Tourism in Pakistan Has Tripled in Four Years

Pakistan tourism saw a major downfall after the 9/11 attacks in 2001. Many started seeing Pakistan as a terrorist state but the conditions of the country seem to have improved since 2014. After the massacre of school children in Peshawar, military started neutralizing the terrorist threats by conducting operations in suspicious areas.

As the security aspects of the country improved, the tourists have started pouring into the country to see the northern areas of Pakistan like the Swat Valley which is also known as the Switzerland of Pakistan. Pakistan barely got any tourists during 2007 to 2013 due to the Taliban threat.

Read More: Pakistan Tourism Websites Are One of the Reasons We Don’t Get Any Tourists

The annual number of tourists have tripled since 2013. Last year they reached 1.75 million. There has been a sharp increase in domestic tourists as well which have increased by 30%.

The KPK government has been at the forefront in trying to improve the tourism industry in the province. Several new projects have been undertaken by the provincial government in order to bring in more tourists and it seems to be working as the province is the centre of attention for local and foreign tourists.

Pakistan’s Steps To Increase Tourism

Pakistan is also putting in an effort to make improve its image. This year, posters were put up on the iconic London’s red buses regarding tourism in Pakistan. Pakistani is also putting in efforts to improve the infrastructure to entertain the increasing number of tourists arriving in the country.

Resort spots, like the northern town of Naran, are buzzing with construction work. Many hotels and restaurants are being established for the holiday makers.

Pakistan tourism industry contributed $19.4 billion last year to the GDP, which is 6.9% of the total GDP. It is expected to reach $36.1 billion in this decade.

Many hotels, restaurants are also benefiting from these tourists. Hotel bookings have increased by 80% according to Jovago, the biggest online booking site in Pakistan.

Jhonny Bealby, who is a manager at Wild Frontier Adventure Travels ltd, has been running trips to Pakistan for the past twenty years and said that the tours are up by 60% since last year.

In Bealby’s opinion the main improvement in Pakistan has been infrastructure. “The roads have improved immeasurably reducing journey times.’’

Read More: This Ski Resort in Swat is Evidence of Improving Local Tourism in Pakistan

Many Canadians are also making their way to the snow-capped mountains in the north and the clear blue lakes like Saif-ul-maluk. One tourist in particular said “It’s beautiful — well worth the effort.”

The security challenges are not a 100% resolved but have been dealt with to a large extent.

Visa Challenges

It is neither easy nor cheap for the foreigners to get visa for Pakistan said Ayesha Siddiqua, who is a research student in School of Oriental and African Studies in London. She also said that Pakistan is not as publicized as a tourist spot as India is making itself a more accessible tourist spot.

Government is expanding their visa-on-arrival services which is currently available to 16 countries reported Mukhtar Ali.

The tourists are also making their way to Karachi which is known for political and gang activities. Super Sawari initiated a sightseeing tour of the city in 2015. They plan to organize more trips like this in near future.

All is well in the tourist Industry which will hopefully prosper in the coming years.

Via Bloomberg

  • Dekho Pakistanio Dekhao
    Main Ne Aman Qaim Kiya, Mulk Main Visitors A Rahe hai : Investor A Rahy hai :
    Phir Bhi Q Nikala Mujhy Q :

    Ex & Corrupted (Prime Minister of Islamic Republic of Pakistan Cum China)

  • This is only possible due to the policies of N-League Government. Keep it up.
    P.S: Waiting for abusive language of “Naya Pakistanis”. :-P

  • Do you think placing banners on London’s iconic double decker bus will increase tourism? After 18th Amendment, nothing good happened for tourism. The ministry was dissolved and now there is no setup at the Federal level to support tourism. Its an irony that seeing a few “Goras” we think tourism in increasing. Nothing is further than truth.
    Look at all the hotels with below average occupancy level. The transporters are using the fleet in local activities. Tour operators try to lure domestic travellers who actually prefer foreign destinations.

    Just because Jovago in experiencing 80% growth in their booking engine doesn’t mean tourism is increasing. It just means Pakistani Population is now moving towards web for their hotel reservation instead of traditional distribution channels (something which is already the norm in west)

    Shame, complete Shame on misleading write up.

  • It’s very interesting that you mentioned kpk government’s effort while in the original article from Bloomberg there is no mention of Kpk government…. I’ll leave at that proPTI

  • I think now eco tourism policy should be announced with aligning all tourism companies. KPK is planting trees in Naran, AJK is doing nothing, GB is building infrastructure but must have to look for preserving environment.

  • close