Uplifting regional Tourism

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Prime Minister Imran Khan, recently stated that the government, due to untiring efforts, has made special plans to boost the regional development of Gilgit-Baltistan and also announced an economic package for regional infrastructural development. The historic package to open a new vista of development and progress in the area.

The Government attention towards region is a timely move to uplift regional tourism structure.  Because   unique  feature  of  this  region  is  that  it  possesses world’s highest mountain ranges, Karakorum, Himalaya and Hindukash, five out of fourteen highest peaks of the world including K2, the second highest,  and world’s  largest  non-polar  glaciers.  Gilgit-Baltistan  has natural  diversity,  scenic  beauty  and  distinguished  cultural  communities living  in  beautiful  alpine  valleys.  The rivers, lakes, fresh water streams and glaciers add significance to the region’s landscape. Every year, many renowned mountaineers land in Gilgit-Baltistan to climb the summits. Moreover,  due  to  the  presence  of  largest  non-polar  glaciers,  trekking routes  and  numerous  other  peaks,  many  foreign  groups  visit  the  region for trekking and hiking purpose. These expeditions and groups are great source   of   income   for   the   government   as   well   as   for   the   local communities and markets.

However, region lacks infrastructure required for tourism. Unfortunately,   the   concept   of   tourism   infrastructure   in   G-B   is associated with constructing roads, opening shops and making few hotels.  Though  construction  of  roads,  shops  and  hotels  are  required  for tourism  but  they  are  generally  not  built  according  to  the  weather conditions  and  environment  of  the  areas  where  they  are  built.  In most cases   they   destroy   the   natural   beauty.   As   these   constructions   are generally against the environmental laws hence in most of the  instances they  lack  electricity,  sanitation  and  proper  system  of  garbage  disposal. This results into artificial ways to generate electricity through inefficient generators   and   the   environmental   degradation   of   the   area.   Non-availability of garbage disposal in tourist areas pollutes the environment and lakes.  The  poor  available  infrastructure  also  fails  to  provide  basic necessities  to  the  tourists  like  warm  water,  electricity,  sanitation  etc.  In areas  where  there  is  no  available road or  the  areas  where  foreign tourists  prefer  hiking  and  camping,  the  shortage  of camping  equipment, trained  porters  and  developed  camping  sites  discourage  tourists  for adventure tourism. Moreover, inefficiency of airlines in terms of frequent delays and non-availability of flights of Pakistan International Airline (PIA)   is   also   an   impediment   which   needs   to   be   tackled   in   the development and management of tourism. The  correspondence  and  liaison  of  local  institutions with  international  travel  agencies  to  convince  and  motivate  them  is  not up to the mark. At state level, there is a need for effective marketing of the tourist sites of the country.

The country being situated in the temperate zone experience hot summers and usually arid climate, there is an expected rise of tourism in the country in summers during those seasons. The north of Pakistan is where most of the wanderers and travellers from around the world journey to. By 2019, international tourists termed Pakistan as the friendliest and most hospitable country endowed with exquisite landscapes. Contrasting from wide dusty plains to high snowy peaks, the country speaks for itself. Variants of citizens, all colourful and gleeful in their element mesmerises the travellers.

Officially inaugurated in 1993, GB is enriched with a fascinating the garden called Deosai National Park covering the second largest alpine plateau in the world. In literal terms, Deosai means the Land of the Giants because of the expansion of the park ranging wide towards the mountains, booming with scores of wildlife and nature. Moreover, the views of Nanga Parbat can be witnessed from this park. It is in its full glory when the spring approaches somewhere in August where the luscious greens are witnessed along with the eye-catching butterflies fluttering around. Therefore, the best time duration of full bloom is between July to September. The paradise is alive all year round with its green hills and streams of crystal-clear water running across.

Skardu is yet another touristic escape one can delve in the region of GB. Being the capital of Baltistan Valley, it provides a getaway towards K2. This place is known for its trekking pleasures. It was named as the Little Tibet which means the heaven on earth and the roof of the world, providing picturesque spectacle.

GB’s society is an educated society with a centuries-old value system that promotes learning and respect for humanity. The people of GB will become a role model for the rest of country by promoting learning and pluralism through tourism.

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