Pakistan moves up six places in WEF’s Tourism Development Index

Japan, the United States, Spain, France and Germany topped the list in the index which assessed 117 countries, identifying key factors enabling sustainable and resilient growth of the travel and tourism sector which, in turn, contributes to development. of a country. The study showed that the tourism sector is showing signs of recovery in many countries after being hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pakistani tourism companies and government organizations have welcomed the development and pledged to make tourist destinations more sustainable.

Speaking to Gulf News, Aftabur Rehman Rana, Managing Director of Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC), said, “Making our tourism more sustainable and environmentally friendly is the need of the hour as tourism in Pakistan , especially domestic tourism, is growing at a steady pace. very rapid pace which has the potential to have a negative impact on the fragile natural environment of our tourist destinations.

He said that more emphasis should be placed on the effective management of tourist sites by involving local administrations. Raising public awareness of the environment is essential for eco-friendly tourism, he added.

The scenic north of Pakistan attracts thousands of domestic and international tourists every year. The country is home to high mountains, snow-capped valleys, beautiful beaches and lakes, sandy deserts and incredible landscapes. However, environmental experts are extremely concerned about waste tourism, creating water, air and noise pollution in Pakistan.

Pakistan has some of the most pristine and unexplored tourist spots where ecotourism programs can be introduced to encourage conservation, responsible travel to natural areas and benefit local communities, suggests former climate change minister Malik Amin Aslam .

“A framework has been developed in line with World Bank guidelines under the KP Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Integrated Tourism Development (KITE Project), but it needs to be scaled up and implemented nationwide as soon as possible. This includes new construction regulations, proper waste management facilities and managing sustainable tourist loads,” Aslam told Gulf News. He warned that unregulated tourism could impact natural areas, local people and the income generated by the sector and that it would amount to “killing the golden goose”.

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