By Seymur Mammadov
If ask the question: which country would you choose for a tourist trip, then the country of Pakistan may be called units. And in vain. Indeed, in the past few years, this republic has become one of the most common tourist destinations in the world. For Pakistan itself, tourism is one of the main means of revenue for the state budget. Mosques, ancient monuments of history, architecture, culture, and unforgettable natural beauty create a special palette of impressions about Pakistan.
In addition, foreign guests visiting Pakistan, get the opportunity to relax on the beautiful beaches of the Arabian Sea, improve their health in health resorts. The number of tourists visiting this exotic country for many people is growing from year to year.
In order to improve the situation in attracting foreign tourists to Pakistan, the Department of Tourism and Culture of the Islamic Republic makes great efforts. To this end, 1998, for example, was declared the “Year of the Enchanting Antiquities of Pakistan”, and 2007 the Year of Tourism.
All hotels in Pakistan are at the highest level ready to welcome foreign guests. Avari Renaissance Towers in Karachi and Shalimar Hotel in Rawalpindi are in the top twenty of the best hotels in South Asia.
One of the main indicators of how fast tourism is developing in Pakistan can be a comparative table that shows the place of the Islamic Republic among the countries whose budget receives the largest amount of funds from the tourist flow. 282 million dollars for 2014 came to the state budget of the country due to the flow of tourists. In the table Pakistan was in fifth place.
The history of tourism in Pakistan has been around for many years. In 1970, for example, the Tourism Development Corporation was founded. In 1977, a separate body was created – the Ministry of Tourism, Culture, Sports and Archeology. In the same year, the Law on Tourism was adopted, and the Department of Tourism Services was created.
By 1987, the Government of Punjab established its own Tourism Development Corporation. Later, the provinces of Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa also established their own travel corporations. In 1990, the first national tourism policy was adopted.
By 2000, a master plan was developed in the field of tourism, and in 2010 the authorities prepared and adopted a revised draft policy for national tourism.
In the same year, the 18th amendment to the Constitution of Pakistan was implemented – the dissolution of the Federal Ministry of Tourism and the transfer of all tourism-related issues to the provincial office. In 2015, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa adopted the first regional tourism policy.
The fact that Pakistan has all the conditions and facilities for receiving a huge number of tourists and guests is beyond doubt. In addition to hotels, resorts, hospitals and beaches, Pakistan attracts foreign visitors with its material, spiritual and cultural heritage. Thousands and tens of thousands of guests in the Islamic Republic attract the Wazir Khan and Badshahi Mosques, as well as the Pearl Mosque, built under the rulers of the Great Mughal Empire Jahan Shah and Aurangzeb in the 17th century. In the capital of the country – Islamabad – is one of the largest mosques of the Muslim world – Faisal – built on the initiative of the King of Saudi Arabia, Faisal ibn Abdul-Aziz. The mosque was built for 10 years from 1976 to 1986. A mosque of 5,000 square meters can accommodate up to 300,000 believers.
In addition to mosques and the Muslim cultural and spiritual heritage, it is in Pakistan that historians, as well as lovers of antiquity and archeology, can look at the ruins of ancient cities and civilizations that have long since sunk into oblivion. Among them are the ruins of the ancient city of Taxila, the civilizations of Harappa and Mohenjo-Dara, and many others. All of them continue to cause inexhaustible interest among specialists.
In addition to the spiritual and material culture, Pakistan is also rich in beautiful nature. Beautiful alpine meadows side by side with mountain ranges, on whose tops there is always snow. The Hindu Kush mountain range never ceases to attract climbers and climbers, and other adventure seekers.
Hospitable, but at the same time mysterious country of Pakistan, with its rich history and culture, opens its arms to all its guests and at the highest level welcomes everyone who goes to Pakistan with peace and kindness and goes to its people – decent and proud people, who over the centuries have wished everyone only good. The land of great ancient warriors, great history, friendship and love. Pakistan is waiting for all its guests…
The author is the Director of the International Expert Club «EurAsiaAz» which deals with strategic issues of Eurasian Region. He also holds the position as editor-in-chief of the Azerbaijani news agency “Vzglyad”.