Regional Integration of Pakistan Tourism: Exploring Prospects
1 Associate Professor, National University of Modern Languages
2 National University of Modern Languages, Peshawar Campu
Globalization offers phenomenal opportunities for Pakistan tourism industry. The country is rich in all types of tourist destinations including; adventure, business, education, cultural, sports, dark tourism and the religious tourism. Despite several tourism initiatives its contribution to Pakistan national economy in terms of employment generation, foreign exchange earnings and national revenue, has remained minimal. Tourism reorientation towards destinations having attractions of shared culture and religious infrastructure for the tourists of South Asia has a great but missed opportunity so far. The SAARC platform can help develop a suitable mechanism, kick start mobilization of resources, and facilitate operationalization of this idea Foregoing background in view, the paper attempts to explore the Pakistan tourism potential existing in the market of SAARC region and suggest ways and means to make best use of this potential to achieve sustained socio- economic development of the area on one hand and pave the way for socio-political harmony and understanding on the other. . The ensuing cooperation would also set the grounds for more solid cooperation in other Socio- economic, geo-political, geo strategic, geo- climatic, and other issues affecting the region since long. The article argues that inculcating adequate political commitment and removing the physical and institutional barriers to intra-regional tourism shall be the start point.
Keywords: Pakistan Tourism, Regional integration, South Asia, Religious tourism