Tourism sectors can earn billions of rupees for KP, major role in country’s economy: MD Tourism Junaid Khan
ISLAMABAD-Managing Director Department of Tourism Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Junaid Khan has shown his optimism that only tourism sector could earn billions of rupees, if the tourism potential of the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is properly explored through development of requisite hospitality infrastructure and provision of easy road accessibility to the national and international tourists.
Thousands of people have lost their jobs and are facing financial hardships due to the restrictions imposed to contain the spread of COVID19. “Hundreds of hotels, motels, restaurants, rest houses were closed since March 18, he said, adding, “It has affected hotel industry, small businesses, daily wagers and transporters.”
He said last year more than 2.5 million local and foreign tourists visited Galyat, Hazara and Malakand divisions including Naran, Khaghan, Dir Lower, Dir Upper, Kumrat valley, Chitral including Kalash valley, Bamburit, Boni, the visit of the tourists to various festivity in Chitral district etc and if they spend a 1000 rupees, how much loss caused by COVID19 to the revenue actually.
He said thousands people purely relate to tourism and their basic earning and livelihood is from actually tourists visit. He said, there are thousands of waiters who were paid on daily basis in hotels, motels, restaurants, others including tourists guides, the ones providing horse-riding services, balloon shooting, coffee machines, running small shops in these areas like grocery shops, tent age, souvenir shops, tuck shops and small food huts, cabins and pushcarts were also bearing the brunt of COVID19.
He said looking after such loss, the KP Govt has been treated tourism sector as high priority sector in the KP Budget 2020-21, and significant allocations have been made for various new and ongoing projects. Sharing details, he said that after successfully launching two umbrella projects for roads development in Malakand and Hazara division worth Rs. 4400 million, KP Government now has included another project worth Rs. 2000 million for development of Tourism spots in KP with particular focus on Buner, Swabi, Kohat, Dir, Dera Ismail Khan, the entire Southern Districts, part of the recently merged districts and above all we included Tirah Valley as major tourist destination.
Junaid Khan disclosed that development of Chor valley in Batagram has been included in the budget under directions of Prime Minister Imran Khan with objective to open new tourist destinations in Hazara Division. He said the Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chief Minister KP Mahmood Khan have fully focused on promoting tourism sector because it would prove a back bone of Pakistan’s economy.
Junaid Khan, who is known for his competency, also served as DG Sport KP, disclosed that under Accelerated Implementation Plan (AIP) for merged districts, Rs. 3000 million have been earmarked for tourism development in Tira Valley Khyber District, Samana Orakzai, Parachinar Kurram District and various scenic spots in North and South Waziristan.
Certainly that would bring a revolutions to the country’s economy and that was actually the vision of the Prime Minister Imran Khan who foreseen such potential in the tourism sector, Junaid Khan said.
Likewise, KP govt has established KP Culture and Tourism Authority (KPCTA) in the year 2019 currently housed in Tourism Complex, Olympics Plaza Peshawar Sports Complex and has earmarked Rs. 700 million for capacity building, strengthening and establishment of its regional offices and PAITHOM.
He said, under a high priority PSDP Plus initiative of the Federal Government, five tourism projects have been identified which can attract handsome international investments once province does their feasibility and master planning.
1. Tourism Resort development at Koh e Suleman, Dera Ismail Khan
2. Sheikh Badin Tourism Resort
3. Chapri, Parachinar, District Kurram
4. Archeological cum Religious Tourism Heritage site at Takhtbai, Mardan
5. Garam Chashma, Chitral Lower.
KP govt, he said, is undertaking Feasibility cum Master Planning of these sites on pattern of Integrated Tourism Zones along with identification of requisite land for acquisition, development of basic infrastructure and provision of basic amenities like water supply and electricity connectivity.
After development, these mega projects will be offered to leading national and international investors under the Public Private Partnership Mode. It is hoped that significant investments can be received in these projects.
He said, feasibility for development of an international standard recreational Park at Hund Swabi is underway that would certainly attract both local and international tourists and would give beauty to the overall image of KP. About the Park, he said, it is located right on the Motorway M-1 at Indus Bridge and has exciting scope. The feasibility has been approved and currently consultancy is being recruited, Junaid Khan informed.
This place is already famous in the area for tourism due to scenic river side. Tourism Corporation owns a land measuring 400 kanals which needs to be developed into an international level Water Theme Recreational Park and Tourist resort. The Project, he said, is financially viable and can general significant revenues one the project is successfully executed and outsource to private investors in rental lease basis.
The Park will have facilities including hotels, restaurants, river side suet’s, family huts and day rooms, having lake, boating, rafting, cannoning and water sports, adventures sports including rock climbing, zip lining, bungee jumping and fishing with indoor sports facilities including futsal court with flood lights, basketball areas, athletic and archery areas, tennis and badminton courts with a squash court facilities.
The Park including fund land, play land and fund rides, the guns and country club (sheet shooting, indoor shooting range. Dir Mud track, 4X4 jeep challenger trace and court like we had cross Indus activity through Jeeps, horse riding ground, swimming pools for male and female and children, shopping center, Cineplex, Food Court, and Food street, having Am Phi theater, Gazebos, picnic area for cooking and barbecue, marriage halls with dedicated as parking for destination weddings, grand Masjid, petrol filling station, mechanical workshop, parking areas for 1000 cars, public wash rooms, land scape development, electrification, green belts with a huge plantations drive through government public partnership so that to feel ownership to the general public that how important are trees for them, backup power general facility, upgradation and rehabilitation of the approach roads.