Gilgit-Baltistan:Tourism is one of the largest revenue-generating industries worldwide

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ISLAMABAD: Festivities that were held across the country to celebrate the World Tourism Day have underlined that this crucial sector be used for attaining national harmony and progress.

Tourism is one of the largest revenue-generating industries worldwide and the second biggest in Malaysia after manufacturing. Its share in Pakistan’s economy, however, has not reached the level it should have.

According to Managing Director Shahjahan Khetran, tourism could be used as a vital tool through which national harmony and progress could be achieved.

The MD was addressing a seminar held to mark the World Tourism Day organised jointly by PTDC and Association of Tour Operators. Khetran said tourism could also play a vital role in socio-economic development of the country.

PTDC celebrated the day being the national tourism organisation and affiliate member of the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).

Khetran underlined the need for promoting Pakistani culture and tourism at an international level.

He added that PTDC was promoting and developing tourism infrastructure in far-flung areas of the country, where the private sector was wary of investing.

He said that through coordinated efforts, domestic tourism had increased during the past three years.

Seminars, photographic exhibitions and wall climbing competitions were organised in collaboration with and support of different NGOs.

Pakistan Association of Tour Operators (PATO) Vice President Ayaz Shigri said that Gilgit-Baltistan had enormous potential for adventure and nature-loving domestic and foreign tourists.

He highlighted the need for better coordination among provincial and federal tourism organisations so that the common goal of supporting Pakistan’s national economy can be achieved.

Rawalpindi Chambers of Commerce and Industry Acting President Attiqueur Rehman said that the federal government should retain an organisation like PTDC at the federal level to regulate and promote tourism on a national and global level.

Sustainable Tourism Organisation President Aftabur Rehman Rana highlighted the importance of the preservation of natural and scenic beauty through sustainable tourism development.

He said it was a national duty to preserve the natural environment and cultural heritage so that next generations could also enjoy the beauty of the country.

Tourism For Life Chief Executive Officer Yasir Ilyas Khan introduced his organisation’s voluntary work in tourism, education and health sectors, particularly in Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

He said that 60 percent of Pakistan’s population consisted of its youth and added that to invest in the youth was to invest in Pakistan’s future. app

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