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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Pakistan: An ideal holiday destination post-corona

Prime Minister Imran Khan reiterated the importance of tourism for Pakistan after coming into power post-2018 elections. So much so that his first 100 days agenda incorporated significant initiatives to boost Pakistan's tourism industry.

The Telegraph, a British newspaper has declared Pakistan to be the most ideal place to visit for post-corona holiday trips, in a news piece on tourism published yesterday.

It begins by admiring the beauty of the K2 mountain, which the largest mountain in the world after Mount Everest. The news piece calls it “the most impressive of all of Earth’s great peaks.” 

Post 9/11, Pakistan’s trekking industry saw a downfall. However, after coming into power post-2018 elections, Prime Minister Imran Khan reiterated the importance of tourism for Pakistan. So much so that his first 100 days agenda incorporated significant initiatives to boost Pakistan’s tourism industry. The premier gave directives to establish an e-visa system and also increased the accessibility of tourist visas, direct flights to Islamabad were recommenced, Pakistan also hosted the Royal Family.

Read more: How to make Pakistan a competitive tourism destination post COVID-19

This trekking season, several climbers have eyes on the mighty K2 mountain. According to the Telegraph, K2 is currently experiencing its busiest winter climbing season which in the past would not have been possible as grant such many climbing permits to climbers was difficult to grant under previous regulations. These expeditions have also been possible because of the road extension from Skardu to the Karakoram, it added.

In late December of 2020, a score of international climbers from all over the world had reached Pakistan to climb K2. 

Nearly 80 climbers set on the expedition to scale the K2 summit amid extreme weather challenges, risking their lives to claim the precious award in the realm of mountaineering. Climbers from 15 countries including Nepal, United States, Spain, Iceland, and other countries had reached Gilgit-Baltistan to climb K2.

Interestingly, K2 is the only mountain peak left in the list of the world’s 14 peaks rising above 8000 meters, to be scaled in winters.

“There is so much more to trekking in Pakistan than K2 base camp. With endless soaring summits, panoramic mountain passes, and idyllic meadows, Pakistan has tracts of outstanding hiking options to rival its Himalayan neighbors. There are more comfortable hut-to-hut routes available as well as treks with considerably more accommodating campsites than the Baltoro Glacier, as well as myriad day hiking options,” reported the Telegraph.

Read more: New airports to help boost exports, tourism: President

Apart from trekking, after 16 long years, Pakistan will finally host international cricket again in 2021. The tour will welcome the England cricket team which will be led by Wasim Khan, the British chief executive for Pakistan Cricket Board.

“If you’re planning a trekking holiday in 2021, consider forgoing the well-worn paths of the Alps or Annapurna and instead, head for the magnificent Karakoram with its embarrassment of lofty peaks and empty trails. The mountains are calling and Pakistan is finally ready to take its place as one of the world’s premier trekking destinations,” the news report concluded.

Pakistan-China tourism cooperation

In late December of 2020, Pakistan’s Ambassador to China, Moin ul Haque visited China Tourism Academy (CTA) to discuss China-Pakistan tourism cooperation. CTA President Dai Bin warmly welcomed Ambassador Haque and his delegation and said that the Academy is willing to fully communicate with Pakistan on all topics related to tourism.

“Both China and Pakistan are ancient civilizations and shared profound traditional friendship.

We hope to strengthen the knowledge and understanding of the two peoples through more in-depth tourism exchanges and cooperation so that the friendship can be passed on from generation to generation,” Ambassador Haque said.

Read more: Chinese website to be launched to promote Pak-China tourism: Ambassador Haque