Tourism could help Pakistan overcome economic crises: LCCI

The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) President Zafar Iqbal Chaudhry has said that Pakistan can cope with the ongoing economic crisis by focusing on tourism as it has huge potential and is one of the fastest growing sectors of the world. He was speaking at one-day seminar on “Challenges faced by the Tourism Industry of Pakistan”, organised by LCCI Standing Committee on Hospitality, Travel and Tourism, here at LCCI on Monday.

Zafar Iqbal Chaudhry said that bad law and order situation, coupled with travel advisories issued by different developed countries, had tarnished the image of country and needs to be revived. He termed image-building of the country a pre-requisite to tap true potential of tourism.

The LCCI president, while paying rich tributes to those who are working for the promotion of tourism sector, said that a little help from different government department could do miracle for the revival of tourism sector in Pakistan. He said that Lahore chamber had already forwarded its proposals for the promotion of tourism sector to the Prime Minister of Pakistan.

Speaking on the occasion, the LCCI former Senior Vice President Sohail Lashari said that onus lies with Pakistan ambassadors posted abroad to highlight the soft image of Pakistan that had been tarnished by the anti-social elements. He said the private sector recommendations should be given priority while evolving all tourism-related policies.

He said that the tourism sector, if developed on modern lines, could help the country earn millions of dollars foreign exchange. There is need to create awareness among the business community and investors about the huge potential of tourism sector. Tourism is the main source of foreign exchange in several countries like Switzerland, Sri Lanka.

“We must develop this sector to attract local and foreign tourists, he added. The country could earn billions of dollars every year from tourism, he asserted. He said that tourism is very important tool for any state to be known as welcoming country. He said that new tourist sites were being identified that would help promote tourism sector in Pakistan.

Chairman LCCI Standing Committee on Hospitality, Travel and Tourism Ahmad Shafiq informed the participants that efforts were being made that would help give boost to Pakistan’s tourism industry. He stressed the need for devising a comprehensive strategy to exploit the rich heritage of tourism of Pakistan.

He said that this sector could contribute a lot to strengthen the economy of the country that was in deep troubles at the moment. Convenor LCCI Standing Committee on Hospitality, Travel and Tourism Ahmad Shafique and LCCI Executive Committee member Dr Shahid Raza also spoke on the occasion. – brecorder