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Pakistan needs to market itself as tourism destination as it is endowed with beautiful landscapes: Mario Hardy

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Lahore, March 18, 2016 (PPI-OT): Pakistan needs to market itself as tourism destination as it is endowed with beautiful landscapes, sceneries, historical heritage and other attractive places for international tourists.

These views were expressed by the Chief Executive Officer of Pacific Asia Travel Association Mario Hardy while speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Friday. The LCCI Vice President Nasir Saeed, Managing Director Tourism Development Corporation of Punjab (TDCP) Ahmer Malik and Chairman Pacific Asia Travel Association Lt. Col. ® Akbar A. Shareef also spoke on the occasion.

Mario Hardy said that image of Pakistan is not as bad as being portrayed at global level. He said that Pakistan should highlight its soft image through its missions abroad and media.

He informed the participants that Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) was founded in 1951 and it is a not-for profit association that is internationally acclaimed for acting as a catalyst for the responsible development of travel and tourism to, from and within the Asia Pacific region. He said that the Association provides aligned advocacy, insightful research and innovative events to its member organisations, comprising 97 governments, state and city tourism bodies, 27 international airlines, airports and cruise lines, 63 educational institutions, and hundreds of travel industry companies in Asia Pacific and beyond.

Managing Director of Tourism Development Corporation of Punjab (TDCP) Ahmer Malik said that Pakistan is making gradual progress in tourism sector and various measures have been taken in a short span of time. He said that Pakistani mission abroad are doing well to attract foreign visitors to Pakistan.
He said that visits of a number of high powered delegations to Pakistan and international conferences in Lahore are an ample proof of the fact that thoughts of international community towards Pakistan are taking a positive change. He informed that participants that a regional tourism conference will be held in Lahore very soon that would also help highlight the tourism potential of Pakistan.

The LCCI Vice President Nasir Saeed said that Tourism industry of Pakistan has the potential to turn Pakistan into a hub of economic activities as total contribution of travel and tourism industry in the global economy is more than $7.58 trillion. It is a good sign that Punjab government in general and Tourism Development Corporation of Pakistan (TDCP) is taking all possible steps for the promotion of tourism industry in Punjab.

Nasir Saeed said that changes in syllabi which would help familiarize the new generation with beautiful places of Pakistan. He said every nook and corner of Pakistan is worth-seeing provided we glorify it in a way that the foreign tourists would come to see our civilization which is, no doubt, our pride. He said that this would also help improve the soft image of Pakistan world over. He said the overwhelming majority of Pakistani people are peace loving and a little minority of extremists have distorted our image.

The LCCI Vice President said that our invaluable historic heritage, our thrilling sports and terrific civilization of our people living in mountains, deserts and on the banks of rivers is the real face of Pakistan which should be highlighted before the international comity.

He said institute of tourism and hotel management being run by TDCP in Lahore has been equipped by professional management and a training course of tourism guides is also being introduced in the institute.

He appreciated Tourism Development Corporation of Punjab for ensuring participation of private sector and said that it would certainly give a lot of confidence to business community particularly related to hotel industry, travel agents, tour operators and other stakeholders to share their views and suggestions in the process of policy making.

For more information, contact:
Shahid Khalil
Information Department
Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI)
11-Shahrah-e-Aiwan-e-Tijarat,
Lahore -54000, Pakistan
Tel: +92-42-111-222-499
Fax: +92-42-36368854
Website: www.lcci.org.pk

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