‘Malaysia to cooperate in promoting tourism’


The Malaysian government has expressed its keen interest to cooperate with Pakistan in promoting the tourism sector which has immense potential to attract domestic and foreign tourists. Addressing a news conference in Naran, Managing Director of Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) Mir Shahjahan Khetran said that “Malaysian Minister for Commerce and Tourism will soon visit Pakistan to finalize terms of engagements.”
Malaysia is among the world’s top ten countries in terms of foreign currency earning from tourism sector.
“We have the world’s most beautiful locations, mountains and deserts which are needed to be developed for attracting more domestic and foreign tourists and we are doing this with the government support”, he said.
Khetran said PTDC has established its hotels, motels, and restaurants at 40 tourist spots throughout the country especially in Chitral Valley, Bamburate, Booni and Mastuj offering quality accommodation and meals services for Pakistani and foreign tourists.
He said PTDC is also offering special discounted tour Packages and its transport and accommodation facility for families and students so that they can enjoy natural beauty, diverse culture and rich heritage of their own beloved country.
The MD said Naran, Swat, Ayubia, Gilgit, Skardu and other popular destinations of KPK and Gilgit- Baltistan are attracting a large number of tourists in the months of June, July and August.
He said around 18 tourist information centers are functioning at Abbotabad, Bahawalpur, Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Moenjodaro, Multan, Peshawar, Quetta, Rawalpindi, Saidu Sharif, Skardu, Thatta and Taxila to facilitate the tourists.
Motels at Balakot, Naran, Kalash Valley, Moenjodaro, Besham, Chitral, Taxilla, Wagah Border Lahore, Skardu and others places are offering best facilities to visitors .
Khetran said Pakistan is an important and attractive tourist destination for foreigners due to its heritage, spiritual places, historical architecture, picturesque landscape beauty of mountains, lakes, rivers and natural beauty.
He also sought media help to dispel negative propaganda against Pakistan. “Foreign media and a neighboring country are indulged in negative propaganda against Pakistan and it is prime responsibility of local media to counter it in an effective manner and highlight soft image of country.” He said one center at Hasanabadal is operating to facilitate Sikh community, adding that PTDC is also considering launching bus service to Moenjodaro, Swat, Gilgit, China border, Balochistan and Afghanistan to Turkhum border.
To a question he said PC-I is ready to start chairlift service in Naran to transport the tourists from one side of the Kunhar river to other and vice versa.
He said PTDC is offering 35 percent discount to its motels operating in Mingora and Sawat area. He said PTDC is also preparing discount package for Ramazan.
He said a plan is also under consideration to develop beaches at Karachi and Gadani and other coastal areas of the country. The MD said foreign missions of the country have been assigned a task to highlight soft image of Pakistan and motivate foreign tourists to visit tourist resorts as there is no law and order situation there.
He also announced a special package for newly married couples, saying that reasonable discount and facility would be given to the couples.