In a significant development, Pakistan witnessed an outstanding 115% increase in foreign tourism in the year 2023, contributing substantially to the country’s foreign exchange revenue, which reached an impressive $1.3 billion. Wasi Shah, the Caretaker Minister of State for Tourism, revealed this remarkable growth during an exclusive interview with a private news channel.
According to data from the ‘World Tourism Barometer’ published by the World Tourism Organization of the United Nations, Pakistan demonstrated a remarkable 92% recovery to pre-pandemic levels in 2023. This resurgence was fueled by a noteworthy 115% surge in tourist arrivals compared to the previous year.
Expressing optimism about the future, Minister Wasi Shah anticipated that 2024 would usher in further transformation for Pakistan, solidifying its position as a powerhouse in the global tourism sector. He emphasized the ongoing efforts to promote tourism and highlighted plans to identify more unexplored destinations in Sindh and Balochistan, encompassing adventure, religious, nature, weekend, rural, and tribal tourism.
Minister Shah highlighted Pakistan’s diverse landscapes, featuring pristine beaches, majestic cliffs, lush forests, rolling hills, picturesque valleys, and meandering rivers. He emphasized that these natural wonders, often undiscovered and unspoiled, present a unique opportunity for the new government to focus on showcasing Pakistan’s tourism potential. The Minister expressed the belief that these hidden gems could be pivotal in attracting more tourists, both domestically and internationally.
Wasi Shah underscored the government’s commitment to simplifying procedures and encouraging private sector involvement to further boost the tourism sector. He noted that Pakistan actively participated in global market shows like the World Travel Mart (WTM), where the country’s tourism opportunities were showcased. The Pakistan pavilion at WTM in London, one of the world’s largest travel shows, successfully attracted a substantial number of travel enthusiasts, representatives from international travel companies, and influential figures in the realm of social media.
Responding to a query, Minister Wasi Shah celebrated the acknowledgment of Pakistan as the best tourism destination in the world, considering it a gift for the nation. He reiterated the government’s dedication to facilitating tourism growth by streamlining processes and fostering collaboration with the private sector. The Minister concluded by expressing confidence that Pakistan’s burgeoning tourism industry would continue to flourish in the years to come.
Afsheen is a writer with an extensive experience in creating authentic and well-researched articles.