Gilgit/Hunza, October 09: A regional Workshop on “Integrated Tourism Concepts to Contribute to Sustainable Development in Mountain Regions” has started at KIU, Gilgit with the objective of discussing options, strategies and institutional implications to develop integrated cross-border tourism in the region.
The workshop has been organised by Capacity Building International, Germany with the collaboration of Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (AKRSP), Pakistan and XASS, China.
During the first part of the workshop, delegates discussed relevant concepts, shared experiences and set the stage for an analysis of integrated (cross-border) tourism around the themes; importance of tourism for development of local communities, infrastructure and local economies and environmental impact. The focus of the dialogue event remained on the aspects of stakeholders and their roles, planning and governance of relevant processes.
The sessions held in Gilgit was attended by Sulaiman Wali; Chairman Chief Executive Task Force Committee, Richter Jurgen; Director InWent, Germany, Prof. Dr. Hermann Kreutzmann; ZELF Freie Universitat Berlin, Sunil Sharma; ICIMOD Nepal, Johannes Heeb; CIPRA, Cao Zhixin; Tourism Bureau of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region; Rehmat Nabi President Tourism Association Northern Areas; Izhar Ali Hunzai; GM AKRSP, Li Yang; Development & Reform Commission Kashgar Prefecture, and. representative of Xinjiang Foreign Affairs Office and Tourism Department Northern Areas.
The second part of the workshop consists of 4 days of field experiences from Hunza to Kashghar, China whereby the participants will be able to observe and hold discussions with relevant stakeholders. In this connection the delegates will visit tourism sites (cultural tourism, national parks, hotels etc.) in Pakistan and Xinjiang in order to allow for a comparison of situations and arrangements.
During the second day, the delegates visited Hunza valley to witness best practices in tourism and community development. The first group visited the handicraft and Gems cutting and polishing projects of KADO to observe the relationship between tourism and local communities. The second group held meetings with Altit and Baltit Town Management Societies to observe the relationship between tourism infrastructure and local economy. The third group visited the local markets to findout the relationship between tourism and environment with special focus on agriculture.
Secretary Planning, Shakeel-u-Rehman; member NALA and other officials also attended a dinner arranged by AKRSP for the delegates at a local hotel.
The delegates will also hold meetings with representative of Sost Dry Port, Local Support Organisation, Gojal-II and Khunjerab National Park to discuss the present situation and future opportunities in different sectors. The delegates will also visit Passu and Chinese engineers Camp in Gulmit .
During their visit to China, the delegates will hold meetings with county representatives, national park authorities, mountaineering authorities and other relevant stakeholders at Tashkurgan and Kashghar, China on different aspects of tourism.
The delegates will analyse the current situation and the formulation of best practices during the last sessions in Kassghar, China.