Japan, the United States, Spain, France, and Germany are at the top of the list in the index that assessed 117 countries, identifying key factors in enabling the sustainable and resilient growth of the travel and tourism sector which in turn contributes to the development of a country. The study showed that the tourism sector is showing signs of recovery in many countries after being hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Pakistani tourism companies and government organisations welcomed the development and vowed to make tourist destinations more sustainable.
Talking to Gulf News, Aftabur Rehman Rana, Managing Director of the Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC), said: “Making our tourism more sustainable and eco-friendly is the need of the hour as tourism in Pakistan especially domestic tourism is growing at a very fast pace which has potential to negatively impact the natural fragile environment of our tourist destinations.”
He said that there should be more focus on the management of tourist sites efficiently by involving local administrations. Raising environmental awareness among the public is essential for eco-friendly tourism, he added.
Pakistan’s scenic north attracts thousands of domestic and international tourists every year. The country is home to lofty mountains, snowy valleys, beautiful beaches and lakes, sandy deserts and incredible landscape stretches. However, environmental experts are extremely worried about trash tourism, creating water, air and noise pollution in Pakistan.
Pakistan has some of the most pristine and unexplored tourist sites where ecotourism programs can be introduced to encourage conservation, responsible travel to natural areas and benefit local communities, suggests former minister of climate change Malik Amin Aslam.
“A framework has been developed under the World Bank guidelines in KP Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Integrated Tourism Development (KITE…