Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government is focused on making the province a tourist hub for the country. In an effort to make this possible, it has decided to establish a separate tourism authority in the province, in line with tourism laws while formulating a dedicated tourist police force.
This decision came up in a high-level meeting on the KP Tourism Act in Peshawar. With KP Chief Minister Mahmood Khan, the meeting included senior Minister for Tourism Atif Khan, KP Law Minister Sultan Muhammad Khan, provincial Finance Minister Taimoor Saleem, and several other senior officials.
The meeting was apprised that there are a total of 20 tourist spots in the province. These spots will be turned into tourist zones in a bid to promote tourism in the region.
Furthermore, it was decided to open up the tribal areas for tourists, which had to face decades-long insurgency and destruction and now requires livelihood for the residents. The government will extend the tourist zones to the newly merged districts.
The CM directed the KP Inspector General of Police to complete the training of the Tourism Police of the province by June this year. Officers for this police will be taken from the present police force of the province and will be given the training to deal with tourists. The government will take help from Thailand’s Tourism Authority in this regard.
The tourism minister told that his ministry has prepared a draft tourism bill, which will be presented in the assembly for being passed into law.
CM Mahmood also promised to provide all requisite facilities of international standards in the designated tourist zones. These facilities will include green belts, hotels, sports grounds, jeep tracks, and other tourist-related activities and facilities.
Mahmood directed to set up tourist zones in areas of Swat including the Daral Lake Valley, Gabeen Jabba, Mankyal Valley, Izmis Lake, and Kandal. He further said that the government should build tourist zones in Chitral in the areas of Golain Valley, Bir Mughalaghat Valley, and parts of District Buner like Bir Gali.
The provincial executive also said that these tourist spots will be linked with District Dir and a tourism network will be set up in the province.