Tourism without security is a non-starter. If the government wants tourists — both foreign and domestic — to visit Pakistan’s natural and historical wonders and to thus increase revenue from tourism, it must ensure peace and security. No one will be inclined to visit Pakistan with images of gun-toting Taliban militants and the aftermath of suicide bombings being flashed across the international media. And when talking of image, many have also criticised the appointment of a cleric as the federal tourism minister. Tourist figures from 2003-06 are quite respectable and prove that, with relative calm prevailing, people will indeed visit the country. Other than security, the government must go beyond rhetoric and seriously think about upgrading the tourism infrastructure to make it attractive to international travellers as well as domestic visitors. There does exist a National Tourism Policy. The question — as always — is that of implementation.
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