A recent newspaper article headlined that Pakistan has improved it ranking on tourism competitiveness index. A country that often finds itself in terrorism-related media news stories, a low ranking on the tourism index is not a surprise. While much of the tourism is attributed to in-bound terrorism, there has been an increase in out-bound tourism as well.
It is unfortunate that despite home to many of the world’s tallest mountains, Pakistan continues to struggle with attracting tourists. With five of the world’s fourteen mountains taller than 8,000 metres, Pakistan has immense potential for growing its out-bound tourism. With the government that often finds itself dealing with political and development issues, the lack of priority given to this industry is explainable.
The recent efforts from the government in the form of “Brand Pakistan” are in process. While it is a step in the right direction, it should include a component on tourism. While political instability, terrorism, poverty and all other factors have been keeping us off the radar for international tourism. It is time for the government to seek help of other countries and international organizations to encourage tourism in Pakistan.