By Ian Neubauer
The head of Pakistan tourism has called upon a meeting of travel professionals in Macau to help drive business and leisure tourism in his country.
Addressing the annual general meeting of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) at the MGM Grand in Macau late last month, Pakistan Minister for Tourism Maulana Atta-ur-Rehman said Pakistan was ready to welcome tourists.
Pakistan Minister for Tourism
Source: Pacific Asian Travel Association
The Minister emphasised tourists had nothing to fear from visiting Pakistan and highlighted the country’s many cultural and natural attractions.
They include the historic Karakoram Highway, an ancient trading route between Kashmir and China; the Kyber Pass and its many trekking and mountaineering routes; the Balochistan coastline with its long unspoilt beaches; Kirthar National Park, home to leopards, gazelles and the Ibex; and ancient cites like Gandhara, Harappa and Mohenjodaro, where forts, mosques, monuments and other archeological ruins await discovery.
However the CIA’s World Factbook notes the Pakistani Government is struggling to control militants, many of whom are located in the tribal areas adjacent to the border with Afghanistan. It is also facing a deteriorating economy as its currency depreciates.
The Australian Government’s travel advisory service strongly advises against travel to Pakistan due to the “very high threat of terrorist attack, secreterian violence and the unpredictable security situation”.