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Tour operators eye on surge in domestic tourism.

ISLAMABAD, April 19, 2009 (Balochistan Times) -- Tour operators struggling for survival at a time when Pakistan tourism industry has hit the bottom are resolute to take on the uphill challenges as the domestic tourism is around the corner. Tourism has never been a stable industry, there are always ups and downs , one must learn to survive during tough times. Tourism in Pakistan has registered record lows over the last couple of years in the wake of volatile security situation. Himalayan Holidays, a travel agency has come up with a unique Discover your own country It is domestic based campaign, we cant wait till the international tourist, it may take a long time for a foreigner to come to Pakistan for holidays, Najib Khan, who owns Himalayan Holidays said. Najib Khan, who is also the Vice President of Pakistan Tour Operators Association (PATO) regretted that projection of countrys fabulous destinations in the media was not sufficient. There is a very little coverage of tourism in the press. The idea to name the campaign as Discover Your Own Country has been inspired by a Sri Lankan policy that produced good results. Elaborating his campaign, Najib khan said they would accommodate each age group within their respective financial spheres. We would guide the intending tourists as to how they should arrange their tours within their available funds, he informed. Besides, Himalayan Holiday would also arrange certain programmes in which students, youngsters, couples, and people from different age groups would be facilitated The PATO Vice President said national press needs lot of geographical knowledge, as unfortunately, many a times Kalam is associated with Kaghan, Naran with Swat. There is difference of whole Mountain Range, Swat is at the foot hills of Hindukush and Naran and Kaghan is in western end of Himalayas, the language is different and Indus River divides these two . Travelling on Karakorum highway is safe ,Gilgit, Hunza, Skardu and Astore valley are safe for tourist, he added. Najib Khan said they are planning to start River Rafting and family camping in Kaghan valley up to Babusar pass and family soft adventure to Gilgit, Hunza Skardu and Astore by the first week of May. We will start once again on our beautiful mountain, because we are not in tourism business by chance we always look a brighter side of Pakistan, he maintained.

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Publication:Balochistan Times (Baluchistan Province, Pakistan)
Date:Apr 19, 2009
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