Pakistan Opens up to Tourism
Pakistan particularly has a lot of potential regarding tourism because of its diverse and well-preserved culture; from the ‘Do Darya’ in Karachi and Gwadar Port in Balochistan to the Badshahi Mosque in Lahore and beautiful valleys of the north like Hunza and Sust. Every part of Pakistan has its own culture and language which makes it even more interesting.
According to a report by World Economic Forum, the direct contribution of tourism industry in Pakistan in year 2015 was Rs328 million constituting to 2.8 percent of the total GDP. The government is making continuous efforts to promote tourism in Pakistan and they predict that by the year 2025 tourism will contribute Rs1 trillion to Pakistan’s economy.
In 2015, Pakistan welcomed 563,000 overseas arrivals. That figure rose to 965,000 in 2016, 1.6 million in 2017 and 1.9 million last year. Earlier this year, Prime Minister Imran Khan announced a new visa policy for 175 countries to promote tourism and investments in the country.
Visitors from these countries will be able to apply for an online visa. As per the new policy, e-visa facility will initially be provided to five countries namely Turkey, China, Malaysia, United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates.
Pakistan’s capital city of Islamabad will be hosting the Leaders Meeting 2020, and over 1,000 foreign visitors will be attending the five-day organization.