How Social Media is Helping Local Tourism


Although some people, mostly journalists from the developed world, keep reminding us how alienating social media is and how unhappy it makes us, but it appears that Social Media has had the opposite effect in our part of the world.

These social websites have provided many a people with alternative spaces to get to know each other, discuss matters, and plan things — which was previously difficult, if not impossible. Members of the Punjabi communities living in India and Pakistan come to mind, for instance.

Another area where the social websites have played a vital role is that of local tourism. Many groups have popped up that arrange trips to as close as Nilan Bhotu (just across the Margallah Hills) to as far as K2.

No, they are not your usual tour operators. Most of these groups were originally a circle of travel enthusiasts who used to make private trips every other month until one of them suggested to make it a profitable thing by inviting outsiders to join.

Facebook has helped. An event is created. Travel plan is posted along with some pictures. And a few people are invited. The rest happens by itself because of the social nature of Facebook.

Quite often, all the seats are filled within a week. Every month there are a number of such expeditions being announced on Facebook and the frequency is increasing.

The Joshi festival of the Kalash people, held every year in mid-May, is on the calendar of many such travel groups these days. With a simple Facebook search, I was able to find 5 such groups taking more than 400 people to Chitral for the festival.

Many of those going with these groups will be people who might not have gone otherwise. It’s a win-win.

Sohail Abid has traveled extensively in Punjab and Kashmir on his motorbike. He is currently on an indefinite journey to capture photos, videos, and stories of contemporary Pakistan. The updates are being posted on the website, Also Pakistan.

      • In Paid articles you have to mention that its paid because it doesn’t support the view of the blogger or owner of ProPakistani.

        • Yes, this will be taken care of.

          I am considering this because there are instances when companies want to get their write-ups published, which we don’t — due to editorial policies or because we don’t consider it interesting enough for our readers — in such cases we can offer them the publication against a charge and a mention in the article that it is a paid content.

          • I am glad to see if the Paid content on this website and I guess you will be the first one to allow others to use your platform.
            Readers usually don’t visit websites of all companies for public documents rather a single forum which provides a summary and allow them to express their views.
            Best of Luck !

    • No, Aamir, it isn’t paid. Because the article is about travel groups that originated at Facebook, I thought it better to use one of the popular ones as the article photo. That’s all there is.

  • There’s no issue with paid adverts but should be clearly mentioned at the top of the article…….on a lighter note free lunch is available at Data Darbar :)

    • We don’t do paid articles, in any case, yet.

      However, I am considering to start paid articles. In such cases, the nature of articles would be mentioned clearly and explicitly.

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