BEIJING: “Pakistan has signed an MoU on tourism with Chinese tourism associations and forged partnership with travel agencies, and we are to launch a Chinese-language website called Discover Batie (also known as Discover Pakistan) to popularise Pakistan’s rich repertoire of culture and tourism resources across China. According to details, this was stated by Moin ul Haque, Pakistani Ambassador to China, at the 2021 World Tourism Cities Federation (WTCF) Fragrant Hills Tourism Summit & World Conference on Tourism Cooperation and Development held here.
Haque noted, Pakistan boasts a wide range of landmass including valleys and mountains and rich culture and cilivilisation, and that Pakistan as China’s ‘batie’ is receptive to Chinese tourists and can be an attractive destination to global tourists as the country has put in place relevant tourist organisations and committees, favourable policies, visa facilitation, and tourism development and rehabilitation.
Tourism contributes between 6-7 % of GDP in Pakistan and provides a little about two million jobs, according to a 2020 report by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI). However, the COVID-19 pandemic has dealt a heavy blow to the tourism sector in Pakistan and the rest of the world.
Offering advice on tourism revival, the tourism-minded ambassador pointed out that the tourism sector should provide safe, responsible, and attractive tourism by rethinking tourism products and services as new tourism patterns occur. He added, countries can also seek to develop smart tourism, using new technologies to develop virtual or digital tourism resources. It is learned that Mr Haque has formed a task force in the Embassy of Pakistan in Beijing to rev up Pakistan’s tourism sector. To this end, the Embassy has been producing a series of “Discover Batie” videos to introduce every aspect of Pakistan to the Chinese people and to lure more Chinese tourists to Pakistan after the pandemic.
“I want to emphasise that the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) has established a close partnership with WTCF and UNWTO. I propose the possibility of preparing a programme of trilateral cooperation between our organisation for the development of tourism in the context of the pandemic,” noted Vladimir Norov, Secretary-General of SCO.