Local tourism should be promoted to strengthen national economy: State Minister
State Minister for Information & Broadcasting Farrukh Habib said that local tourism should be promoted to strengthen national economy as well as bringing foreign exchange for progress and prosperity of Pakistan.
Addressing a ceremony on PIA flight operation from Faisalabad to Sakrdu at a local hotel late night on Sunday, he said that Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) had started direct flights from Faisalabad to Skardu which will help in promotion of tourism according to vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan.
He said that Pakistan had been bestowed with all kinds of natural beauty. Therefore, the government was taking steps to promote local tourism. In this connection, a new airport will be established in Gilgit, he added.
Since there was a lot of scope in tourism in Pakistan, therefore the government was concentrating to provide conducive environment for promotion of tourism industry, he said and added that about 4 million people from different countries visited northern areas of Pakistan and their tours had also promoted hotel industry.
He said that COVID-19 badly affected the global economy including tourism sector, but now the situation was quite different as coronavirus cases were under control. Therefore, we should take benefit of favorable atmosphere and fetch precious foreign exchange by promoting tourism.
He appreciated PIA for flight operation for Skardu from Faisalabad and said that hopefully PIA will not only offer safe journey but its fare will also be very economical and easily affordable.
He also stressed the need of promoting religious tourism and said that all resources would be utilized for the promotion of tourism industry so that tourists from all over the world could flock to Pakistan to see its beautiful valleys.
The government was criticized on opening Kartarpur border, but now Sikh community was coming to Pakistan and playing role in promotion of religious tourism, he added.
He said that Faisalabad had great importance nationally and internationally. The first economic zone of Pakistan had also been established in Faisalabad under CPEC. Therefore, a new airport should be established in Faisalabad according to Sialkot pattern under public-private partnership. The government will provide all necessary facilities in this regard, he added.
Earlier, District Manager PIA Faisalabad Shahid Hussain briefed about details of launching flight operation from Faisalabad to Skardu.
Provincial Minister for Culture & Colonies Mian Khayal Ahmad Kastro, Provincial Parliamentary Secretary Labor Mian Shakeel Shahid, Member Provincial Assembly Mian Waris Aziz, President Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (FCCI) Engineer Hafiz Ehtesham Javed, President Faisalabad Women's Chamber of Commerce & Industry (FWCCI) Tehmina Pasha, Chairman Hajj Umrah Committee Shafiq Kashif, PIA Union President Malik Waqar Ahmed, others were also present.
Renowned comedian Ahmed Saeed also performed on the occasion.