Tourism is an important industry to boost up any country’s economic growth and exacerbate its international reputation as a friendly country. Pakistan, which is unfortunately lacking in both of these areas, can benefit greatly from the industry of travel and tourism. World Tourism and Travel Council has anticipated that Pakistan has an aptitude to increase its tourism industry to around US$ 39.8 billion within just a decade. Moreover, the improvement in the security circumstances of Pakistan after the successful operations of the armed forces has already contributed to in the increase of annual tourists’ arrival to a mind blowing percentage of 300%, 1.75 million in 2017 only.
Pakistan has been naturally and culturally blessed in order to attract all types of tourists and travelers. Pakistan has the perfect and most suitable tourism spots to support all types of tourism, i.e. recreational tourism, cultural tourism, nature tourism, pleasure tourism, sports tourism, religious tourism, medical tourism or adventure tourism etc. UNWTO considers tourism as a highly earning industry on the account of its contribution in the industries of hoteling and accommodation, food and beverage, railway transport, road transport, water transport, air travel, transport equipment rental, travel and tour agencies, cultural events and activities, sports and recreational activities, trade of country specific tourism goods and country specific tourism activities. So, Pakistan has a great chance to boost up its economy by benefiting from these industries just by working on its tourism industry.
The world renowned landscapes of Pakistan attract the attention of the national and international tourists. The Naltar valley near Gilgit, Neelum Valley in in Azad Kashmir, Shangrila Resort in Skardu, Gojal valley between China and Pakistan, the snow covered Deosai plains and Sheosar Lake on the boundary of Karokaram and the western Himalayas, Rama Meadow near Astore, Siri Paye on the top of Hindukash, Ayun and Bamburet valleys of Kilash valleys near Chitral, White Palace Marghazar in Swat, the Kerthar range including Gorakh Hill, Kutte Ji Qabar and Bandu Ji Qabar, Mubarak Village in Karachi, Rural areas near Punjab river, Ghanche district of Gilgit Baltistan and the largest fort in the world “Ranikot Fort” longs for the attention of the government so that they can be explored by the humans around the globe, satisfying their recreational impetus as well as our economic growth.
The thirst for cultural and historical tourism can be quenched by the places like Hiran Minar, Noor Mahal, Wazir Khan Mosque, Mohenjo Daro, Minar e Pakistan, Tomb of Jahangir, Shalimar Gardens, Rohtas Fort, Malki Necropolis, Taxila, Takht i Bahi in Pakistan. These places have centuries old histories and makes Pakistan extremely important in its cultural terms.
Pakistan faced decline in sports tourism because of its security issues but after the successful foolproof security provision by army, PSL has proved to open up the ways for sports tourism again.
Apart from the great unparalleled Islamic attractions in terms of architecture and history like Badshahi Mosque, Faisal Mosque, Grand Jamia Mosque, Shrines of Sufis and Preachers and Imam Bargahs, Pakistan is also famous for its non-Islamic sites which hold great religious importance for the non-Muslims around the globe. These places include Gurduwara Janam Asthan in Nankana Sahib, Panchmukhi Hanuman Mandir in Karachi, Holy Trinity in Karachi, Katasraj temple in Punjab, Christ Church in Rawalpindi, St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Karachi, Gurduwara Dera Sahib in Lahore, Hinglaj Mata temple in Balochistan and Sacred Heart Cathedral Lahore. Such religious places for all the religions should be promoted in order to depict Pakistan as a religiously tolerant state. It will also aid in cooling down the air of Islamophobia around the world if the people of other religions visit an Islamic state to perform their specific religious duties which has nothing to do with the state’s religion.
The adventure tourists come over to Pakistan especially for hiking and mountaineering because Pakistan has highest mountain ranges like Hindu Kash and Karokaram Ranges.
The government of Pakistan should take benefit from the blessed land of Pakistan in terms of tourism and travelling as it can provide Pakistani economy a great support with a very little effort and can increase the reputation of Pakistan on an international level.