Chinese tourism to Pakistan
China declares Pakistan favored destination for Chinese tourists
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - Mir Shahjahan Khetran, Managing Director of PTDC participated in VIP Sharing Forum of CCTV Program “Preview & Presentation” held at Beijing, China. The Theme of the forum was “The Strategic Solution under the complicated economic situation in China”.
“Through this forum, we are able to understand the dynamics of rapid development and growth of China in different sectors of the economy including inbound and outbound tourism. This forum offered golden opportunity to meet with the Chinese businessmen and investors, particularly from the tourism and hospitality sector, so as to convince them to invest in Pakistan’s tourism industry, directly as well as through public private partnership” MD PTDC said.
China Central Television or Chinese Central Television (CCTV), is the predominant state television broadcaster in mainland China. CCTV has a network of 22 channels broadcasting different programs and is accessible to more than one billion viewers. Most of its programs are a mixture of documentary, comedy, entertainment, and drama. CCTV in collaboration with PTDC has made a documentary film on Pakistan and Silk Route, which was aired in 4 episodes. The film also depicts the journey of famous Chinese tourist Mr. Hewun Sang, to Pakistan’s Gandhara heritage.
During his visit to China, with the help of senior official from Pakistan Embassy in Beijing, Managing Director of PTDC had a number of meetings with Chinese investors, business community, tourism professionals and media personnel. He said that there are a lot of tourist attractions in Pakistan for Chinese tourists which include Gandhara Heritage and Silk Route, etc. In the year 2010, total of 27887 Chinese tourists visited Pakistan, out of which majority was came for official purpose or business meetings. Pakistan is trying hard to bring more Chinese tourists to visit for tourism purpose. Pakistan is already providing visa-on-arrival facility to Chinese group tourists. China has declared Pakistan as most favored destination for Chinese tourists. Since 2004, PTDC in collaboration with public and private sector organizations is regularly participating in Beijing International Tourism Expo and Tianjin Travel Exhibition.
To promote Pakistan’s tourism products and create soft image of the country, PTDC participated in UNWTO Conference in the world’s largest ITB Berlin Tourism Exhibition, World Islamic Tourism Mart in Malaysia, SAARC Tour Operators Conclave in India and SAARC Travel & Tourism Mart in Bangladesh. During 2010, Pakistan received 906,818 foreign tourists and earned US$ 306 million from tourism. Over 200,000 visitors to Pakistan were from South Asia Region forming 22.5% of the total arrivals. On domestic level, PTDC arranges media familiarizations trips to Naran, Ayubia, Swat, Chitral and other places every year. This year, on the occasion of International Mountains Day, Wall Climbing Competition and Plant Sapling Walk was arranged. Ecotourism walk was also held in Fatima Jinnah Park, Islamabad.
Since 1986, PTDC’s Subsidiary Pakistan Tours Ltd. is successfully running Bus Service between Pakistan and China on the route Sost to Taxkugan. The operation of this bus service starts from 1stMay till 1st December every year. One way fare is US$ 25 and travel time is 5 ½ hours. In addition, this subsidiary is also handling Chinese tourist groups by providing boarding, lodging and transport facilities since its incorporation. For the last 30 years, PTDC’s 18 Tourist Information Centers are assisting tourists in planning their holidays by providing tourist information, literature, maps and booklets in addition to booking of accommodation and transport. PTDC has setup 39 motels and restaurants in the important areas of Pakistan, where private sector was shy to invest.