Tourism is a good medium that can promote cultural exchanges and pass on the friendship between China and Pakistan from generation to generation, a researcher from China Tourism Academy (CTA) said.
Yang Jinsong, Director of the Institute of International Studies at CTA said in interview that China-Pakistan exchanges in the tourism industry are in their infancy.
Pakistan became a destination country for Chinese group tourists since 2003. In 2015, there were more than 50,000 Chinese tourists to Pakistan, which increased to more than 80,000 in 2019.
While there were 155 million Chinese outbound tourists in 2019, so the digital divide is still very large, China Economic Net (CEN) reported.
In the future, we hope to promote mutual understanding and tourism exchanges between the two countries through traditional media, social media and other platforms, he added.
Touching on Chinese tourists demand for Pakistan, Yang said, Pakistan has abundant tourism resources, but Chinese tourists cannot get access to that information.
First, Pakistan should do more publicity about their tourist industry. Second, as people are increasingly concerned about safety and health due to the COVID-19 epidemic, how to ensure the safety of tourists is a very important issue. Third, we hope Pakistan will learn more about the consumption habits of Chinese tourists.
The 6th #CPEC Media Forum under the theme of “Post-epidemic China-Pakistan Media Cooperation”, scheduled on 28th Dec, is expected to generate closer economic cooperation and cultural exchanges between China & Pakistan.#Pakistan@CathyPak https://t.co/Uk1cnDtpth
— Balochistan Board of Investment & Trade (@BBoIT1) December 26, 2020
For example, Chinese tourists like to buy special commodities and souvenirs during their journeys. If a destination country can study the purchasing habits of tourists in-depth, it will definitely promote the development of local tourism.
In terms of travel facilitation, Yang said, the visa processing can be simplified, shuttle flights can be increased and 5G network coverage can be improved, I believe the Chinese tourists will be more willing to visit Pakistan.
Regarding CTA medium and long-term plans to promote China-Pakistan tourist exchanges, Yang said that in the future, it will establish a linkage and cooperation mechanism with other ministries towards tourism.
As the data center of China Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the academy is currently conducting country studies and hopes to carry out more cooperation with Pakistan in data exchange. CTA has rich experience in research report seminars and tourism training, which can be shared with Pakistan.
In terms of learning from China tourism development experience, Yang said that each country has its own national conditions and sometimes can not directly copy other countries’ experience.
But some of China successful experience can help Pakistan avoid hiccups, for example, we can provide a reference for Pakistan in scenic spot construction and market order regulation.
At present, China domestic tourism is recovering at an accelerating pace, we can also offer Pakistan some experience in epidemic prevention and control and resumption of work and production.
According to a recent report Pakistan Ambassador to China Moin ul Haque recently visited CTA.
Yang described Haque visit as an opportunity and a starting point to promote the development of Pakistani tourist industry and spur on China-Pakistan cultural and tourist cooperation.