by Meng Fanrong
ISLAMABAD, Jan. 25 (Gwadar Pro) – Pakistani Government is putting special focus on promotion of tourism and as a result of some major policy changes, tourism has witnessed a tremendous boost in Pakistan. The country is geographically and ethnically diverse with a number of historical and cultural heritage sites.
In order to get a sense of potential and opportunities in tourism sector, Gwadar Pro spoke to Mr. Syed Qamar Abbas, general manager at Centaurus Towers & Hospitality projects. “The Pakistani government’s recent decision to end mandatory No Objection Certificates (NOC) for foreign tourists seeking to visit certain parts of the country, launching of online visa services for 175 countries and offering on-arrival visa for 50 countries made travel to Pakistan far easier and convenient.”
While giving a snapshot of the booming industry, Abbas underscored that Pakistan’s tourism market is driven by domestic travelers and its spending trends is largely on leisure category which is a blessing during COVID-19 pandemic as pent-up domestic demand was witnessed between Aug to Oct 2021, end of the first COVID-19 wave.
Abbas believes that Pakistan’s success lies in swiftly embracing digitalization and leveraging new technologies to adapt to the “new normal”, a complete shift from conventional to innovative business model. The pandemic gives an opportunity to press the reset button and challenge pre-established models, accelerate the transformation and shift to the “tourism of tomorrow”.
On engaging China to promote tourism, Abbas firmly believes that going forward, providing a tourist ecosystem for Chinese tourists will be the game changer for Pakistani tourism market. “The key driver is to digitize our tourism sector, especially supply side (hotel, resort, airlines, trains, buses, rent-a-car, tours, etc.) and develop local online travel platforms which can integrate with Chinese Online Travel Agencies (OTA) like Ctrip, Qunar, Fliggy, etc. to sell Pakistan’s tourism products in China,” he added.
Source: China Economic Net