Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday reminded government ministers that Pakistan’s “untouched” scenic sites will be ruined if tourism in the country is not regulated and appropriate laws are not implemented.
Addressing the Pakistan Tourism Summit in Islamabad, where several renowned foreign travel bloggers were in attendance, the premier said the fact that Pakistan is known for its hospitality globally is because the people here are welcoming to tourists.
A major reason a place is admired by tourists is because of its people, Khan added.
But he stressed the need for regulating tourism in the country, warning that areas on which people descend on to mint money off tourists “get ruined”.
“Pakistan’s beauty is that it is untouched,” the prime minister said.
Khan said many tribal areas of the former Fata will attract a lot of visitors when they are opened for tourism. But when that is done, the prime minister added while addressing his task force on tourism, “I request you that you have to make people respect the local sensibilities and local culture.”
He said if tourists disrespect the local customs of the tribal areas, the reaction that would follow would negatively impact tourism.
Citing personal travel experiences in Pakistan over the course of his life, the prime minister once again highlighted the tourism potential of the country, which he said was “unmatched” anywhere in the world.
“No other sector in Pakistan offers returns on investment as much as tourism,” Khan told the audience.
The prime minister urged the “elite” class of Pakistan to visit the domestic tourist attractions instead of spending their summer vacations in England and other European countries.