ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Senate has been told that 91,188,677 tourists visited the Country’s Northern Areas in 2021-22.
Replying to a question by Senator Syed Muhammad Sabir Shah, the Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination (IPC) Ehsaan Ur Rehman Mazari told the House in writing on Thursday that in 2021-22, 91,185,177 local tourists and 3,500 foreign tourists visited the Northern Areas while in 2019-2020, tourism was halted due to COVID-19.
The minister said that the Northern KP Touristic Districts, prominently known for its summer resorts and adjoining the Northern Areas of Pakistan are (a) Chitral-Kalash, (b) Dir-Kumrat, (c) Swat-Kalam, (d) Dasu-Kohistan, (e) Manshera Naran are prominent tourist spots in Northern Areas.
Apprising the Upper House about the steps being taken by the government to promote tourism in Northern Areas, the minister told that consequent upon 18th Constitutional Amendment, the subject of tourism has been devolved to the provinces.
In terms of item no.19 entry no.47 of the Rules of Business, 1973 Ministry of IPC is dealing with international organizations and agreements relating to tourism. He added that accordingly, provinces are responsible to take steps for promotion of tourism in their respective areas.
The House was told that the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has initiated a series of tourism promotional and developmental activities ranging from infrastructure to soft components like holding of festivals, seminars, workshops and capacity building training programs for the hospitality stakeholders of the concerned areas.
Besides, the following mega projects have been initiated for the promotion and development of tourism, thereby, developing three Integrated Tourism Zones, in the touristic valleys / districts adjoining the Northern Areas of Pakistan:
- Ganool District Manshera.
- Madglasht District Chitral.
- Mankyal District Swat.