INAUGURATING the heritage trail at Nandana Fort near Jhelum, Prime Minister Imran Khan announced that the government would develop the first ever tourist map of Pakistan to attract local and foreign visitors as the country has a myriad of sightseeing destinations with diversity of mountains, coastlines, historic and cultural sites as well as religious places.
Indeed tourism mapping is very important to provide necessary guidance to tourists in identifying and finding the best tourism spots in the area.
A clear well-marked map, with defined commercial and recreational areas is a valuable tool for navigation and way finding.
They are also helpful in highlighting available facilities and things to see and do in the area.
Therefore, the PM’s idea of preparing a tourism map is a step in the right direction to further project and promotes the country as a tourism hub.
However, it must be ensured that such a map provides all the necessary information to the tourists.
Using the GIS technology will really help produce an efficient and effective tourism map.
It really goes to the credit of present government for giving special emphasis to tourism which is one of the largest industries in the world and some countries are earning billions of dollars annually.
PM Khan very rightly stated that Pakistan is currently earning nothing from tourism when compared with countries like Turkey and Malaysia which are earning $ 40 and $ 20 billion dollars respectively per annum.
There is no doubt that our country has a rich and diverse landscape but our tourism potential will remain untapped until and unless, special emphasis is given to the development of necessary infrastructure. The key to the success of any tourist attraction is easy access.
Unfortunately, the condition of our roads leading to the picturesque sites is really miserable. Finding public washrooms is not less than a nightmare for tourists.
Similarly, we have not constructed the hotels and other facilities at the tourist sites. We therefore will suggest that the government and the private sector go hand in hand in the tourism industry.
The government should give a broader policy that lures foreign tourists to the country while the private sector should pitch in to cater to tourists on the ground.