Pakistan an ideal tourist destination; Country offers paradise of adventure activities to tourists - GulfToday

Pakistan an ideal tourist destination; Country offers paradise of adventure activities to tourists


Famous Kalash Valley's women celebrate their annual festival.

Mian Mujahid Shah, Gulf Today

Pakistan is one of the world's leading tourist destinations, where visitors flock to the country to see its historical and cultural sites. Tourism sector of Pakistan has enormous potential. Pakistan is one of the few countries in the world, which are blessed with a diverse inventory of tourism attractions.

The country is home to one of the oldest civilisations in the world, locations with attractive scenic beauty, splendid mountains and peas, sacred religious and historic places, seasonal varieties, unique arts and crafts and rich culture and heritage. These tourist attractions are spread across all the four provinces, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir.

Pakistan is a land of spectacular scenery, ranging from snow-covered peaks and frozen lakes to tranquil valleys and lovely beaches, with relics of ancient civilisations and Mughal infrastructures. There are also Hindu and Sikh pilgrimage destinations in the area. Pakistan is now seeing the fastest growth rates in tourist arrivals globally, and tourism is considered a vital part of Pakistan's growth strategy.

ShahiFort-Lahore A front view of the historical Badshahi Qilla (fort) in Lahore.

Pakistan is a melting pot of cultures, traditions, and languages. The historical city of Lahore, with its Mughal architecture and vibrant bazaars, provides a glimpse into the country's rich past. Karachi, the bustling metropolis by the sea, reflects the modern face of Pakistan with its skyscrapers, vibrant nightlife, and diverse culinary scene. The ancient city of Taxila, a Unesco World Heritage Site, showcases the remnants of one of the oldest civilisations, attracting history enthusiasts from around the globe.

K2-Pakistan A view of mountaineers at top of the world's tallest K2 mountain.

For thrill-seekers, Pakistan offers a paradise of adventure activities. The northern regions are a haven for trekking, mountaineering, and skiing, attracting adventurers from around the world. The Hunza River provides opportunities for white-water rafting, while the vast Thar Desert invites enthusiasts to explore its golden sands on camel safaris. The potential for eco-tourism is immense, with opportunities for hiking, bird-watching, and wildlife photography in the country's numerous national parks.

SaifulMalook A view of Saif-ul-Malook lake in Kaghan Valley.

One of Pakistan's greatest assets is its people. Known for their warm hospitality and friendliness, Pakistanis welcome visitors with open arms. Travellers often find themselves immersed in the local culture, sharing meals with families, and experiencing the genuine warmth of the communities they encounter.

Pakistani cuisine is a delightful fusion of flavours, reflecting the country's diverse cultural influences. From the aromatic biryanis and succulent kebabs to the sweet delights of traditional desserts, every region offers a unique culinary experience.

Kalam-Swat A view of a lake in Kalam Valley.

The untapped tourism potential, characterised by its diverse landscapes, rich cultural heritage, warm hospitality, adventure opportunities, and culinary delights, positions Pakistan as a promising destination for those seeking a unique and immersive journey.

UNWTO recognised Pakistan as one of the best performing tourist destinations in 2023

Due to the efforts of Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) for the promotion of tourism and recovery of foreign tourism in Pakistan we have been recognised by the UNWTO in its latest report of 2023.

IslamiaCollegePeshawar A view of the historical Islamia College in Peshawar.

Pakistan is leading the recovery graph by 92% of the pre-pandemic level in 2023. Pakistan welcomed 115% more foreign tourists during 2023 as compared to the last year reflecting a strong come back after the COVID-19 pandemic. We are hopeful that the international tourist receipts could reach to the level of $1.3 billion by the end of 2023.

Ziyarat-Quetta A view of the Quaid-e-Azam residency, Ziarat in Balochistan province.

As a whole, Asia and the Pacific Region reached 62% of pre-pandemic levels in 2023 due to slower reopening to international travel. However, Pakistan’s performance remained very well due to the efforts of PTDC to promote and project the image of Pakistan as a tourist friendly destination at different global forums and through social media.

During the last year, PTDC along with the provincial tourist departments and private sector tour operators participated in six mega tourism events such as World Travel Mart London, ITB Berlin, New York Travel and Adventure Show, Arabian Travel Mart Dubai, Seoul Travel Mart Korea and Travel Mart in Vietnam.

Swat-Historicalsite An aerial view of the historical Buddhist Stupas and monuments in Swat Valley.

Participation in these mega global events provided Pakistani tour operators excellent opportunities to develop strong B2B linkages with the foreign tour operators from other counties.

PTDC also organised various online B2B meetings of Pakistani tour operators with the tour operators of different counties with the support of Pakistani missions abroad.

As a result, there was a sharp increase of 115% in the foreign tourists who travelled on tourist visa to Pakistan during 2023. Moreover, PTDC also launched a new tourism brand “Salam Pakistan” in August 2023, which has created a great positive impact to attract Pakistani diaspora, foreign travellers and domestic tourists to visit exotic tourist destinations of Pakistan.

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