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Chapter No.

03 Tourism in Pakistan

Chapter 03



If Pakistan is popular in the world of tourism, it is because of the

mountainous regions of the north; the four mountain ranges of the
Hindukush, Pamir, Karakuram and the Great Himalaya form the densest
concentration of high peaks in the world.

Yet the most notable feature of the country geography is the diversity of its
landscape, from the coastal regions and the deserts of the south to the lush
plains of the 2500 km long Indus River, which courses through the
country, rising in Tibet and emptying into the Arabian Sea.

Historically and culturally, Pakistan offers far greater diversity for the
tourist than is generally assumed, although an Islamic country, the local
enriched culture with the influences and resources of over half a dozen
ancient civilizations that have flourished here since the Fourth
Millennium BC. The historical and archaeological sites of the Gandhara
and Indus Valley civilizations, Moenjodaro, the Mughal Empire; these
treasures are relatively unknown outside the country and are rich resources
for the development of tourism in Pakistan.

Tourism is now the world’s largest and most widespread industry. There
were 670 million tourists in the world in 2000, of which South Asia
welcomed some 6 million visitors. Pakistan’s share was approximately
400,000. However, only 13% or one in seven of every international arrival
is classified as tourist the rest being business travelers and overseas
Pakistanis visiting their families.

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Chapter No.03 Tourism in Pakistan

Contrary to general belief, tourism in Pakistan at this time is a supply-led

rather than a market-driven industry.

Mountaineering and trekking are now reaching saturation levels and other
tourism assets are loosing their beauty, because of poor infrastructure and
lowering standards. Due to the lack of a marketing strategy and funds,
Pakistan has little or no influence in the international marketplace. By
comparison, Nepal, a country also in the South Asian region and smaller
than Pakistan, whose major tourist attractions are the mountains and
trekking, boasts steady growth of over 6.5% per year in the tourism sector.

An approach to a better international image, more government and private

sector support, and a public-private sector partnership with institutional
cooperation responsible for destination marketing and promotion can give
lifeblood to this sector.

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Chapter No.03 Tourism in Pakistan

Tourism Attractions in Pakistan

For most leisure tourists, Pakistan offers a comprehensive range of natural,

historical and cultural attractions. In addition, there are a number of
specialist activities available, from mountaineering and trekking to bird
watching, jeep and camel safaris, hill-walking, skiing, white water rafting,
golf, diving and fishing based on its natural and cultural assets, and
Pakistan’s tourism resources as follows:

• Coastal Zone

This consists of the stretch of coastline along the Arabian Sea, which is
more than a thousand kilometers long and offers great potential for the
development of beach resorts and water sports. Clifton Beach and Hawks
Bay are popular resorts in Karachi, and Gwadar on the Makran coast
presents opportunities for tourism.

• Natural Conserved Areas

With the help of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the government
has identified three categories of protected areas. These comprise 17
National Parks, which are accessible to the public, about 100 Wildlife safe
havens, which are not accessible and 95 Game Reserves for which special
permits are available.

• Natural leisure Areas

Areas including the hill stations of Murree, the Galliat, Kalam and Kaghan
offer a wide range of recreational facilities in surroundings of immense
natural beauty.

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Chapter No.03 Tourism in Pakistan

• Cultural Heritage Sites

The remnants and ruins of the Indus Valley Civilization in the south, of the
Gandhara civilization in the north, and of the Mughal period are
exceptional cultural assets recording Pakistan’s varied history.

• Religious Sites

These include sites relating to Muslim saints and mystics, mosques, and
Buddhist and Sikh shrines.

• Adventure Zones

Most of these are located in the mountainous regions of the North, where
the world’s largest concentration of high peaks and glaciers are situated;
the deserts of the south also have great potential for safari.

Tourism in Pakistan-2001

A brief Summary

•In volume terms Pakistan received 0.5 million foreign tourists in

2001 indicating a decrease of 10 per cent over 2000. Main factor of
decrease is USA war on terrorism after 11th September 2001 incident.

•In value term, however, as per State Bank of Pakistan data tourism
receipts increased only by 9.2 per cent in 2001, over previous year.

•South Asian recorded a decline of 11 per cent where as Pakistan

recorded a decrease of 10 per cent in 2001.

•The Top Ten Tourist generating countries for Pakistan during 2001
were U.K., USA, India, Afghanistan, Canada, Germany, Japan,
Australia, Netherlands and Iran, which generated 74 per cent of the
total foreign tourist arrivals.

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Chapter No.03 Tourism in Pakistan

•Most important generating market for Pakistan during 2001, was

Europe with 41.2 per cent arrivals mostly V.F.R. followed by South
Asia, America, Pacific & East Asia, Middle East & Africa. During
2001, the highest arrival months were February & March whereas
lowest arrival months were October and November.

•During 2001, about 32.8 per cent tourist arrivals at Quaid-e-Azam

International Airport, Karachi followed by Lahore International
Airport and Islamabad International Airport.

•Over-land tourists were 18.6 percent in 2001 showing a significant

increase of 17.3 percent over previous year.

•The average spending per foreign tourist according to State Bank of

Pakistan s data came up from US Dollar 151.6 to US Dollar 184.5
Nevertheless, according to Foreign Tourism Survey 2000 the average
spending per foreign tourist during 2000 was US Dollar 892

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