Islamabad, February 11: Islamabad—Government is revamping and remodeling Tourist Information Centres of Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) and plan is to establish Tourist Facilitation Centers (TFCs) in Provincial Headquarters to promote tourism. Special discounted tour packages have also been introduced to encourage students, families and groups to explore Pakistan.
Besides, PTDC is reviewing National Tourism Policy and participating actively in international and domestic tourism events to attract local and foreign visitors. “A total of 28,333 foreign, 1,844,000 local tourists have visited Northern Areas during 2007-10”, official sources at PTDC told APP, here today.
Government has also increased the tourist friendly countries from 2 to 26, he said. Underlining various steps for promotion of tourism, official said tourists of 26 countries have been granted one month validity and multiple entries for group travel through designated Tour Operators. Pakistani Missions abroad have been authorized to grant tourist/visit visa for three months validity and stay with double entry and other, he added. Replying to a question he said the outstanding dues of PTDC would be cleared soon.A summary has been moved to the Prime Minister Secretariat for release of funds in this regard, he added.
He said PTDC’s tourist resorts in northern areas Gilgit-Baltistan were including Chinnar Inn, Gilgit, PTDC Motel, Hunza, PTDC Motel, Sost (Pak-China border), K-2 Motel, Skardu,PTDC Motel, Gupis (Distt. Ghizer), PTDC Motel, Phandar (Distt. Ghizer),PTDC Motel, Stapara Lake, Skardu, PTDC Motel, Khaplu, Skardu, PTDC Motel, Astak (Gilgit-Skardu Road), PTDC Motel, Rama Lake (Astor). Meanwhile, it is also reported that around 1.88 million local and foreign tourists have visited Northern Areas (Gilgit-Baltistan) during four years, showing an increasing trend in number of tourists with each passing year.
Of the total, 1.85 million local tourists visited the said areas while the number of foreign tourists was 28,333 during the period from 2007 to 2010. As per data of Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation here on Monday, at present there are ten PTDC tourist resorts located at scenic and attractive places of GB.
The government has taken numerous steps to promote tourism which included revamping and remodeling of PTDC’s Tourist Information Centres and establishment of Tourist Facilitation Centers in Provincial Headquarters. Moreover, the tourist friendly countries have been increased from 2 to 26 for grant of visa on arrival for one month validity and multiple entries for group travel through designated tour operators while Pakistani Missions abroad have been authorized togrant tourist/visit visa for three months validity and stay with double entry.
Similarly, awareness campaigns for tourism through print and electronic media is also part of steps taken to promote the area while the authorities also introduced special discounted tour packages to encourage students, families and group to explore Pakistan. —APP