Qatar’s development amazing, says top Pak tourism official


Doha, Sept 28 (TNS): Pakistani authorities have a lot to learn from Qatar if they want to promote tourism in the country. To begin with, the country can start by upgrading its infrastructure with modern designs.
These views were shared by Chaudhry Abdul Ghafoor Khan, managing director (MD) of Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC), in an interview with Community. Khan is in Doha on an official invitation to participate in celebrations of World Tourism Day ending today (September 28).
“I am amazed to see the development in Qatar. The infrastructural development especially cannot go unnoticed. I will meet Qatari authorities in these two days and we have a lot to share and discuss,” said Khan.
The head of PTDC, in response to a question on what he learnt in Qatar during his current visit, said, “Qatar has used its resources wisely. The number of people visiting the country is increasing day by day. I am here on their (Qatari officials) invitation and will attend different activities regarding promotion of tourism. I have already seen some impressive infrastructure development.”
He added, “I have also observed solid hotel management and construction of new hotels at beautiful locations. Developing hotels and motels can really help in the promotion of tourism. I will carry many new things in hotel construction and management from Qatar to Pakistan, which will definitely help my country in encouraging people to visit Pakistan.
“The most important thing is positive mindset. Qatari authorities have set their directions in promoting tourism and they are making headway with positive mindset. Back in Pakistan we also need to first develop a certain mindset to help promote international and domestic tourism in the country.”
Responding to a question on what Pakistan can offer to Qatar in the field of tourism, Khan said, “Pakistan is full of natural beauty. We will welcome tourists from Qatar. We will provide them all necessary facilities. There are a lot of investment opportunities in the field of tourism in Pakistan. Even more opportunities are being created since the project of China Pakistan Economic Corridor was started.”
He noted, “We are ready to provide ever facility to foreign investors, especially in the field of tourism. I, as the MD of PTDC, have bigger plans. I am going to develop tourist villages, tent villages and obtain helicopters for international tourists. I will try to convince Qatari authorities to start joint ventures with the PTDC in Pakistan. These join ventures can bring good money for both countries.”
He added that he is looking forward to meeting the Qatari dignitaries and was ready to discuss these matters with them in detail. “I will also get a chance to meet delegations from other countries and encourage them to visit Pakistan,” said.
When asked if he will also meet Pakistani expatriate community in Qatar, the MD said, “Oversees Pakistanis are an asset to the country. They can help improve tourism in Pakistan. I have scheduled meetings with different people in the expatriate community. I will also encourage them to visit Pakistan and invest in tourism.”
Speaking about his efforts to promote tourism in Pakistan, Khan said, “I have divided tourism in sectors: religious tourism, sports tourism, and health tourism. There are many religious places for Sikhs and Hindus in Pakistan to visit. I am going to introduce more and more facilities for religious tourists. Furthermore, there is a vast scope in sports tourism, especially mountaineering. Pakistan has the highest mountains in the world. Mountaineering can bring in a lot of tourists and sportspersons from across the world. Finally, Pakistan has very good healthcare facilities in the region. If more and more people come to Pakistan for treatment, the tourism sector will definitely benefit.”
The PTDC head, in response to a question on peace in the country, said, “Peace is must for tourism. I think if tourism had been promoted consistently in Pakistan, there would have been no or less terrorism. Recent military operations in restive areas have bore fruitful results for Pakistan. The situation is under control and any foreign tourists will be as safe as ever.”