Down country picnickers throng KP hilly areas during Eid days to beat heat

Kalam

The scenic hilly areas in northern Khyber Pakthunkhwa have received massive influx of tourists during Eidul Azha’s holidays due to better facilities provided by the PTI Government during last five years for facilitation of tourists. Tourists famous areas including Kalam, Malam Jabba, Maho Dhand, Kaghan, Naran, Thandyani, Nathiagali and Ayubia have attracted massive influx of domestic and foreign tourists during Eid’s days and finding a suitable room in hotels, restaurants and rest houses in these picturesque areas for staying along with families became a challenging task. Kalam, a famous town of Swat district received thousands of tourists including senior citizens, students, women and children from across the country including AJK and Gilgit Baltistan during Eidul Azha’s vacations and enjoyed waterfalls, lush green valleys, meadows, snow-covered peaks, water boating, horse and camel ridings in a very pleasant atmosphere. ‘On this Eid holidays, all major tourists’ resorts in northern KP has received massive influx of tourists as results of improved facilities by KP Tourism Corporation (TCKP) for comfort of tourists,’ Sajjad Hameed, General Manager TCKP told APP on Friday.
He said previous PTI Govt has laid a strong foundation to make KP a hub of tourism as per the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan and TCKP would follow policies of newly elected PTI Government in letter and spirit. Under Kalam Beautification Project, a flagship scheme of previous PTI Government, conditions of access roads in Kalam were improved besides establishment of children playing areas and other facilities.
‘Chairlift at Malam Jabba, which was destroyed during militancy in 2008-09 were reconstructed and opened for tourists. ‘The newly reconstructed chairlift has been imported and is safe in all aspect,’ he told APP. ‘Work on its adjacent four star hotel has been entered in final stage and would be opened for tourists in upcoming summer season with all modern and latest facilities,’ he said.
The GM TCKP said four Camping Pods, an eco-tourism friendly project of previous PTI Government were also established at Thandyani at Abbottabad, Shahran at Manshera, Bishigram at Swat and Yakhtangi in Shangla as per vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan to expend tourism and reduce load on other established tourists resorts in KP. TCKP rest houses, private tour operators, hotels, motels and guest houses have received record booking orders from domestic tourists this year compare to last year that showed unshakable trust of tourists and people in the policies of PTI Government and TCKP, he said.
The tourists also thronged to scenic Malama Jabba in Swat where chairlift and Skiing Resort that was destroyed during militancy in 2009 were reconstructed on modern lines and tourists along with families enjoyed chair-lift ride. Khurshid Alam, a tourist who came from Nowshera district told APP that he came to Kalam after visiting scenic Malam Jabba to enjoy Eid holidays due to its pleasant and cool weather.
‘I have no words how much I had enjoyed ride in imported chairlift at Malam Jabba as it was very comfortable and safe,’ he said. However, he suggested that high prices of hotels and daily use commodities needed to be checked by the district administration and proper arrangements should be made for car parking in famous tourists destinations. He said Rs5000 to Rs80000 per room is being charged for per night stay from families by private hotel owners at Kalam and demanded strong actions against profiteers.
He said previous PTI Government has brought massive improvement in tourism sector by enhancing facilities for tourists in all tourists’ areas of Khyber Pakthunkhwa and thanked Prime Minister Imran Khan and former Chief Minister Pervez Khattak for completion of scores of mega projects in tourism and other important sectors during last five years in KP. The significant improvement of law and order situation has also immensely contributed to this massive surge in domestic tourism at Kaghan, Nathia Gali, Naran, Sogran, Madian, Kalam, Saiful Mulk and Maho Dhand lakes where facilities for tourists were enhanced during last five years.
As result of enhanced facilities in these hilly areas during PTI Govt tenure, the number of foreign and domestic tourists has been increased this year, making direct positive effects on socio-economic conditions of local people. He thanked Prime Minister Imran Khan and former CM Pervez Khattak for their untiring efforts for re-constructing Malama Jabba chairlift and improving condition of excess roads in Kalam and Malam Jabba that helped attracted hundreds of thousands of tourists this year to KP.—APP

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