Pakistan has again been declared as the best travel destination of current year. Yet another feat for the country. It may eventually culminate in heralding big news for tourism sector, spanning over the next decade 2020s. This time, a recent article in an American-based magazine Forbes has enlisted Pakistan in its ‘The Not Hot List: 10 Best Under-the-Radar Trips for 2020’.
Last year, the country’s tourism potential was also recognized by some global players of tourism industry which included Condé Nast magazine, the Wanderlust travel magazine and others, setting a stage for the government to unlock its inbound tourism potential. ‘Closed countries are opening up. Savvy luxury agencies are making remote destinations accessible to travellers who don’t want to rough it or risk much’, the American magazine wrote.
The list also included other countries like Armenia, Eritrea, Saudi Arabia, Mongolia. ‘Where can we go to avoid other tourists?’ That’s one of the most common questions Philippe Brown says his agency, Brown + Hudson, received in 2019, the magazine noted. In the article, the Wild Frontiers organization had labeled Pakistan as the next big destination for a couple of years now, especially due to the recent visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Wild Frontiers pointed out that Pakistan offered ancient Indus civilizations, stretching back 4,000 years, and exciting cities like Lahore with its forts, mosques and palaces.
The country also owned incredible scenery, particularly in the north, where the three greatest mountain ranges collide, it added. ‘Pakistan is great for trekking, mountain biking, rafting or just cultural tourism.’ It also endorsed improvement in road and tourism infrastructure of the northern parts of the country.
Wild Frontiers’ also mentioned its16-day group tour to the Northwest Frontier taking in mountain scenery, the Kalash people, the Hunza Valley and the Kingdom of Chitral. Just a few months back, another American travel magazine Condé Nast had enlisted Pakistan in its Traveller’s list of best holiday destinations for 2020. Similarly, the British Backpackers Society (BBS) declared Pakistan as the world’s third highest potential adventure destination for the next decade.
Pakistan tourism industry had been showing the highest growth among its competitors, especially due to the recently introduced visa relaxation by the present government, the BBS President Samuel Joynson told APP in a telephonic conversation. ‘Pakistan offers much more to travelers and tourists,’ he said. ‘In addition to touring the Karakoram Highway, (the tourists can) visit the bustling markets of Karachi, taste the delectable flavours of the Punjab in Lahore and grab tea with some of the friendliest people that you will ever meet on the story-tellers street of Peshawar,’ he remarked while recalling his trips to the country.
Samuel Joynson appreciated the government’s steps for the promotion of tourism, particularly for hassle-free access of the foreign tourists to the country. He said the new E-visa system and abolishing of No-Objection-Certificate for foreign tourists depicted that the incumbent government had put tourism at the front and centre of its policy agenda. ‘The e-visa initiative is a huge step forward and very positive as so many BBS members now can easily travel to Pakistan without any hindrance,’ he remarked.—APP