Disaster after disaster equals no tourism ministry for Pakistan


PAKISTAN (eTN) – Pakistan is a country that is facing its worst conditions ever regarding its tourism industry. First, it was the great tragedy of 9/11 that dented the tourism industry, and then in 2005, a horrific earthquake collapsed the total tourism infrastructure in Kaghan valley, and this was followed by the Taliban capturing the beautiful Swat Valley.

These disasters were followed by year 2010 bringing the floods that wreaked havoc with the entire tourism sector. Now, there is no tourism ministry left in Pakistan, and no tourism ministry means no tourism department and no tourism minister.

Such a situation is amazing, and the country’s people look to the government of Pakistan, which has no respect for tourism, although Pakistan had been a paradise for tourists, said a former consultant for the Ministry of Tourism, Agha Iqrar Haroon, who had also been working as President of the Ecotourism Society Pakistan (ESP). This former ESP President has demanded the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) to look into the affairs and ask the government of Pakistan who could look after the tourism industry in the country now that the federal Ministry of Tourism has been abolished.

It should be mentioned that the federal Ministry of Tourism was abolished under the constitutional requirement that ensures transfer of the tourism ministry to the provinces. However ,lack of interest by the government, coupled with interprovincial departmental problems and no parallel system ,has ended the restart of the tourism sector before it has even had a chance to begin.

There have been provincial tourism ministries in Pakistan for the last 2 decades, but these ministries cannot register or look after the tourism industry, because such powers were placed only with the federal Ministry of Tourism government of Pakistan. The publicity and promotion of the country was also a responsibility of the federal ministry. No federal ministry has indicated that there would be any desire or demand to promote Pakistan as a country on the global map of tourism.