SCCI praises KP government initiatives toward promotion of tourism sector


President, Sarhad Chamber of Commerce & Industries, Hasnain Khurshid Ahmad praised the provincial government’s efforts toward uplift of the tourism sector, which is contributing enormously in the development of the national economy.
He noted KP is highly famous regarding scenic tourist attractions sites, particularly historic/ancient archaeological areas, through which religious tourism is being promoted in Pakistan, he noted.
Mr Khurshid was addressing a consultative session on Transforming the Tourism Industry in KP, jointly orgnaised by organised by the FCDO-funded Sustainable Energy and Economic Development (SEED) programme in joint collaboration with Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI), provincial government and relevant stakeholders here at the local hotel.
The session was aimed at engaging in a productive discussion on transforming the tourism industry in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The participants agreed that the tourism industry in Pakistan has a massive potential, which is barely being utilized today. Particularly in KP, the geography of the province makes it an attractive tourist destination.
Provincial Minister for Information Technology and Food, Atif Khan was chief guest during the session, while secretary tourism Amer Sultan Tareen, SEED Team Leader Dr Omer Mukhtiar Khan, representatives, members business community, government high-officials were present during the consultative seminar.
The SCCI chief commented that it is unfortunate that, as KP recovered from the consequences of terrorism, the onset of the COVID pandemic stalled tourist activity again. While the government has significantly improved the infrastructure in recent years, further assistance is needed from the government in developing the country’s railway system. He assured that the private sector, facilitated by the chambers, will play its part in promoting tourism, both locally and globally
Atif Khan, remarked on the occasion, “There are large untapped markets for tourism in KP which can produce huge dividends for the federal and provincial governments and the private sector.
Our focus should be on recreational activities, to attract more tourists and generate higher rates of return for the investors and government, making tourism a holistic and memorable experience for the tourist, the minister stressed.
On this note, the Secretary Tourism, Mr. Amer Sultan Tareen also apprised the participants of the recent changes in the legal framework, including the Tourism and PPP Acts, which provide a friendly mechanism for the private sector stakeholders to bring forth their proposals to the government for mutually beneficial public-private partnerships.
He urged all participants to work together with the government in identifying the implementation and infrastructure gaps and jointly develop viable solutions for these.
SEED Team Leader, Dr. Omar Mukhtar Khan thanked all participants and government officials for participating in the session from all sectors of the industry and from across KP.
Stressing the importance of this industry, he mentioned, “tourism is a comparative advantage for KP and its god-gifted resource. SEED will facilitate the industry by ensuring all the challenges highlighted today are brought to the government’s attention and liaison between the private sector and the provincial government.”