Pakistan has lot of potential for hospitality industry: President

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: President Dr Arif Alvi has said that Pakistan has a lot of potential for hospitality industry as it has diverse culture, landscape, religious places to attract more local and international tourists.

While chairing a meeting on Courses on Hospitality Industry at the Aiwan-e-Sadr in Islamabad on Monday, the president underlined the importance of trained workforce which could cater the growing need for provision of better hospitality services that could harness true potential of country’s tourism sector.

The president said that thousands of foreign tourists are visiting Pakistan every year and the government is taking further measures to encourage tourism through initiatives like e-visa and visa-on-arrival and development of new tourism sites, therefore he called upon both NAVTEC and High Education Commission (HEC) to come up with concrete proposals towards development of curriculum on hospitality services, online training courses as well as its standardization.

In this context, the president stressed that training courses be devised for tour operators/guides, hotel management and guest services. He encouraged the private sector to invest in hospitality industry to explore and promote tourist places in Pakistan.

Dr Arif Alvi also assured every possible support for development of hospitality industry. In 2018, travel and tourism accounted for over 10% of the world’s GDP, created 1 out of 5 new jobs, and grew by 3.7%. The number of international tourists in Pakistan is expected to increase to 1.4 million in 2019. Tourist sites such as Mohenjo-Daro, Harappa, Taxila, Himalayan hill-stations, Buddhist sites and mountain peaks offer excellent tourist potential.

However, Pakistan lacks proper tourist facilities to harness its true potential and there is a dire need to involve private sector investment for its development, and provision of trained workforce.

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The meeting was attended by Dr. Tariq Banuri, Chairperson, HEC, Syed Javed Hasan, Chairman, National Vocational and Technical Training Commission, Mr. Aziz Boolani, CEO, Serena Hotels (South Asia), Islamabad, Mr. Haseeb Gardezi, Chief Operating Officer, Hashoo Group.