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Country attracted $16bn in visitor spending in 2022: World Bank

Maula Jatt

Jul 24, 2021
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United States

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan attracted $16 billion in visitor spending in 2022 which is projected to touch $30 billion in 2033, says the World Bank.

The bank on its website stated that the travel and tourism sector’s total contribution to Pakistan’s GDP was 5.9 percent in 2022 and 4.2 million jobs. This is sub-optimal considering the diverse tourist sites located across the country.

Pakistan experienced an unprecedented surge in domestic tourism immediately after the Covid-induced travel restrictions were lifted: In 2021 and 2022, over 1.2 million domestic and international tourists visited the country’s Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province alone.

To manage this increasing all-season footfall of visitors while harnessing its understated economic potential, the local authorities, communities, and private sector require resources, equipment and training without losing focus on green and inclusive tourism.

Travel Responsibly for Experiencing Eco-tourism in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (TREK) initiative – a partnership between the Government of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, the World Bank (WB), and Nestlé Pakistan to promote and support responsible tourism initiatives, complements the ongoing activities of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Integrated Tourism Development Project (KITE) project for heritage preservation and tourism infrastructure development
Since 2020, it has completed awareness campaigns for tourists, and training of local communities and hospitality businesses on waste management.

TREK has trained over 650 participants from more than 150 hotels and restaurants in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa’s tourist areas. The beneficiaries also included local communities, local authorities and academia of Peshawar, Nathiagali, Abbottabad, Swat, Naran, and Chitral districts.

These trainings concentrated on solid waste minimisation, segregation, management, and recycling techniques. Public service messages on responsible tourism were also launched through social media and radio campaigns in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and cities of Islamabad and Lahore.

Most country’s domestic tourists are concentrated in these geographies and were thus, able to receive communication on tourist helplines on the importance of keeping the sites litter-free.

10,000 reusable bags were distributed to tourists and the hotel association in tourist hotspots aiming to encourage their use and minimise littering. In parallel, the IDA-financed KITE project provided waste bins, garbage collection and compacting machinery to the local authorities in Nathiagali, Naran, Chitral, and Kumrat districts of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, and a few locations in Punjab province, and installed 50 tourist information signboards to complement the awareness campaigns
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Domestic, diaspora tourism is enough to not only sustain but grow our tourism industry for the time being
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