Experts Urges Govt To Establish National Tourism Authority

Islamabad: Speakers at a  round table conference on Pakistan Tourism Tuesday passed a unanimous resolution for the establishment of an independent Pakistan National Tourism Authority which could adopt measures and decisions for the promotion of tourism.

The conference was organized  under the auspices of United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), said that public-private partnership should be promoted to achieve the targets for this sector which has huge potential.

The conference was chaired by Managing Director, PTDC, Ch. Abdul Ghafoor Khan and attended by representatives of UNWTO experts, Harry Hwang and George Drakopoulos, Aftab ur Rehman Rana, President of Sustainable Tourism Foundation Pakistan, Malik Akbar Ali, General Manager, Audit Section, PTDC, Asif Javed, Executive Director, College of Tourism and Hotel Management (COTHIM), Sajjad Hussain Shah, President PATO, Izhar Ahmed, Tourism Coordinator, Rana Afzal Kamran, Managing Director, American School & College, Tahir Imran, CEO, Panoramic Pakistan, Saif ud din, Consultant/Journalist, E-Travelers Club Travel Update, Muhammad Ali Imam, Chief Executive, Freelance Consultant, Mehmood Ahmad Malik, Managing Director Across Pakistan Tours, Karrar Haidri, Managing Director, Saltoro Summits, Hamid Subhani, Vice Chairman, PHA, Amjad Ayub and CEO/Ex-President PATO, Inner Asia, Islamabad.

MD PTDC said, that like in other countries of the world, a National Tourism Authority should be formed in Pakistan to promote tourism. It is time to take bold steps in this regard, Ch. Ghafoor said.

He urged the Prime Minister, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to convert PTDC into an independent National Tourism Authority which would enable PTDC to take decisions for promotion of tourism in the country.

Ch. Ghafoor expressed the hope that he would be able to achieve the target of forming Tourism Authority in Pakistan within weeks instead of months or years.
He further underlined the need of a Tourism Policy and informed that he along with his team is working on it. He also asked the participants of the conference to present their recommendations in this regard.

The participants including Harry Hwang, George Drakopoulos, Aftab ur Rehman Rana, Malik Akbar Ali besides others supported the proposal regarding establishment of National Tourism Authority and expressed their willingness to extend full cooperation in this regard.

George Drakopoulos said that public-private partnership is vital to promote tourism in Pakistan. There is lack of coordination among the public and private sectors and stakeholders while concerted efforts should be made to promote tourism. He said, the National Tourism Authority should be a joint platform of public and private sectors besides having full representation of all the provinces of Pakistan, Gilgit-Baltistan and AJK.

Aftab ur Rehman giving recommendations said that the main role of the Tourism Authority should be to facilitate the stakeholders and investors as per international standards of quality services in tourism sector.

Other speakers suggested for marketing products of Pakistan in the world which would help enhance number of foreign tourists. Pakistan as compared to other countries of the world can introduce a lot of products internationally and by marketing them, tourism would flourish enabling it to generate revenue for the country, they added.

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