Call for promoting sustainable tourism through devolution | Pakistan Today

Call for promoting sustainable tourism through devolution

Speakers, including policymakers, at a daylong conference here Tuesday called for promoting sustainable tourism though devolution of the sectors to the provinces and devise a strategy for the promotion of domestic and international tourism for the benefit of the country.
The Ministry of Tourism, Sports and Youth Affairs Khyber Pakhtunkhwa organised the conference entitled ‘Promotion of Sustainable Tourism in Pakistan’ here at a local hotel.
Malik Azamat, State Minister for Inter Provincial Coordination (IPC), Syed Aqil Shah, Minister for Tourism, Sports and Youth affairs Khyber Pakhtukhwa (KP), Muhammad Ali Malkani Provincial Minister for Tourism Sindh, Abdul Salam Bhutt from Azad Jammu Kashmir, Senate Standing Committee on Inter Provincial Coordination Farah Aqil, Secretaries of Tourism from Punjab, Balochistan, Gilgit Baltistan, President Pakistan Association of Tour Operators (PATOs) Amjad Ayub and other representatives of tour operators attended the conference.
The speakers highlighted the importance of developing awareness and educate masses on issues related to sustainable tourism; to assist in policy and programme development and to facilitate monitoring and evaluation.
They also called for devolution of tourism sectors in its letter and spirit for the promotion of sustainable tourism in the country.
Sustainability principles refer to the environmental, economic and socio-cultural aspects of tourism development.
A suitable balance must be established between these three dimensions to guarantee its long-term sustainability, they said.
Ecotourism is a well-known term around the world, and more recently the importance of sustainable tourism has been gaining recognition.
Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism are closely related as ecotourism rests within the scope of sustainable tourism.
Syed Aqil Shah on the occasion said, Pakistan offers opportunities for the tourists due to its cultural places, scenic beauty places, picnic spots and high mountains in the country.
The forum discussed the key challenges for the promotion of sustainable tourism in the country while important stakeholders such as Pakistan Association of Tour Operators, Pakistan Hotel Association also participated in the event.
The participants of the conference put forward recommendations to the government for sustainable tourism development for the prosperity of the country.
They said media campaign is necessary for promoting tourism in the country and visa policies should be softened for attraction of foreign tourists.
Sustainable tourism in its purest sense is an industry which attempts to make a low impact on the environment and local culture, while helping to generate income, employment and the conservation of local ecosystems.
Sustainable tourism activities have minimal impact on the environment and culture of the host community.
It leads to the management of all resources in such a way that economic, social and aesthetic needs can be fulfilled while maintaining cultural integrity, essential ecological processes, biological diversity and life support systems.
The promotion of sustainable tourism can provide long-term economic operations, socio-economic benefits to all stakeholders that are fairly distributed, including stable employment and income- earning opportunities and social services to host communities and contributing to poverty alleviation.

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