CPEC to help revive Pakistan’s tourism despite challenges of flood, says official-Xinhua


 Arial photo taken on Aug. 5, 2019 shows the view of Sukkur-Multan Motorway in central Pakistan’s Multan. (Xinhua/Ahmad Kamal)

The CPEC has spread a vast network of roads from the south, east and north of Pakistan and will play a vital role in the revival of the tourism sector when the situation becomes normal after floods, an official said.

ISLAMABAD, Sept. 29 (Xinhua) — The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will help revive the tourism sector of Pakistan, which has faced a serious setback due to recent floods, Managing Director of Pakistan Tourism Department Corporation (PTDC) Aftab Ur Rehman Rana said.

CPEC has spread a vast network of roads from the south, east and north of Pakistan, making the tourist resorts in north Pakistan accessible to tourists, and it will play a vital role in the revival of the tourism sector when the situation becomes normal after floods, Rana told Xinhua.

Talking about the potential of the tourism industry after the normalcy in the country, following the floods, he said that it will not only create economic activity in the local areas but will also have a positive impact on the national economy.

Currently, 300,000 people in the country are associated with the tourism industry, and with an uptick in the number of tourists in the country due to better roads and connectivity, the number is likely to increase to 500,000 in the coming years, he added.

Arial photo taken on Aug. 5, 2019 shows the view of Sukkur-Multan Motorway in central Pakistan’s Multan. (Xinhua/Ahmad Kamal)

Talking about the devastating floods which killed over 1,600 people and affected over 33 million others, the official said that the flashflood had hit the tourism industry hard as tens of hotels and restaurants in tourist resorts of northwest Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province were swept away by flood waters, and many others were seriously damaged.

“Flood happened during the last days of the peak season of tourism in the northern areas of Pakistan when usually hundreds of tourists throng to the northern areas. This year, dozens of tourists were trapped due to floods, and the tourism activities were abruptly suspended,” he added.

Rana said that teams have been formed to assess the losses incurred to the tourism industry due to floods, and according to rough estimates it will take at least two to three years to rebuild infrastructure for tourists in the northern areas.

Pakistan generates good revenue from foreign tourists visiting the country for adventure tourism. However, this year’s floods also discouraged foreign tourists, he said.

The PTDC official told Xinhua that global warming is also feared to pose a great threat to his country’s adventure tourism industry as the glaciers are melting at a rapid pace, and overall temperatures in the country are rising.

He said that the department is trying to create awareness against climate change effects and facilitate private tour operators to boost tourism and promote the country’s image in international arena. 



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