CDA organises walk to promote tourism


Capital Development Authority (CDA) Chairman Imtiaz Inayat Elahi promised on Tuesday to promote the federal capital as a tourist hub not only of the country but of the region, through eco-tourism and preserving the historical sites. He expressed these views while talking to the participants of the ‘Walk of Unity’ organised by the Tourism Division of CDA in connection with the ‘World Tourism Day’. A large number of school going children and people from different segments of the society participated in the event to help promote the tourism with a view to reflect a soft image of the country. The annual event is celebrated around the world since 1980, with an aim to promote tourism industry through bringing different cultures and people closer, initiating a process of amalgamation, in an effort to minimise conflicts and resultant bloodshed.
The CDA chairman CDA said, “We stand by the international community in the celebrations of World Tourism Day 2011 with a commitment to play a responsible role towards achieving the shared goals,” while adding that the CDA, as an efficient municipal body, had been steps to promote tourism in federal capital, which boasted many irresistible tourism attractions. “It is also strategically located at the crossroads of most attractive tourist destinations of Pakistan. Islamabad is very rich in culture and history. The CDA has identified more than 100 historic and archaeological sites and is taking long and short-term measures to protect, develop and preserve them.”
Elahi said a full-fledged Tourism Division had been established in the civic body to exploit and optimise the tourism potential of Islamabad.
“Being an eco-friendly organisation, we have introduced the concept of eco-tourism. The CDA also focusing on the promotion of school tourism and has prepared different attractive tour packages because we believe that exposure is the best learning for the youth.”
‘Tourism a tool to bolster harmony, integration’: The speakers at a seminar on Tuesday said that tourism was the only tool through which national harmony and integration could be achieved. They expressed these views while addressing a seminar jointly organised by the PTDC and Pakistan Association of Tour Operators (PATO) here at local hotel. PTDC Managing Director Mir Shahjahan Khetran said that through tourism, the nation can understand and appreciate the linkage between different cultures of Pakistan. “Tourism can play a vital role in socio-economic development of the country,” he said.
Shahjahan said there was a need to promote Pakistani culture and tourism on international level. He added that PTDC was serving the nation for the last 40 years by promoting and developing tourism infrastructure in far flung areas of the country, where private sector was shy to invest. “The PTDC has provided a platform to tourism stakeholders for promotion of tourism business” he added. He said through coordinated efforts, domestic tourism has been increased manifolds during the previous three years,” he added.
A number of activities including seminar, photographic exhibition and wall climbing competition were organised in collaboration with and support of different NGOs.
This year the theme of the event was “Tourism – Linking Cultures” as declared by UNWTO. Pakistan Association of Tour Operators (PATO) Vice President Ayaz Shigri said that government’s support was essential for development of tourism infrastructure in the country. He highlighted the need for better coordination among provincial and federal tourism organizations, so that the common goal of supporting Pakistan’s national economy could be achieved. A photographic exhibition showed different facets of Pakistani cultures and their inter-linkages with each other, which was much appreciated by students from Fatima Jinnah University, Roots School, Travel Agents and Tour Operators.
UNAICO Pakistan General Manager Syed Mahboob Hussain Shah thanked the PTDC MD for extending 20% discount facility on accommodation at PTDC motels / hotels to UNAICO’s 1.8 million members in Pakistan and abroad. Later, Mir Shahjahan Khetran distributed certificates among students of Fatima Jinnah Women University, who had successfully completed their 6-weeks internship programme with the PTDC. Being a national tourism organization and an affiliate member of the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation celebrates the World Tourism Day every year on September 27.