The Punjab Cabinet approves tourism policy to boost economy

LAHORE: To make Punjab an attractive tourist destination, the Punjab government has given its first Punjab Tourism Policy that will help boost the economy through well-planned projects for diversification and management of tourist destinations.

In collaboration with the private sector, the Punjab government in its maiden tourism policy has planned to enhance tourism by developing and protecting infrastructure and sites, wetlands, ecology, showcasing the rich history and cultural heritage in term of festivals, cuisine and its religious heritage and archaeological assets

As per the Punjab government’s proposal, the strategy for the development of tourism will be driven by the government and will be led by the private sector.

Due to various challenges like poor security situation, lack of trained human resources, diversity in tourist destinations, and poor infrastructure, maximum benefit from the true potential of the sector could not have been achieved.

The maiden policy has identified these five strategic areas and is targeted to work for building state-of-the-art tourism infrastructure, ensuring safety and security of tourists, building a strong tourism brand, developing talent for tourism services and ensuring that growth in tourism sector is sustainable.

With federal-provincial coordination and alignment, strengthen public sector capacity for tourism sector management and supporting private sector-led growth will be achieved.

The tourism department has been entrusted to calibrate regulations through Regulatory Reforms Package, enact supporting laws and regulations, provide requisite financing through Tourism Investment Package, Public-Private Partnership and incentives for private sector investors.

Through the tourism policy, the government has proposed specific strategies for the private sector, tour operators, hoteliers, travel agents, NGOs, heritage tourism, Sufi/Mystic tourism, food safety and Tourist Information Centres.

With the promotion of tourism, the government expects upward social mobility of the local marginalised communities and making tourism an engine of economic growth and poverty alleviation in the province.

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