PTDC think tank to develop National Tourism Promotion Strategy

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC)’s think tank would present its recommendations regarding formulation of National Tourism Promotion Strategy for the sustainable development of the sector in the Country, the Managing Director PTDC Chaudhry Abdul Ghafoor said on Thursday.

“Formulation of new National Tourism Promotion Strategy was the need of the hour as National Tourism Policy was formulated in 1991,” he said in a meeting with the President of Sustainable Tourism Foundation Aftab Rana and the Executive Director of College of Tourism and Hotel Management Asif Javed.

Chaudhry Ghafoor said that the last National Tourism Policy was formulated in 1991 whereas the defunct Ministry of Tourism prepared a draft document of National Tourism Policy in 2010. However, he added that further work on the same was stopped due to devolution of tourism subject to provinces under 18th Constitutional amendment.

The managing director PTDC said that tourists flow to Pakistan is increasing annually due to positive policies of the present government; however, absence of a national tourism policy limits the scope of work.

Chaudhry Ghafoor said that we are holding a roundtable meeting of tourism think tank on November 15 at Flashman’s Hotel in Rawalpindi which would be attended by the representatives from provincial tourism organizations, tourism stakeholders and prominent scholars from tourism industry.

Moreover, he said that degree, certificates and diploma programmes in tourism and hospitality sector would soon be launched in prominent universities and institutes.

“We need assistance of COTHM for training of PTDC Motels and Hotel staff for the very reason that PTDC is well-known all over the world of its unique structure and safe environment. Providing international standard facilities to domestic as well as international tourists is at our top priority”, he said.

“Trainings of Chefs, waiters, banquet, food & beverages and front office staff for PTDC would improve their skills. Rooms of Flashman’s hotel Rawalpindi and motels located all over Pakistan have been renovated”, he said.

“We intend to invite Ambassadors of different countries posted in Pakistan to these PTDC facilities. In addition, we are also meeting with Pharmaceutical Companies and NGOs to hold their meetings and conferences in PTDC Motels”.

The President of Sustainable Tourism Foundation Aftab Rana told that promotion of natural beauty and adventure sports opportunities available in Pakistan could bring a large number of tourist groups to Pakistan. Presently, four kayaking teams from New Zealand led by Mike Dowson are in Skardu for kayaking extreme sport.

The team has also made a documentary on Pakistan, which they are going to show to international media that Pakistan is not only the heaven for adventure sports but also a completely safe tourism destination, he said.