Hotel owners in Hunza request tourists to behave


Just as summer season is round the corner is tourism in the Gilgit-Baltisan (G-B) is on a rise, hotel owners in Hunza valley have urged domestic tourists to ‘behave’ while visiting the valley.

In this regard, the hotel owners have issues a code of conduct (CoC) for the tourists. The CoC comes in just days before the tourist season begins in the region.

The Hotel Owners Association President in the valley, Ali Madad while talking to the media said that the need to issue a CoC arose following some previous incidents.

The number of tourists in the region last year was around a million, which is expected to rise this year.

The president further stated that youngsters who visited the area often made ‘indecent demands’ which led to some untoward incidents in the hotels. He also added that they were not running brothels in the valley.

Tourism in the G-B region started to flourish in the recent years, after Kaghan-Babusar road was improved and opened to traffic. International tourism in the region suffered after a gunman dressed as parliamentary personnel killed nine people in 2013. However, foreigners have started coming back to the region.

According to the CoC, tourists have been asked to avoid indulging in debates over religion and sects, respecting religious spaces, local cultures and values. Furthermore, they have been asked to refrain from consuming alcohol in the valley since it is banned in the country.

The code was drafted after reaching a consensus during a recent meeting of hotel managers and owners in the valley.

Not only that, domestic tourists have been advised to seek permission of individuals before taking their picture, as it was against local traditions and values.

They have also been asked not to enter residential areas which disturb the routine life of locals.

The main town of Hunza, Karimabad is a congested area where most of the tourist attractions are located.

The 800-year-old Baltit Fort can only be accessed by traversing through the entire town.

Unbeknownst to most tourists, after dusk, the locals come out to celebrate life as a normal neighbourhood. Thus, they consider the presence of tourists as an intrusion into their private space.