Embassy of Pakistan in Washington DC hosted the fourth episode of its Webcast Series on tourism in Pakistan titled “A Journey through Pakistan’s Heritage – A virtual event”. in collaboration with International Friendship Club, Washington DC.
Ambassador of Pakistan to the United States Dr. Asad Majeed Khan, Managing Director, Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) Aftab-ur-Rehman Rana, and renowned experts in archeology, history and architecture including Professor Jean Gardner, Dr Asma Ibrahim, Mr. Zain Mustafa and President International Friendship Club, Ms. Shaista Mahmood spoke on the occasion. The speakers highlighted Pakistan’s rich civilizational heritage and cultural diversity, which had the potential of making the country a tourism heaven.
The event was attended by a large number of representatives from the U.S. tourism sector including tour operators, travel agents, influencers and travel journalists as well as members of the Pakistani Diaspora.
In his welcome remarks, Ambassador Dr. Asad Majeed Khan said that the event was part of the Embassy’s efforts to provide an opportunity to people in the U.S. to discover Pakistan’s tourism potential. He said that in recent years, credible international magazines and organizations including British Backpacker Society, Condé Nast and Forbes have declared Pakistan as one of the top tourist destinations. He said that while during the pandemic virtual opportunities were helpful in introducing Pakistan as a hitherto undiscovered tourism gem, the real beauty of Pakistan could only be experienced by visiting the country and enjoying its serene landscapes as well as the exemplary warmth and hospitality of the people of Pakistan. He hoped that with improving pandemic situation and vastly improved security situation, more tourists will be able to travel to Pakistan.
Ambassador Khan reiterated the commitment of the government to provide every possible facilitation to the tourists intending to visit the country. He said that the government had eased visa regime in order to facilitate and attract tourism in the country. Visa on Arrival was being offered to the nationals of 51 countries and 191 countries of the world had been provided with online visa facility for Pakistan. The government was actively working to upgrade infrastructure and other facilities especially in the key tourism centers in the country.
Managing Director PTDC, Mr. Aftab-ur-Rehman Rana made a detailed presentation on cultural heritage and tourism potential of the country and measures being taken to streamline tourism sector in the country.
Jean Gardner, Professor Emerita of Earth History & Architecture/ The New School observed that Pakistan had a heritage that was globally relevant. She invited foreign tourists, especially from United States, to visit Pakistan and experience the breathtaking natural beauty of its land and the spellbinding richness of its cultural and archeological treasures.
Dr Asma Ibrahim, Archeologist & Museologist urged the audience to venture beyond the well-known sites and explore the vast expanse of heritage spread all across Pakistan.
Mr. Zain Mustafa, an Architect and Educationist by profession shared his experience of building bridges by introducing Pakistan’s rich archeological and cultural heritage to audiences around the world.
Ms. Shaista Mahmood, President, IFC during her remarks highlighted the heritage sights throughout Pakistan all the way from the Northern areas, the mountainous terrain of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to deserts and vast plains country.
Ambassador Dr Asad Majeed Khan and MD-PTDC assured the audience that Embassy of Pakistan Washington DC and PTDC would provide every possible facilitation to all those interested in visiting the country.
The event concluded with a Q&A session during which the speakers provided additional details on various aspects of tourism sector in Pakistan.