GILGIT, Pakistan: Gilgit Baltistan (GB) registered 25 percent increase in domestic and foreign tourists last year due to significant improvement in the security, law and order situation in the province.
The growth in foreign and domestic tourists that visited different areas of GB had increased by 25% as compared to last year owing to effective measures taken by the government to improve law and order situation in the province, official sources in GB Tourism Department told the state-run news agency on Friday.
“2017 remained the more successful year for tourism sector in Gilgit Baltistan where more than one million tourists’ locals and foreigners had visited the province,” the officials said.
The Gilgit Baltistan government is working on different projects to promote winter tourism in the province, keeping in view of world tallest mountains of K2, Nanga Parbath and others peaks offering a lot of challenges for mountaineers and adventurers.
A 13-member Polish team is currently in Skardu Pakistan trying to achieve what nobody has so far been able to climb the mighty K2 in winter season.
The Gilgit Baltistan government in consultation with authorities in Islamabad has expedited work on formulation of polices to promote tourism industry in the province.
Tourist Facilitation and Information Centers (TFIC) have been set up at Gilgit and Skardu airports besides in all major cities of GB to help educate and guide the visitors about tourists sites, valleys and others potential areas of tourism.
Work on Skirdu Juglote road has been started by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government costing Rs 40 billion for which a tender was recently awarded to the Frontier Works Organisation (FWO) to ensure a speedy and quality completion.
The official said arrival of 1.75 million international and 38.8 million domestic tourists to Pakistan, successful holding of Peace Cup 2017 in Miranshah North Waziristan Agency, Asia Peace Festival, Pakistan Motorcar Rally from Khunjrab to Gwadar and PSL Final in Lahore, establishment of Counter Terrorism Force and rehabilitation of Temporarily Displaced Persons (TDPs) have clearly showed that peace and normalcy was fully returned to the Country besides enhanced its soft image of being tourists and sports loving Country.
The official said tourism was the most important sector where people can knew about each others’ culture, customs, traditions and civilizations besides earned valuable foreign exchange for the Country. He said Pakistan’s foreign missions and overseas Pakistanis can play a key role in promoting tourism in the Country especially in GB and assured full cooperation in this regard.