bull by the horns and to boost the tourism industry the present government must place result-oriented measures. Earlier, certain campaigns like 'Amazing Pakistan, 'Visit Pakistan' were launched but unfortunately, they left the task unaccomplished.
The real pull of tourists
Pakistan has recently been touted as "World's Top Travel Destination for 2020" with a booming tourism industry than ever before, but the key to unlock the full potential of this industry lies in the hands of the IT sector. The increasing number of tourists in Pakistan is an assuring sign regarding the sustainability of this industry in coming years. While the IT sector has divested its expertise to other industries such as finance in the form of fintechs, here lies a great opportunity for investors and local IT startups to tap into the increasingly lucrative yet comparatively untapped tourism industry of Pakistan. Not only the establishment of such e-tourism initiatives will create great investment opportunities for the...