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INTRODUCTION

During the last decade tourism has metamorphed into the largest industry in many
countries. This has been made possible mainly due to globalization; which has made
travel across borders less cumbersome. Specifically, this growth paradigm in tourism has
been made possible due to factors like: an affluent emergent middle class; cheaper and
affordable travel; comparatively open borders (although this vital factor has been negated
by security concerns in the aftermath of 9/11); cheap and easier communications and ease
of prior accommodation and ancillary bookings due to internet.

Tourism plays a vital role in both the local, national and global economy. Not too many
people associate travel and tourism with business and commerce. Yet, the economic,
social and cultural benefits tourism brings to the local community, to the nation, and to
the world at large is of a magnitude one might find hard to imagine.
Travel and tourism--encompassing transportation, catering, accommodations, recreation
and services for travelers--is actually the world's largest industry and generator of jobs.
Indeed, not only enriches individuals, families, communities and the entire world; it also
creates unparallel enlightenment. Cross-cultural interaction promotes integration,
tolerance and harmony. It also creates understanding and eradication of false cultural
stereotypes and untenable shilobeths.

Governments have been increasingly according a higher priority on tourism; taking into
cognizance the merit of tourism as the most prospective activity, important for
environmental, cultural and social awareness, pursuit of peace and international
cooperation recognition and in particular of its ability to alleviate poverty through the
creation of small and medium sized tourism businesses and the creation of new jobs. This
same recognition has taken place at the highest level in the General Assembly of the
United Nations, which unanimously agreed on December 23rd 2006 to make WTO its
newest specialized agency. A persona no less than the Secretary-General of the UN is
promoting tourism as a basic human right and way of life, to stimulate communication
and benefits of tourism as the most prospective economic activity for the local
communities and countries, to enhance cooperation between destinations and the tourism
industry with the local, regional and international media and to link individual tourism
entities to the larger community of international tourism.

Apart from traditional tourist-designation countries, Malaysia, Thailand and India to


name a few have focused on tourism due to its above-mentioned advantages and
particularly as an industry enhancing economic activity and growth. These countries have
gained tremendously by innovatively marketing their tourism potential. Some specific
advantages and disadvantages of tourism are as under:

Advantage (depending upon implementation some of these can turn into disadvantages)

• employment (1 emp/1000 tourist) (labor intensive, creation of administrative


positions, enhanced upward mobility)
• infrastructure development (roads, water, electricity, telecom and cybercom, but
not necessarily local priorities)
• cultural preservation (economic incentives to preserve food, fashion, festivals and
physical history, but these tend to be superficial elements of a culture)
• environmental protection (economic incentives to preserve nature, wildlife and
urban cleanliness)
• foreign exchange (generates resources to import food, pharmaceuticals,
technology, consumer goods)

Disadvantages (depending upon implementation some of these can turn into advantages)

• cultural destruction, (modernization - world mono-culture), freezes culture as


performers, loss: language, religion, rituals, material culture)
• Primary products (sun, sand, surf, safari, suds, ski) - little value added, neo-
colonialism).
• environmental destruction (game drives, resorts: golf, ski, beach, desert, world as
play ground.
• marginal employment (low skill, low wage, menial services, prostitution, drug
trade, gambling, hustlers)
• low benefits (no job security, no health care, no organizing, no work safety rules
or environmental standards)
• outside hiring (skilled middle and senior management recruited out of the area
and transferred in)
• concentration employment (walled resort enclaves)
• seasonal employment
• outside decision making (decisions made outside of the area, corporate dollars
corrupt government)
• unrealistic expectations (divert young people from school and brighter futures.)
• anti-democratic collusion (industry support of repressive governments)
• land controlled by the elite (people relocated, agriculture eliminated, prohibited
from N.P.)
• negative lifestyle's (STD's, substance abuse, begging, hustling)
• diverted and concentrated development (airport, roads, water, electricity to tourist
destinations, development not accessible to locals),
• little forex stays in country (airplanes, vehicles, booze, hot air balloons, generally
have foreign owners),
• package programs
• cruises (eat and sleep on board)
• unstable market (fickle, affected by local and world events, generally highly
elastic)
• health tourism (traveling to get medical procedure at lower cost) has it own set of
unique challenges, which include: determining the credential, skills and quality of
the facility and personnel; language communication challenges on topics
requiring a lot of details, sometimes even when both parties seemingly speak the
same language; different cultural issues and expectations around health etc.
BALTISTAN (With Special reference to Skardu)

Baltistan (Urdu: ‫ )بلتستان‬, also known as ‫( بلتیول‬Baltiyul) in the Balti language, is a region
to the north of Kashmir, bordering Xinjiang Autonomous Region of China. It is situated
in the Karakoram mountains just to the south of K2, the world's second highest mountain.
It is an extremely mountainous region, with an average altitude of over 3,350 m (11,000
ft). It is inhabited principally by Balti Muslims of Tibetan descent who converted from
Tibetan Buddhism prior to the 16th century.

Baltistan was an independent state but was occupied by the Raja (King) of Kashmir in the
nineteenth century. In 1947 when India and Pakistan gained independence, it was still
part of Kashmir. Now the region is divided between Pakistan and India. The districts of
Skardu (Skardo) and Ganche, which is a part of Pakistan Administered Kashmir, is a
disputed territory claimed by both India and Pakistan, but controlled by Pakistan, a de
facto federal dependency of Pakistan administered directly from Islamabad; its main
town is Skardu. It contains the highest peaks of the Karakoram, including K2. Indian
Baltistan (the district of Kargil) which is also disputed by Pakistan and India is located in
the north of the Indian administered Kashmir Jammu and Kashmir.

Geography

Baltistan is often called "little Tibet". The adjoining territory of Baltistan forms the west
extremity of Tibet, whose natural limits here are the Indus from its abrupt southward
bend in 74 45 E., and the mountains to the north and west, separating a comparatively
peaceful Tibetan population from the fiercer Aryan tribes beyond. Muslim writers about
the 16th century speak of Baltistan as Little Tibet, and of Ladakh as Great Tibet, thus
ignoring the really Great Tibet altogether. The Balti call Gilgit a Tibet, and Dr Leitner
says that the Chilasi call themselves But or Tibetans; but, although these districts may
have been overrun by the Tibetans, or have received rulers of that race, the ethnological
frontier coincides with the geographical one given. Baltistan is a mass of lofty mountains,
the prevailing formation being gneiss. In the north is the Baltoro glacier, the largest out of
the arctic regions, 35 miles long, contained between two ridges whose highest peaks to
the south are 25,000 ft and to the north 28,265 ft. The Indus, as in Lower Ladakh, runs in
a narrow gorge, widening for nearly 20 m. after receiving the Shyok. The capital, Skardu,
a scattered collection of houses, stands here, perched on a rock 7250 ft. above the sea.
The house roofs are flat, occupied only in part by a second storey, the remaining space
being devoted to drying apricots, the chief staple of the main valley, which supports little
cultivation. But the rapid slope westwards is seen generally in the vegetation. Birch,
plane, spruce and Pinus excelsa appear; the fruits are finer, including pomegranate, pear,
peach, vine and melon, and where irrigation is available, as in the North Shigar, and at
the deltas of the tributary valleys, the crops are more luxuriant and varied.

Baltistan, actually a complex of beautiful valleys, is situated amid the famous ranges of
Himalaya and Karakoram, straddling the river Indus, between Ladakh and Gilgit. Some
of the highest peaks of the world - Chogo-ri (K-2), Mashabrum (K-1) and Gashabrum
group of peaks besides beautiful glaciers like Sia-chen, Baltoro, Biafo and Chogo-lungma
are situated in this region. The dimensions of Baltistan have been fluctuating over the
course of history. It is currently smaller than ever before, with an area of 17,000 km² and
an estimated population of 4,00,000. Baltistan consists of six major valleys like Skardo,
Rongdo, Shigar, Khaplo, Kharmang and Gultari. Baltistan presents a beautiful contrast of
high peaks, deep gorges, straddling glaciers, vast deserts, sandy plains, turquoise blue
lakes, colourful panorama, lush green oases and villages.

Baltistan consists of five valleys namely Kharmang (Kartakhsha), Khaplu, Skardu, Shigar
and Rondu (Rongyul). Important villages include Kharmang, Tolti, Ghasing, and the
beautiful valley of Mehdi Abad (Parkuta) in Kharmang valley.

BALTISTAN REGION

Baltistan has two districts namely Skardu and Ganche districts of Baltistan Division of
the disputed Kashmir Region of Northern Pakistan; note Khaplu is by far the coldest and
dampest place in within Pakistan temperatures reaching below -20 degrees Celsius.

SKARDU

(1).Gultari

(2).Kharmang

(3).Rondu(Astore)

(4).Shigar

(5).Skardu (the capital)

GANCHE

(1).Khaplu

(2).Mashabrum

Historical Perspective

The first reference about the area (Baltistan) occurs in the Epic of King Gesar (Kesar),
but in a fragmentary shape. Reliable historical records date from the last days of
Palolashahi rulers of Baltistan (Palolo) who, according to some rock-inscriptions, ruled
the area of Ladakh and Gilgit too from the 5th century to 727 AD. In 727 AD the Tibetan
king Khri-Lde-gtsug-bRtan invaded Baltistan and in 737 AD the Tibetans conquered
Brushal (modern Gilgit) annexing these to their empire. These areas remained provinces
of the Tibetan empire till the death of the last king of Tibet Glang-Darma around 880/900
AD, when the foremost western provinces, Baltistan and Brushal became independent.
Since then till the 12th century AD, Baltistan remained under several petty chiefs under
the overlordship of the Shagari-tribe of Skardo. In 12/13th century AD, a young fugitive
namely Ibrahim Shah, migrated to Baltistan from Iran via Kashmir, managed to obtain
power in Skardo and founded the Maqpon Dynasty which subsequently ruled the area for
twenty-four succeeding generations. During the reign of ninth Maqpon ruler namely
Ghota-Cho-Senge, one Saint Syed Ali Hamadani introduced Islam to the region. In 1531
AD Sultan Saeed Khan, the ruler of Kashgar invaded Ladakh and Baltistan. Ali Sher
Khan Anchan the most powerful king, fifteenth in the kings of the Maqpon Dynasty,
conquered Ladakh and Western Tibet up to Purang in the east and Gilgit and Chitral in
the west during his reign (1590-1625 AD).

Similarly his grandson Shah Murad conquered all these areas for the second time
between 1655-1680 AD. For about two hundred years all these areas remained tributaries
to the Maqpon kings of Baltistan. A comparatively new, more graceful culture and
tradition of fine-arts flourished during this era. The Maqpon kings were great patrons and
admirers of the new culture and society. In 1779 AD the Afghans of Kashmir invaded
Skardo but could not sustain their control any longer. In 1840 AD the Dogras of Jammu
conquered Baltistan and annexed it to their State, but in 1947-48 AD there was a revolt
against the Dogras and people of the area after a year long struggle liberated the area and
joined Pakistan. Since it was linked to the Kashmir issue, it was defined as disputed and
to date is in political limbo. Pakistan is the defacto administrator of the area. The local
elected Legislative Council has practically no powers as the Chief Executive is the
Federal Minister of the Government of Pakistan.

ASTORE(RONDU)

It is one of the six districts of the Northern Areas of Pakistan. The district contains the
Astore Valley and is bounded to the east by Diamer District (from which is was separated
in 2004), to the north by Gilgit District, to the east by Skardu District and to the south by
Azad Kashmir and the North-West Frontier Province.

Climate

Astore valley has a moderate climate during summer. In winter it can snow up to 6 inches
(15 cm) in the main valleys and up to 2–3 feet (60–90 cm) in the mountains. In Mirmalik
valley it snows up to 6 feet in February.

Languages

The main language spoken in the valley is Shina (also known as Tshina). Urdu, which is
the National language of Pakistan, is the second most frequently spoken language. Since
Astore has a history of modest tourist traffic in the summer months, local guides and
police in Tarashing or Astore may speak some English.
Transport

There were some negative perceptions in past due to rough mode of transport but
nowadays there are paved roads connecting Gilgit and Islamabad through the Karakorum
Highway. Landslides and rockfall may be an issue in some areas of the Indus Valley.
There is a permanent road through Gilgit as well as seasonal road access via Deosai
Plateau to Skardu. Here you can obtain all types of vehicles (Jeeps, taxis, wagons, SUVs)
and hire jeeps and SUVs at affordable prices. The most used vehicles are Jeeps and SUVs
with a local preference for Pajeros and Landcruisers.

Places of interest

Astore lies about the massive base of Nanga Parbat, the 9th highest peak in the world. To
the south of the Nanga Parbat massif lies Rama Valley, which is home to Rama Lake,
with basic facilities for visitors. It has a hotel called the PTDC, constructed by the
government of Pakistan. Astore valley is a unique area for tourists to visit, surrounded by
the high peaks of the far western Himalaya. Nearby peaks include Nanga Parbat, Shaigiri,
Rupal Peak, Chongra Peak and Laila Peak (Rupal Valley). Astore Valley ascends from the
Indus River Valley near Jaglot, Pakistan.

SHIGAR

Shigar is a valley and a town in Baltistan near Skardu in northern Pakistan that is watered
by Shigar River. The valley stretches about 170km from Skardu to Askole and is the
gateway to the high mountains of the Karakoram. Even though the Shigar Valley is a
remote and largely inaccessible place, there are several villages in the valley. Askole is
the last settlement in Shigar Valley, which is still far from the high mountains.

SKARDU

(Urdu: ‫ )سکردو‬is the principle town and capital of Baltistan district, one of the districts
making up Pakistan's Northern Areas (also part of the Pakistani-administered part of
Kashmir). Skardu borders Kargil district (within Indian-administered Kashmir) to the
east, Astore to the south, Kashmir and Azad Kashmir to the south east and Gilgit district
in the west. Skardu is located in the 10 km wide by 40km long Skardu Valley, at the
confluence of the Indus river (flowing from near Kailash in Tibet and through
neighbouring Ladakh before reaching Balistan) and the Shigar river. Skardu is situated at
an altitude of nearly 2,500 m (8,200 feet), the town is surrounded by grey-brown
coloured mountains, which hide the 8,000 metre peaks of the nearby Karakoram range.

Tourism, trekking and mountain expedition base

Skardu, along with Gilgit, are the two major tourism, trekking and expedition hubs in the
Northern Areas. It is the mountainous terrain of the region, including four of the world's
fourteen Eight-thousander peaks (8,000m and above), which attracts the attention of
tourists, trekkers and mountaineers from around the world. The main tourist season is
from April to October - outside this time, the area can be cut off for extended periods by
the snowy, freezing winter weather.

Accessible from Skardu by road, the nearby Askole and Hushe Valleys are the main
gateways to the snow covered 8,000 m peaks including K2, the Gasherbrums, Broad Peak
and the Trango Towers, and also to the huge glaciers of Baltoro, Biafo and Trango. This
makes Skardu the main tourist and mountaineering base in the area, which has led to the
development of a reasonably extensive tourist infrastructure including shops and hotels.
However, the popularity of the region results in high prices, especially during the main
trekking season.

Treks to the Deosai Plains, the second highest in the world (at 4,100 m or 13,500 feet)
after the Chang Tang in Tibet, either start from or end at Skardu. In local Tibetan
language, Deosai is called Byarsa, meaning 'summer place'. With an area of
approximately 5,000 square kilometres, the plains extend all the way to Ladakh and
provide habitat for snow leopards, ibex, Tibetan brown bears and wild horses.

The town and the local people

The town has developed along the main road passing through it and to either side of this
road is situated the New Bazaar (Naya Bazaar), with hundreds of shops offer almost
everything (trekking supplies, souvenirs, local goods, etc.). To the west one finds Yadgar
Chowk (with local monument) and from there, the quarter behind Naya Bazaar, to the
right hand side is the older Purana Bazaar. Travelling west from Naya Bazaar is a polo
ground and next to that, Kazmi Bazaar.

Skardu appears remote, dusty town at first glance, but the mixture of people here make it
colourful and ethnically diverse. The crowded streets are mainly populated by Balti
Tibetans and many of the local neighbourhoods (mohallahs) have names that reflect this
too (i.e. Khache-drong, Khar-drong, Olding, Kushu-bagh, Pakora, Thsethang, Sher-thang,
Nagholi-spang etc.). Due to this strong presence, Skardu has sometimes been referred to
as the little Tibet of Pakistan.

However, many other ethnic groups are present in Skardu including Pashtuns, Punjabis,
Hunzakuts and even Uyghur, due to the close proximity of Baltistan to the respective
regions. Since the creation of Pakistan people of various ethnicities from various regions
of Pakistan have emigrated here.

All the above ethnic groups are devout Muslims. This includes the Balti-Tibetans, who
were converted from Tibetan Buddhism in the 16th century (the only sizeable group of
Tibetans to have undergone such a conversion). Shia Islam has a strong presence in
Skardu.
Weather and climate

The climate of Skardu during the summer is moderated by its mountain setting and the
intense heat of lowland Pakistan does not reach here. The mountains also block out the
summer monsoon and summer rainfall is thus quite low. However, these mountains result
in very severe winter weather. During the April to October tourist season, temperatures
vary between a maximum of 27°C and a minimum (in October) 8°C. However,
temperatures can drop to below -10°C in the December-to-January midwinter period.

Transport

Skardu is accessible by two methods, road or air. The normal road route into Skardu is
via the Karakorum Highway and a linkroad into the Skardu Valley from it. There are also
four or five other road links to Kashmir and Ladakh. Alternatively, there are normally one
or two flights daily between Skardu Airport and Islamabad. The high cost of air travel
means that road travel via the Karakorum Highway and the link road onward to the
Skardu Valley is often the preferred option of locals and tourists alike.

The climate can have adverse affects on transport in and out of the Skardu Valley, as
Skardu becomes snowbound during the winter months. Often the roads in and out of
Skardu (and other Northern Areas locations) can be blocked for weeks at a time
depending on conditions (though two to five days is more normal), sometimes leaving air
travel as the only feasible alternative. However, air travel in winter is also subject to
disruption due to the unreliable Skardu weather and flights can occasionally be delayed
by several days.

Skardu Fort (Kharpochhe Fort)

Skardu Fort or Kharpochhe Fort lies on the eastern face of the Khardrong or Mindoq-
Khar ("Castle of Queen Mindoq") hill 15 metres or 40 feet above Skardu town. The fort
dates from the 8th Century CE and contains an old mosque probably dating back to the
arrival of Islam in the 16th Century CE. The fort provides a panoramic view of Skardu
town, the Skardu valley and the Indus River. The fort was built by Rmakpon dynasty
rulers of Baltistan and it was a seven storey building. It was burnt down by Sikhs in the
18th Century AD.

Kharpochhe (Skardu) fort was built on a design similar to that of Leh Palace and the
Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet. The name Kharpochhe means the great fort - Khar in
Tibetan means castle or fort and Chhe means great.

Lakes near Skardu

There are three lakes in the vicinity of Skardu. In local Balti-Tibetan language, a lake is a
thso or tso.
Katsura Thso Lakes

There are two Kachura Lakes - the less well known Upper Kachura lake and the more
famous Lower Kachura Lake, better known as Shangrila Lake. Lower Katsura lake is
home to the Shangrila Resort hotel complex (possibly the reason for the lakes alternative
name), built in a Chinese style and another popular destination for tourists in Pakistan.
The resort has a unique style of restaurant, set up inside the fuselage of an aircraft that
crashed nearby.

Satpara Thso Lake

Satpara Thso Lake or Sadpara Lake is Skardu Valley's main lake, supplying water for
Skardu town and reputedly one of the most picturesque lakes in Pakistan. In 2002, the
Government of Pakistan decided to build a dam on the Satpara Lake allocating Rs. 600
million ($10 million) to the Satpara Dam project, two years later in 2004. Progress on the
project has, however, been slow.

GHANCHE

Ghanche District is the easternmost district of the Northern Areas, Pakistan. To its
northeast is Aksai Chin (China), to the north and northwest is Skardu District, to its west
is Astore District and to its south is the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. The line of
control along the eastern most region of Ghanche District cuts through the Siachen
Glacier and is not permanent because of the conflict (It has been proposed by moderates
in Pakistan and India to make the Siachen Glacier region a Peace Park).

Ghanche (Gangche) is the main part of Baltistan. Ghanche's population is about 0.5
million and purely Balti-speaking. 95 percent of the population belong to the sofi
noorbakhshi sect. Surmo, Khaplu, Ghwari, Thaly, Brah, Chourbat, Saltro and Hushey are
the main valleys of the district.

The capital of Ghanche District is Khaplu. This is the coldest place within Pakistan also
called the "Third Pole" with temperatures reaching below -20°C in the winter. Khaplu
and Hushe valleys form the gateway for the great Baltoro Muztagh, the subrange of
Karakoram that includes the mighty peaks of K2 (8,611 m), Broad Peak (8,047 m),
Gasherbrums (8,000+ m) and Masherbrum (7,821 m) (all of which are included in the
Skardu District).

The highest peak in Ghanche District is Saltoro Kangri (7,742 m) which is the thirteenth
highest peak in Pakistan and the 31st highest peak in the world.

Some of the town in the district are Dubla Khan, Doghani and Lunkha.

Some rivers in the district are shyok River, Hushe River and Thalle River.
KHAPLU

(35° 10' 0 N, 76° 19' 60 E, altitude 2,560m) is the capital town of the Ghangche District
of northern Pakistan. Lying 103 km (64 miles) east of Skardu town, it was the second-
largest kingdom in old Baltistan. It guarded the trade route to Ladakh along the Shyok
River.

Tourism Development in Pakistan

The tourism sector investments in the country are dominated by private sector with
the role of public sector mainly as a facilitator. Almost the entire hotel, restaurant, travel
agency and tour operator business is in the private sector. The Pakistan Tourism
Development Corporation (PTDC) is also operating a limited number of hotels and roadside
facilities in areas where the private sector has been reluctant. The Department of Tourist
Services (DTS) is responsible for maintaining the standard and categorization of hotel
industry. The Ministry of Tourism looks after the entire public sector interventions including
formulation of policies and overseeing the legal and regulatory framework.

The Tourism Master Plan study of 2000 notes that (i) tourism in Pakistan is still in the
early stages of development; (ii) the “foreign tourists” represent only about 13 per cent of all
visitor arrivals; (iii) true “domestic tourists” represent only about 5­7 per cent of all domestic
travelers; (iv) mountain tourism (mountaineering) will not expand much beyond the level
attained in 2000, although it may remain depressed for the following few years; and (v)
trekking in all areas may grow although the next few years may show a temporary decline.
The vision of the sector is to exploit the great potential of cultural and religious
tourism of the country to its optimum level for employment generation, foreign exchange
earning, poverty reduction and image enhancement of the country.

Pakistan presently ranks very low in terms of world tourism income. Out of global
tourism income of $ 514 billion, the share of South Asia is $ 5.4 billion including Pakistan’s
share of only $ 135 million i.e. 0.03 per cent of global and 2.5 per cent of South Asian share.
Out of the total tourists arrivals in the world estimated at 694 million per year, Pakistan
receives only 0.5 million tourists annually, a very low figure. Even among South Asian
countries, the tourist arrival in Pakistan is very low.

Issues
Pakistan has been facing problems on policy as well as implementation level to
exploit the inherent tourist potential of the country due to social and religious constraints,
ineffective promotional policies, lack of infrastructure and inadequate tourist services.
Tourism potential of the country has not been realized and harnessed properly during the
past because of (i) lack of initiatives on part of the concerned Government Departments,
which also include inadequate knowledge and training of relevant personnel in tourism
sector; (ii) law and order situation in the country particularly in the areas of high tourist
attraction; (iii) general image of the country particularly in Europe and USA, which to a
large extent is based on fears generated out of media messages; (iv) undeveloped tourist
sites and inadequate infrastructure facilities; (v) absence of entertainment contents
associated with tourism, which are considered necessary worldwide; (vi) socio­cultural
constraints; (vii) lack of incentives in the tourism sector; and (viii) lack of projection through
media to the outside world.

Promotion of tourism has been predominantly a public sector sponsored activity.
The hotel and transport business is in the hands of the private sector, which has not
contributed much to meeting the development costs. The Tourism Development
Corporations created at the federal and provincial levels have not proved very helpful in the
promotion of tourism. The public sector initiatives in the form of creation of motels and
roadside facilities have not been economically viable. Other issues constraining the
development of tourism in Pakistan include (i) inadequate funding and international
promotion, and legal framework; (ii) high taxes on hotels and tourist resorts; (iii) lack of
coordination and mistrust between concerned government agencies and the private sector;
and (iv) inconsistency in determining hotel standards and categorization, particularly of
small hotels.

Objectives
The sector objectives include: (a) to enhance tourism activities, increase tourist
arrivals, and make tourism an instrument for generating employment, alleviating poverty,
and increasing foreign exchange earnings; (b) to promote affordable, accessible and
enjoyable domestic tourism and cultural and sports festivals; tourism of the religious sites
and old civilizations; and foreign tourism linked to regional tourism particularly among
SAARC and ECO countries and (c) to enhance coordination between public and private
sectors and upgrade resources to ensure desired standards of quality service.

Policy and Strategy
Policy support would be provided in implementing the key proposals of the master
plan in five broad areas covering (i) legislation, management, organization and facilitation;
(ii) investment, funding, infrastructure, transport tax, and concessions; (iii) marketing,
promotion and product development; (iv) environment, conservation and planning; and (v)
human resource development and community development. Policy measures for tourism
development would include: (i) a paradigm shift from promoting seasonal tourism to year
round tourism; (ii) an emphasis on qualitative improvement of tourist services and the
tourist product; (iii) a review of legislation impacting on tourism to promote the tourist
industry; (iv) measures to stimulate private sector involvement in tourism through provision
of appropriate incentives; and (v) an emphasis on better marketing of the tourist product.
The strategy would be to develop appropriate incentives to promote greater private
sector investment in creation of tourist facilities. Public sector investment in the
development of infrastructure facilities will be made part of overall national development
effort. While the ongoing projects will be completed as part of federal PSDP, the
development requirements for new projects will be met from privatization of existing motels
and from credit budget. Greater financial autonomy will be given to the public sector
tourism agencies. The strategies to develop tourism industry would include:

i)Formulation of a comprehensive and realistic tourism policy that will support
tourism as an industry and create credibility.
ii) The private sector will be involved for tourism development through
Lease/rent agreements. PTDC will concentrate its activities in the marketing,
Promotion and development of tourism.
iii) New market segments will be explored.
iv) Marketing efforts for tourism at cultural places will be intensified.
v) Training in tourism services will be improved in collaboration with
International tourism and hotel management institutes.
vi)The involvement of Pakistan embassies/ missions abroad for tourism
Promotion will be enhanced.
vii) The tourism related legislation would be revised, including consolidation of
Various rules and regulations, revision of Hotel and Restaurant Act 1976 and
Travel Agency Act of 1976 and the adoption of a pro­investment land lease
Policy.
(viii) An emphasis will be placed on provision of physical infrastructure at places
of touristic interest complemented by environmental improvement
programmes.

Programme
The tourism sector will assume a greater role in stimulating the growth of the
economy during the Plan. Tourist arrivals are estimated to grow at an average rate of 10
percent per annum to reach 0.85 million by 2009­10. Tourism receipts are targeted to grow at
an average rate of 20 per cent to reach $ 500 million in 2009­10. Details are in Annnex I.
Continuous improvements will be made in tourism products and services, marketing and
promotion, infrastructure and institutional, and regulatory framework to build the tourism
industry.
The emphasis of the programme will be on promoting domestic, religious and
regional tourism with development of touristic areas including accommodation and
transport facilities. For foreign tourists secluded/bonded zones will be developed, which
will have boarding, lodging and entertainment facilities.

Domestic Tourism
The specific locations/ sites frequented by local tourists will be developed by
providing them inexpensive and clean accommodation, food, entertainment activities and
transport. The sites to be developed to promote domestic tourism would include the
following:
i)Murree/Guliat/Nathiagali/Ayubia
ii)Kaghan Valley (Shogran, Naran, Saiful Maluk, Babusar)
iii)Quetta Valley (Hanna Lake, Ziarat)
iv)City Tours Lahore/Karachi/Islamabad/ Peshawar.
v)Swat Valley (Kalam, Marghazar, Bahrain, Madian, Chitral, Kafiristan).
vi)Karachi Beaches and Lakes (Sonmiani, Gaddani, Hawksbay, Sandspit)
vii)Northern Areas (Gilgit, Skardu, Hunza, Satpara, Shangrila).
viii)Sindh (Haleji Lake, Gorakh Hills, Ranikot Fort)
ix)Soft Adventure Tourism for Youth.
The other activities to be promoted would include:
i)Arranging Tourist Safaris such as Mountain and Desert Safaris.
ii)More youth hostels to be established by Youth Hostel Association.
iii)Basic activities camps to be established on nodal locations for youth groups at
economical rates.
iv)Festivals to be introduced on a regular basis to encourage gatherings for short
periods.
v)National Parks to encourage tours with requisite facilities provided at the
fringes of the parks, and
vi)Awareness campaign to be launched with the media along with well
designed publications and pamphlets.

Religious Tourism
Keeping in view the high potential of religious tourism, several areas/clusters will be
developed including basic infrastructure, accommodation facilities, food stalls,
entertainment and shopping for the pilgrims. The areas proposed to be developed include (i)
for Sikhs, Nankana Sahib and Panja Sahib (Hassanabadal), ii) for Hindus, Katas Temples
(Jehlum), iii) for Buddhists, Taxila, Takhtbhai and Swat (Stupas); and iv) for Muslims, Thatta
Necropolis, Lahore, Multan and Sehwan Sharif.

Foreign Tourism
The foreign tourism promotion will be enhanced by forging strategic alliances,
enlarging international cooperation and promoting regional tourism activities, particularly
in SAARC. In view of the security concerns and socio economic restraints in the country, it is
proposed that only designated/bonded areas Holiday Villages will be developed
exclusively for foreign tourists in collaboration with the private sector. These clusters will
have entertainment facilities, tourists activities such as skiing, hiking, surfing, camping and
cruising. The holiday villages will initially be constructed in Northern Areas like Gilgit,
Hunza and Chitral, and beaches of Gwadar (Korekalmat Beach), Pasni and Jiwani.

Infrastructure Development and Environmental Improvement
Integrated improvement of physical infrastructure will be undertaken in areas of
touristic interest through coordination of federal, provincial and local programmes covering
provision of roads, water supply, sanitation (including public toilets), drainage, solid waste
management, and other municipal facilities. The environment of touristic areas will be
improved through controlling pollution and taking up river cleaning projects such as Swat
River Pollution Control.

Public Facility Areas
A network of public facility areas will be created throughout the country at tourist
attraction places like cultural and historical sites, commercial centers, bus stops,
road/highways, railway stations, beaches, and hill resorts. Based on local plans, suitable
locations will be identified for construction of these facilities.

Provincial Programmes
The Provincial Tourism Development Corporations and agencies will facilitate
development of resorts, promotion of hotel chains, and entertainment industry,
development of theme parks, improvement of historic inter­city areas and urban transport,
development and rehabilitation of urban and rural road networks, development of urban
commercial centers, promotion of tourism activities, development of holiday villages and
establishment of museums, motels and cultural complexes.

Private Sector
Private sector will play a key role in the development of the tourist industry
including hotel accommodation, resorts, recreation activities, transport and tour operations.
Measures will also be taken to increase coordination and communication between private
and public sectors and to develop public – private partnerships. The modus operandi could
include land leasing for long tenures, BOT and equity investments.
The major private sector investment will be in the hotel industry which is expected to
grow at a rapid pace. The number of hotels in all categories will increase from 1469 to 1711
by the end of the MTDF period, with a corresponding increase in the number of rooms from
36451 to 39114 rooms by 2010. Categorization of all hotels will be completed during the
MTDF period. Measures will be taken to facilitate travel and transport sector investment.
Private sector will also be given incentives to invest in parks, clubs, resorts and development
of cultural and historical sites. Other areas of major investments will be restaurants, public facilities 
and shopping malls.

Sector Investment
Investments by the private sector for tourism development during MTDF period are
estimated in the range of Rs. 30­40 billion. The public sector investment will be limited to
development of infrastructure and other necessary support to private sector. The investment
through the federal PSDP is estimated at Rs 1.37 billion. During the
first year (2005­06) of the MTDF Rs. 40 million have been allocated to ongoing and new
projects which include motels at Bunni, Chamman, Hawks Bay, Baran Kalay, Astak,
updation of research Studies, networking, development of website and motel at Gorag Hills.
With the adoption of a holistic and integrated approach for tourism development, an
emphasis on product development and promotion linked with human resource
development and through strategic alliances, there is considerable potential for tourism
industry to grow during the MTDF period.

Conclusion
Pakistan, with the world’s oldest civilization, exotic mountain beauty and splendid seasonal
variety, has immense tourist potential. The sacred religious places, which spread throughout
the country, make Pakistan an attractive place for a variety of people and religions. The
tourism assets of Pakistan include a coastal zone spreading over one thousand kilometers
along the Arabian Sea offering long term development potential for beach resorts,
diversified natural deserts in the south and beautiful hill stations and valleys in the north. It
has also great potential for tourism sports like mountaineering and trekking. The relics of
the Indus Civilization in the south, Gandhara Civilization in the north and the great heritage
of Mughals in Punjab are exceptional cultural assets of Pakistan. There are also great
adventure zones with the high mountains located in the north of the country, where four of
the world’s largest ranges meet.