This study was designed and
conducted to analyze the efficacy of the existing tourism management
system in Pakistan and efficiency or effectiveness of its role in
the sustained development of tourism sector. However, the main
purpose of this study was not to score points by criticizing or
crying over past mismanagement rather the overriding purpose of this
research study was to diagnose causes of crawling nature of our
growth and suggest ways and means to develop Pakistan tourism
through an optimum use of Pakistan’s natural, cultural and
The research did built upon
its findings and solutions by keeping Chitral Valley as a case study
for the purpose of reference in national context. The study, on the
whole, brings out the fact that Pakistan is a country blessed with a
very rich potential for almost all types of tourism, whose potential
has not been exploited to its optimum. The main findings in this
respect are as follow:
Formation of independent
Ministry of tourism and declaration of year 2007 as a “Year of
Tourism” in Pakistan are hailed by the research as timely steps in
right direction. However, the ministry has to go a long way to
overhaul its organizational structure, modernize its functioning
through equipping itself with new equipment, and technology, and
earn respect and confidence of the private sector. Its new vision
must address its deficiencies as ineffective source of tourism
related data, non existence culture of research based activities/
policies, and low level state of developmental funds.
Until 2005 the Ministry was working with
outdated procedures and work methods and its efficiency is
hampered by considerable impediments ranging from administrative
bureaucracy, lack of modem day computer technology, lack of
funds, lack of experience and professional knowledge, lack of
facilities, short working hours and general lethargy.
Lack of political will, ineffective
coordination between federal, provincial and local governments
and lack of funding at all levels had serious implications in
the effective management of the tourism sector so far.
Tourism management agencies have not been
a source of effective and meaningful data, and have no
worthwhile tourism surveys on its credit. The so-called referred
Survey-2000, and most of the documents are not easily accessable.
As with the PTDC, staff is divided into
two groups. One group employed by the Ministry and the other
employed by PTDC. This has created hostility among the staff,
which is adversely affecting the working environment, efficiency
and standards of service at the resort.
There is an urgent need to address the
lack of training and provision of qualified staff for the Malam
Jabba resort, hotels / motels of PTDC at Chitral and other parts
of the country and PAITHM Karachi and Sawat.
Our tourism related legal instruments
have yet to confirm to international standards with regards to;
construction of hotels and other facilities including hotel
grades, kitchens, food preparation, health, services, public
areas, sanitation, and environment etc.
· The Registration of
Foreigners Rules, 1996, framed under the Registration of Foreigners
Act 1979, places tedious and cumbersome requirements on any foreign
staying in Pakistan more than 30 days. This period is too short.
Most countries allow tourists a six-month stay beyond which they
must seek special resident status and permission.
· The ministry needs
to enhance Tourist Information Centers in quantitative and
qualitative terms duly equipped with latest information, and staffed
with well-trained and courteous employees.
· There is a dire
need to repel the existing image of Pakistan as a state of Violent
and conservative people involved in human rights abuses, centaury of
terrorist of and cultured with Talibanization. Efforts should be
made at all levels and from all directions to present Pakistan with
a soft image, a country of peace loving, who are tolerant and
accommodative and ever willing to welcome modernity without damaging
own Islamic and cultural identity.
· Peace is language of
tourism and tourism enriches people. South Asia, a poverty ridden
region can be turned in to prosperous through tourism, provided we
are able to promote, maintain and preserve peace in the region and
create environment of harmony based on mutual trust and confidence.
· SAARC, ECO and OIC
can serve best platforms to enhance our tourism growth by linking
member countries through cultural, religious, social, regional and
socio- economic and educational ties. These platforms, if used
properly can yield benefits even beyond our imagination.
· Special events are
important in attracting tourists and can influence the numbers of
foreign and domestic tourists, both business and leisure, depending
on the style of event. Trade fairs attract both local people and
foreign supplier; and buyers. Sports events such as cricket matches,
polo tournaments, international athletic meets and others attract
supporters from the visiting country as well as domestic visitors.
Though, Pakistan in general
and Chitral in particular receives limited numbers of tourists in
comparison to world tourism, but international arrivals are showing
substantial increase constantly for the last ten years. A worth
mentioning recovery from 368700 in 1996, to 798300 in 2005, is a
positive sign for promising future. If the same pace of tourism
growth in Pakistan continues then the days are not far off, when
tourism will count a substantial portion in Pakistan GNP.
· Pakistan’s share in
South Asian Tourism is far less then its potential and serves as an
eye opener for the tourism management in Pakistan. Foreign arrivals
in Pakistan are much lesser than India, Iran, and nearly equal to
Bhutan, a smaller country with much less returning ethnic traffic.
· An examination of
the motivation for travel in 2005 shows that Social tourism accounts
for more than half of all foreign arrivals, followed by business
visits with 21% share, while holiday/ vacation visits are limited to
only 14.7% of all arrivals. Pakistan’s potential for religion
tourism, especially related to Sikh, Buddhism has very low base and
needs added concentration of efforts.
· Amongst the foreign
arrivals, male constitute 74 % , whereas 26% are the female
visitors. In age based strata, over 30 years visitors are 72% and
visitors having age below then 30 years constitutes 28%.
The current trend in almost
all regions of the world is towards public-private sector
partnerships with the government providing the legal and regulatory
framework and the private sector/ NTO's administering, managing and
marketing the tourism export product. The same approach is needed in
Pakistan for speedy and focus growth of its tourism. Chitral and
High peaks of the Hindukush, with their unspoiled green valleys and
friendly and hospitable population are tourism resource of its own
kind, which can become major source of much needed revenue for the
people of Chitral.
· Existing abundance of
physical and social environment in Chitral constitutes the resource
base for tourism and source of prime attraction for tourists. The
lack of an environmentally conscious attitude by guides, cooks,
kitchen helpers, porters, hotelkeepers, and local residents as a
major problem and "turn-off" for tourists in Chitral.
· Neither public sector
nor private sector is spending to improve the infra structure base
to enhance capacity and capability to attract, hold, sustain and
satisfy the international arrivals as well as domestic ones.
· There is a dire need to involve public and private
stakeholders in planning, organizing and implementation of tourism
plans for managing destinations.
· The most immediate constraint on tourism and conservation of
the resource base of tourism is visible trash and pollution.
· Private transport is not clean and regular in timings
Pakistan is full of tourist
potential and a well suited destination for all types of tourists;
may that be cultural or natural tourists, having religious or
adventure related aims, interest in archeology, business or
supports, Pakistan can become the choice destination. Tourism is a
wholesome activity, which ignites multi facets activities,
generating unending opportunities for socio- economic development.
There is no denying the fact that tourism enriches individuals,
families, communities, countries and the entire world. Tourism
facilitates economic development, increased foreign earnings;
creates more jobs. It increases economic benefits to local people,
which include: improved telephone access, health facilities,
airports and road networks. It is also responsible for increase in
prices, desire to possess more material things and change eating
habits, dress etc. However, Tourism development also has some
positive and negative impacts upon cultural traditions, life style,
and environment of the local people, which are to be tackled at all