After three gloomy years of cross-border tourism between Pakistan and China due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the year 2023, the Pakistan-China Year of Tourism Exchanges, is expected to witness a boom in the tourism sector in both countries.
“Exchanges have already started online. We are also working with Chinese tourism associations to develop business linkages. Soon we’ll finalize a calendar of events and activities”, Mr. Aftab ur Rehman Rana, Managing Director of Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) told China Economic Net (CEN).
He believes that China, one of the biggest players in the tourism economy at the global level, will find a lot to explore in Pakistan, where a lot of business opportunities are coming up for individual investments in the tourism and hospitality sector.
“Many Chinese people working under CPEC returned to China during the pandemic, now it’s time for them to come back with their families for a good visit. I expect that a number of Chinese tourists will visit Pakistan if we have better facilitation of border crossing, economical air ticket packages, and inter-city transportation between major cities like Beijing, Urumqi, Islamabad, Lahore…”, he said.
The traffic will be two-way. He told CEN reporter that in China, the silk route is a very popular travel route that has also attracted many tourists from Europe. In Pakistan, the rich history, culture, festivity, and music will offer a unique travel experience.
In this regard, PTDC has already developed a detailed guidebook on Pakistan in Chinese. Video films on Pakistan will also be developed with subtitles in Chinese to help Chinese tourists know more about Pakistan. A working committee having representatives of both the sides will be formed to make the collaboration in tourism promotion more fruitful.
“It’s the most favorable time for bilateral tourism. It’s also time to make the visa policy more tourist-friendly on both sides. Tour operators should be encouraged to develop group tour packages so groups of tourists could go an organized matter on a set itinerary and see the beautiful sites on both sides”, he further said.