Digital marketing holds promise for tourism promotion and that’s what exactly the present government is doing by rolling out an inclusive project “Brand Pakistan” in coming days to transform the country’s image by projecting its breath-taking tourist resorts at the international level through online means.
“The competent authority has given approval for Brand Pakistan and now our focus is on its launch as bids from event management firms have been invited to formally roll out the mega tourism project at the earliest,” a senior officer of Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) told APP.
The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government, soon after coming into power, tasked the PTDC with transforming the local tourism industry by developing a brand for the local tourism industry at the global level.
He said the Brand Pakistan initiative, which also had an exclusive tourism portal, a ten-year road-map for tourism promotion, a five-year action plan, and national minimum standards for the hospitality sector, was meant to boost tourism activities in the country.
All the components of the project would be unveiled at its launching ceremony, he added.
Giving details of the project, he said international experts were hired to prepare the project, which was finalized after holding thorough consultation with all stakeholders.
He said Brand Pakistan had an exclusive tourism portal, which was meant to promote the country’s tourist attractions across the world through virtual galleries, videos, and documentaries.
It would provide world-class exposure to Pakistan’s tourist attractions with one click. It consisted of a user-friendly interface to interact with the prospective tourists and give them the necessary and latest information about the country’s tourist attractions, he added.
He said a ten-year road-map to invigorate the tourism industry was also part of the project. The ‘National Tourism Strategy’ (NTS) 2020-2030 would ensure maximum utilization of its huge resources for sustained economic growth, poverty alleviation, and reduced social inequalities.
He said the strategy was guided by a vision (2020-2030) that envisaged, a mature, sustainable, and responsible tourism industry contributing significantly to the economic development of Pakistan and the quality of life of all her people, primarily through job creation, social inclusion, and economic growth.
The NTS would raise the industry’s competitiveness and ensure maximum utilization of Pakistan’s natural, cultural, historical, and geographical assets, he added.
The officer said salient features of the strategy included sustained economic growth, employment creation, poverty reduction, safety and security of tourists, roads and efficient transport services, comfortable and hygienic accommodation and restaurants, value shopping, efficient telecommunication services, and access to quality health services.
As a part of the National Tourism strategy, he said a five-year National Tourism Strategy Action Plan (2020-2025) had also been prepared that would provide a road-map for effective implementation of the strategic efforts to boost tourism.
To a query, he said the project might have launched earlier, but delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Commenting on the development, Qamar Abbas, an expert with 30 years in the hospitality sector, said it was a good initiative as Pakistan’s success depended upon swiftly embracing digitalization and leveraging new technologies to adapt to the “new normal”, a complete shift from conventional to an innovative business model.
“The pandemic gives an opportunity to press the reset button and challenge pre-established models, accelerate the transformation and shift to the “tourism of tomorrow”,” Qamar, who is also a member of the National Tourism Coordination Board, remarked.