Kayber Pakhtunkhwa Senior Minister for Sports, Tourism, Archaeology, Culture, Museums and Youth Affairs Muhammad Atif Khan Thursday said that the Integrated Tourism Zones (ITZs) would change the tourism landscape in the province. ‘We have finalized the plan and are offering bids for five Integrated Tourism Zones (ITZs) at five different place of the province including two places Mankyal in Swat Valley, Thandiani in Abbottabad, Madaklasht in Chitral and Ghanool in Mansehra for introducing the automation in tourism sector,’ he told here.
The senior minister said that through the modern form of tourism, ‘We will fully preserve the local culture and ecology to enhance the charm for local and foreign tourists.’ He said the provincial government wanted to introduce best international practices in these ITZs by providing the facility of one window operation to attract the tourists in this potential region. Atif said that over 20 tourist spots had been identified in the province so far, which would be converted into tourist zones.
A 10-year road-map is in the offing to invigorate tourism industry which has been striving during several decades, to ensure maximum utilization of its huge resources for sustained economic growth, poverty alleviation and reduced social inequalities. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government, after coming into the power, had assigned this task to Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) to harness the sector’s potential under a multi-pronged strategy.
The PTDC, moving forward briskly, had drafted the National Tourism Strategy (NTS) draft after holding multiple consultative sessions with tourism experts of public and private sectors, an official source in the corporation told on Thursday. He said a final meeting of all the tourism stakeholders would be called shortly to give the NTS’ draft a final shape. The draft, after finalization, would be presented before the cabinet for its final approval, he added.