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Tourism in Pakistan

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Lake Saiful Muluk, located at the northern end of the Kaghan Valley, near the town of Naran in the Saiful Muluk National Park.
The 7,788-metre-tall (25,551 ft) Rakaposhi mountain towers over Hunza Valley

Tourism in Pakistan is a growing industry.[1][2][3] In 2010, Lonely Planet termed Pakistan as being "...tourism's ‘next big thing’ for more years than we care to remember. The country is geographically and ethnically diverse, and has a number of historical and cultural heritage sites. The upsurge in tourism in the past few years has been aided by the Government of Pakistan's recent decision to end mandatory No Objection Certificates for foreign tourists seeking to visit certain parts of the country.[4] and opening up

Pakistan was ranked The Best Holiday Destination for 2020[5] and Pakistan was also declared the third highest Potential adventure destination in the world for 2020.[5] As security in the country improves, tourism in Pakistan increases. In just a couple of years, tourism in Pakistan has increased by more than 300%!.[6] Pakistan also launched online visa services for 175 countries[7] and 50 countries were offered Visa on arrival,[8] which made a tourism trip to Pakistan easier. Pakistan also received an influx of travel vloggers who showed the beauty of the country, especially the northern areas like Hunza and Skardu[9]

In 2018, the British Backpacker Society ranked Pakistan as the world's top adventure travel destination, describing the country as "one of the friendliest countries on earth, with mountain scenery that is beyond anyone’s wildest imagination."[10] Forbes ranked Pakistan as one of the ‘coolest places’ to visit in 2019.[11] The World Economic Forum's Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report placed Pakistan in the top 25 per cent of global destinations for its World Heritage sites, which range from the mangroves in the Indus delta, to the Indus Valley Civilization sites including Mohenjo-daro and Harappa.[12]

According to the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2017 released by the World Economic Forum, the direct contribution of travel and tourism to Pakistan's GDP in 2015 was US$328.3 million, constituting 2.8% of the total GDP.[13] According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, the direct contribution of travel and tourism to Pakistan's GDP in 2016 was US$7.6 billion (PKR 793.0 billion), constituting 2.7% of the total GDP.[14] By 2025, the government predicts tourism will contribute 1 trillion (US$6.0 billion) to the Pakistani economy.[15]

In October 2006, one year after the 2005 Kashmir earthquake, The Guardian released what it described as "the top five tourist sites in Pakistan" to help the country's tourism industry.[16] The sites included Lahore, the Karakoram Highway, Karimabad and Lake Saiful Muluk. To promote the country's unique cultural heritage, Pakistan launched the "Visit Pakistan" marketing campaign in 2007. This campaign involved events throughout the year including fairs and religious festivals, regional sporting events, arts and craft shows, folk festivals and openings of historical museums.[17]

In 2013, 565,212 tourists visited Pakistan contributing only $298 million, which has risen to over 6.6 million tourists in 2018.[18] By comparison, Pakistan's domestic tourism industry is estimated at 50 million tourists who travel in the country on short trips usually between May to August.[19] The largest tourism inflow of tourists are from the United Kingdom, followed by United States, India and China.[20][21]

Overview

Kalash people in the north are an ancient community and decedents of Alexander the great

The country's attractions range from the ruin of Mohenjo-daro and Harappa to the Himalayan hill stations, for those interested in winter sports.[22] Pakistan is home to several mountain peaks over 7000 m, which draw adventurers and mountaineers from around the world, especially K2.[23] The north part of Pakistan has many old fortresses, ancient architecture and the Hunza, Chitral Valley, home to small Kalash people community and Fairy Meadows, Diamer District of Gilgit Baltistan. The romance of the historic Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province is timeless and legendary,[peacock term] Punjab province has the historic city Lahore, Pakistan's cultural capital, with many examples of Mughal architecture such as Badshahi Masjid, Shalimar Gardens, Tomb of Jahangir and the Lahore Fort

Tourist visas

In 2019, Pakistan increased the availability of travel visas in a bid to increase tourism. The new program grants visas on arrival to travellers from 50 countries, including the United States. Citizens of another 175 countries can apply for visas on the internet. Previously, visas could only be obtained from Pakistani embassies abroad.[24]

Tourism by province and territory

Pakistan is subdivided into four provinces (Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab and Sindh), one federal territory (Islamabad Capital Territory) and two autonomous regions (Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan).[25]

Gilgit Baltistan

Gilgit Baltistan is the capital of tourism in Pakistan. Gilgit Baltistan is home to some of the highest peaks in the world, including K2 the second highest peak in the world. Gilgit Baltistan's landscape includes mountains, lakes, glaciers and valleys. Gilgit Baltistan is not only known for its mountains — it is also visited for its landmarks, culture, history and people.[26] K2 Basecamp, Deosai, Naltar, Fairy Meadows Bagrot Valley and Hushe valley are common places to visit in Gilgit Baltistan.[27]

Balochistan

Balochistan is the largest province by geographical area of Pakistan, constituting approximately 43% of the total area. Balochistan is home to one of the oldest Neolithic (7000 BC to c. 2500 BC) sites in archaeology. Mehrgarh and Nausharo was an ancient city linked to the Indus Valley Civilization. Ancient sites dating back 800 years are the Nausherwani tombs at Qila Ladgasht. There was also an ancient port at the site of Oraea which proved to be a useful port during the Hellenistic civilisation.[28]

Quetta is the provincial capital of Balochistan. There are a number of sites of interest including the protected Hazarganji-Chiltan National Park, Hanna Lake, Quetta Geological Museum, Balochistan Arts Council Library, Quetta Archaeological Museum as well as Command and Staff College Museum. The Quaid-e-Azam Residency is another major site in Balochistan in the city of Ziarat. Ziarat is famous for the juniper forests which are the oldest and largest in the world. Sibi is an important historical city in Balochistan. The Jirga Hall has a collection of pieces found at the archaeological sites of Mehrgarh, Nasshero and Pirak. The annual Sibi Festival marks the Horse and Cattle Show.[29]

There are a number of mountain passes within Balochistan. The Bolan Pass has been the main entrance to the provincial city of Quetta. There are several others including Lak Pass, Khojak Pass and Harnai Pass. The Balochistan coastline extends from the Sindh province to the Iranian border measuring a total distance of over 750 km. The city of Gwadar holds the largest port in the province which is based near the ancient area of Makran. Pasni is another medium-sized town known for fishing. Along the Makran Coastal Highway, there are several rock formations as well as Kund Malir and the Hingol National Park.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is located in the north-west region of Pakistan. It is known as the tourist hotspot for adventurers and explorers. The province has a varied landscape ranging from rugged mountains, valleys, hills and dense agricultural farms. The region is well known for its ancestral roots. There are a number of Buddhist archaeological sites from the Gandhara civilisation such as Takht Bhai and Pushkalavati. There are a number of other Buddhist and Hindu archaeological sites including Bala Hisar Fort, Butkara Stupa, Kanishka stupa, Chakdara, Panjkora Valley and Sehri Bahlol.

Peshawar is the provincial capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The city is home to a number of sites including Bala Hisar Fort, Peshawar Museum, archaeological site of Gor Khuttree, Mohabbat Khan Mosque, old city of Sethi Mohallah, Jamrud Fort, the Sphola Stupa and the most famous market of Qissa Khawani. The city of Dera Ismail Khan is known to be the entrance into the province from Punjab and Balochistan. The city is known for its Hindu ruins at Kafir Kot. The Buddhist ruins at Shahbaz Garhi are also famous in the city of Mardan. Heading North, the divisions Swat valley One of the most important cities in the province is Mansehra. The city is a major stop for tourists setting out to the Northern Areas and Azad Kashmir. The city is connected by the Karakoram Highway which ends up in China. Along the route, there are several stops including the Kaghan Valley, Balakot, Naran, Shogran, Lake Saiful Mulook and Babusar Top. There are also several other sites within the province which attract a large number of tourist every year including Ayubia, Batkhela, Chakdara, Saidu Sharif, Kalam Valley and Hindu Kush mountain range in Chitral.[30]

There are also several mountain passes that run through the province. One of the most famous is the Khyber Pass which links Afghanistan with Pakistan. The trade route sees a large number of trucks and lorries importing and exporting goods in and out of the region. The Babusar Pass is another mountain pass connecting the Thak Nala with Chilas on the Karakorum Highway. The Lowari Pass is another pass which connects Chitral with Dir via the Lowari Tunnel. The highest mountain pass in Pakistan is Shandur Pass which connects Chitral to Gilgit and is known as the Roof of the World. The pass is the centre of three mountain ranges – Hindukush, Pamir and Karakoram.

Punjab

Punjab is the second largest province in Pakistan. It is known for its ancient cultural heritage as well as its religious diversity. The lands of Punjab have been home to a number of religions and civilisations. The Indus Valley Civilization once ruled the region and a significant archaeological find was discovered at the ancient city of Harrapa. The Gandhara civilisation was also quite dominant in the northern region of Punjab at the site of Taxila. Several other civilisations such as Greeks, Central Asians, and Persians ruled Punjab leaving a number of sites which still exist today. The arrival of Islam came about during the rule of the Umayyad Caliphate followed by the Ghaznavids. The Mughals took control of the region and ruled its land for several centuries. The Mughal heritage remained quite strong in Punjab with a large number of forts, tombs and monuments still intact today. The Durrani Empire ruled Punjab at the fall of the Mughal Empire for a short period following the rise of the Sikh Empire. The strong control of the Sikhs also led to a number of sites still remaining intact throughout Punjab. The British Raj took control of the region until the independence.

Tourism in Punjab is regulated by the Tourism Development Corporation of Punjab.[31] There are a number of large cosmopolitan cities in Punjab. The provincial capital, Lahore is the second largest city of Pakistan as is known to the Cultural Heart of Pakistan. The Mughal Empire left behind the Lahore Fort and Shalimar Gardens which are now recognised World Heritage Sites. The Walled City of Lahore, Badshahi Mosque, Wazir Khan Mosque, Tomb of Jahangir and Nur Jahan, Tomb of Asaf Khan and Chauburji are other major sites visited by tourists each year. The tomb of Qutb-ud-din Aibak from the Delhi Sultanate is located in the historical market of Anarkali Bazaar in Lahore. The Samadhi of Ranjit Singh and Hazuri Bagh Baradari are prime examples of Sikh architecture during the rule of the Sikh Empire. There a number of other sites within Lahore such as Minar-e-Pakistan, Lahore Museum, Data Durbar Complex, Tomb of Muhammad Iqbal, Bagh-e-Jinnah, Lahore Zoo, Tomb of Shah Jamal, Sukh Chayn Gardens, Gaddafi Stadium which all create a large number of visitors annually.

Rawalpindi is known to be a famous hill station stop for tourists before setting out to Murree, Bhurban, Patriata, Northern Areas, Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan.[32] The Pharwala Fort is a major fort on the outskirts of the city built by an ancient Hindu civilisation. There are a number of sites from the Mughal Empire in the city of Sheikhupura called Hiran Minar and the Sheikhupura Fort. The Rohtas Fort near Jhelum is a major fort built by Sher Shah Suri is a World Heritage Site. The Katasraj temple in the city of Chakwal is a major destination for Hindu devotees. The Khewra Salt Mines is another major tourist attraction as its one of the oldest mines in South Asia. The city of Nankana Sahib is the birthplace of the founder of Sikhism. The Gurdwara is visited by a number of pilgrims every year to mark Guru Nanak Dev birthday. Another gurdwara in Punjab is Panja Sahib located in the city of Hasan Abdal. The clock tower and eight bazaars of Faisalabad are famous for its bazaars since they were designed to represent the Union Jack flag.[33]

Travelling southward, the region starts to become more desertic. Multan is another major tourist destination in Punjab. It is known for its mausoleums of saints and Sufi pirs. The most famous are the Rukn-e-Alam and Baha-ud-din Zakariya. The Multan Museum and Nuagaza tombs are significant attractions in the city. The city of Bahawalpur is a major destination as it is located near the Cholistan Desert and Thar Desert. The Derawar Fort is a large fort built in the Cholistan Desert which is also the site for the annual Cholistan Jeep Rally. The city is also near the ancient site of Uch Sharif which was once a Delhi Sultanate stronghold. The Noor Mahal, Sadiq Ghar Palace, Darbar Mall are large palaces built during the reign of the Nawabs. The Lal Suhanra National Park is a major zoological garden on the outskirts of the city.

Sindh

Archaeological ruins at Moenjodaro, Sindh, Pakistan. One of the oldest civilisations in the world

Sindh is located in the south-eastern region of Pakistan. The province is known for its religious heritage and rapid-urbanisation. The province is home to the ancient Indus Valley Civilisation. Mohenjo-daro near the city of Larkana was one of the largest city-settlements in South Asia and is an official UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Chaukhandi tombs are another example of ancient Sindhi and Balochi heritage located near the town of Landi. Another ancient city, Aror, located near the city of Sukkur is also a tourist spot known for its ruins. Kahu-Jo-Darro is an ancient Buddhist archaeological site near Mirpurkhas were a Buddhist stupa was excavated.

The first arrival of Islam in the South Asia took place in Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan. There has been a number of sites within the province that have led archaeologists to suggest this. Makli Hill is one of the largest necropolises in the world. The site is home to a number of ancient tombs and graves of Islamic dynasties. The Talpur Mirs of Hyderabad also left a number of sites including, Tombs of Talpur Mirs, Faiz Mahal in Khairpur, Qasim fort, Pacco Qillo and the Kot Diji Fort in Kot Diji. Another fort built during the Islam invasion was the Ranikot Fort. Like other provinces, Sindh has a number of cultural shrines and mausoleums including Thatta, Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai, Lal Shahbaz Qalander, Shahjahan Mosque, Mazar-e-Quaid, Minar-e-Mir Masum Shah, Bhambore and Garhi Khuda Bakhsh.

Karachi is the provincial capital of the province and largest city of Pakistan. It is home to the founder of the nation, Mohammad Ali Jinnah. His tomb, Mazar-e-Quaid, is the most iconic mausoleum in Pakistan. The city has the largest port in the country, Port of Karachi, followed by the second largest, Port Qasim. Karachi has also been ruled under a number of tribes which meant the city is home to a number of cultural sites including, Mohatta Palace, National Museum of Pakistan, Empress Market, Frere Hall, Jehangir Kothari Parade, Karachi Municipal Corporation Building and the Hindu Gymkhana. There are also several beaches within the city, some of the most famous are Clifton Beach, French Beach, Sandspit Beach and Manora Island.

The province also forms the basin for the Indus River. This has led to a number of lakes being formed in the province. Some of the most notable ones include: Keenjhar Lake, Manchar Lake and the Bakri Waro Lake in Khairpur. The Kirthar National Park is also a protected reserve for several wildlife species within the region. The Thar Desert is also located in the province which adjoins it to Punjab and India. The Great Rann of Kutch is a protected wetland site in the province. There are two wildlife sanctuaries in the province: Rann of Kutch Wildlife Sanctuary and the Nara Desert Wildlife Sanctuary. The Sukkur Barrage is another famous icon in the province it was built to alleviate famines caused by lack of rain.

Port Grand Food and Entertainment Complex is a recreational area built in the centre of Karachi, Pakistan along the waterfront of the 19th-century Native Jetty Bridge that connects the Karachi Port Trust to Keamari. The complex is expected to attract up to 5,000 visitors a day and is a major hub of shopping, dining, cultural and coastal recreational activities in the city. Port Grand is located on Napier Mole Bridge a site that is very significant to the history of Karachi and has played a crucial role in making it the city it is today. The project stretches along 1,000 ft of Karachi's ancient 19th-century Native Jetty Bridge and spreads over an area of 200,000 sq. ft. The one-kilometre bridge has been transformed into an entertainment and food enclave housing numerous eateries totalling 40,000 sq. ft of climate-controlled area and space for kiosks of exotic Pakistani and foreign food and a variety of beverages. To get to the Port Grand from anywhere in the city, Port Grand is a straight shot west out of Mai Kolachi, adjacent to the PNSC Building as the road curves into the facility on the right.[34]

Azad Jammu and Kashmir

Azad Kashmir is the region of Pakistan situated in Northern part of the country. The northern part of Azad Jammu and Kashmir encompasses the lower part of the Himalayas, including Jamgarh Peak 4,734 metres (15,531 ft). However, Sarwali peak in the Neelum Valley is the highest peak in the state. Ganga Choti is the peak in Bagh.[35] Fertile, green, mountainous valleys are characteristic of Azad Kashmir's geography.[36]

The southern parts of Azad Kashmir, including Bhimber, Mirpur and Kotli districts, have extremely hot weather in summers and moderate cold weather in winters. It receives rains mostly in monsoon weather. In the central and northern parts of the state, the weather remains moderate hot in summers and very cold and chilly in winter. Snowfall also occurs there in December and January. This region receives rainfall in both winters and summers. Muzaffarabad and Pattan are among the wettest areas of the state. Throughout most of the region, the average rainfall exceeds 1400 mm, with the highest average rainfall occurring near Muzaffarabad (around 1800 mm). During summer, monsoon floods of the Jhelum and Leepa river are common, due to high rainfall and melting snow.

Islamabad Capital Territory

Islamabad is the capital of Pakistan. Islamabad is located in the Pothohar Plateau in the northeastern part of the country, between Rawalpindi District and the Margalla Hills National Park to the north. The region has historically been a part of the crossroads of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with the Margalla Pass acting as the gateway between the two regions. Faisal Mosque (the largest mosque in South Asia), Margalla Hills National Park, Daman-i-Koh, Pakistan Monument, Rawal Lake, Simli Lake and Fatima Jinnah Park are among the tourists places which are located in Islamabad.[37][38] It is ranked as the 2nd most beautiful capital city in the world[39]

UNESCO World Heritage Sites

The table lists information about each World Heritage Site in Pakistan.

Name: as listed by the World Heritage Committee
Region: one of the 8 administrative units of Pakistan
Period: time period of significance, typically of construction
UNESCO data: the site's reference number; the year the site was inscribed on the World Heritage List; the criteria it was listed under: criteria (i) through (vi) are cultural, while (vii) through (x) are natural; meeting both criteria are categorized as "mixed sites"
Description: brief description of the site
Name Image Region Period UNESCO data Description Ref(s)
Archaeological Ruins at Moenjodaro Mohenjo-daro-2010.jpg Sindh, Pakistan 27°19′45″N 68°8′20″E / 27.32917°N 68.13889°E / 27.32917; 68.13889 (Archaeological Ruins at Moenjodaro) 26th century BC to 19th century BC 138; 1980; ii, iii Moenjodaro is an archaeological site located on the right bank of Indus River in Larkana District of Sindh. Dating back to the beginning of 3rd millennium BC, the 5000-year-old city was one of the largest and earliest urbanized settlements in South Asia. The ruins were first discovered in 1922 and major excavations were carried out in the 1930s, however after 1965 further excavations were banned due to weathering and disintegration. Only one-third of the site has been revealed so far and site conservation works have been on-going since then. [40]
Taxila Double-Headed Eagle Stupa at Sirkap 06.jpg near modern Taxila, in Punjab, Pakistan
33°46′45″N 72°53′15″E / 33.77917°N 72.88750°E / 33.77917; 72.88750 (Taxila)
5th century BC to 2nd century AD 139; 1980; iii, vi Taxila is an archaeological site located in the Rawalpindi District, 30 km northwest of Islamabad. The city dates back to the Gandhara period and contains the ruins of the Gandhāran city of Takṣaśilā which was an important Hindu and Buddhist centre, and is still considered a place of religious and historical sanctity in those traditions. [41]
Buddhist Ruins of Takht-i-Bahi and Neighbouring City Remains at Sahr-i-Bahlol Overview photo of Takht Bhai complex.jpg Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan 34°19′15″N 71°56′45″E / 34.32083°N 71.94583°E / 34.32083; 71.94583 (Buddhist Ruins of Takht-i-Bahi and Neighbouring City Remains at Sahr-i-Bahlol) 1st century 140; 1980; iv Takht-i-Bahi, meaning spring throne, is a Buddhist monastic complex dating to the 1st century BC located on top of a 152 m high hill. The ruins are located about 16 km from Mardan and 80 km from Peshawar. Sahr-i-Bahlol is a small fortified city, dating from the same era, located near Takht-i-Bahi. The historical complex is a complete Buddhist monastery consisting of four main groups; the Court of Stupas, a monastic complex, a temple complex, and a tantric monastic complex. [42]
Fort and Shalamar Gardens in Lahore Lahore Fort view from Baradari.jpg Punjab, Pakistan 31°35′25″N 74°18′35″E / 31.59028°N 74.30972°E / 31.59028; 74.30972 (Fort and Shalamar Gardens in Lahore) 1556 171; 1981; i, ii, iii The Fort and Shalamar Gardens in Lahore are two distinct royal complexes from the Mughal era. The Fort is located at the northwest corner of the Walled City of Lahore and has been destroyed and rebuilt several times during its history. The Shalamar Gardens are example of Mughal Gardens which were constructed by the emperor Shah Jahan in 1642. The gardens are influenced by Persian and Islamic traditions and cover 16 hectares of land area. [43]
Historical Monuments at Makli, Thatta Quranic artwork at a decorated grave in the necropolis at Makli, Thatta.jpg Sindh, Pakistan 24°46′0″N 67°54′0″E / 24.76667°N 67.90000°E / 24.76667; 67.90000 (Historical Monuments at Makli, Thatta) 14th century to 18th century 143; 1981; iii Makli is a necropolis in the archaeological city of Thatta dating back to 14th century. The monuments and mausoleums in Makli are built from high quality stone, brick, and glazed tiles representing the civilization of Sindh of the time. Tombs of famous saints and rulers including Jam Nizamuddin II are still preserved and are evidence of Hindu, Mughal, and Islamic architecture. [44]
Rohtas Fort Rohtas Fort Magnificent Kabuli Gate.jpg Punjab, Pakistan 32°57′45″N 73°35′20″E / 32.96250°N 73.58889°E / 32.96250; 73.58889 (Rohtas Fort) 1541 586; 1997; ii, iv Rohtas Fort is a garrison fort built by Sher Shah Suri, located about 16 km from Jhelum in Punjab, Pakistan. The fort is an exceptional example of Islamic military architecture, integrating artistic traditions from Turkey and the Indian subcontinent. It was built at a strategic location on a small hill alongside Kahan River to control the Ghakkars. Its name is derived from Rohtasgarh, the site of Sher Shah's victory in 1539 over a Hindu ruler. [45]

Tentative list

The mausoleum of Shah Rukn-e-Alam

In 2004, the Ministry of Tourism pushed forward for new sites in Pakistan to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In total, 26 sites are awaiting to be categorised as of 2016 which include:[46][47]

Other landmarks


There are landmarks and structures that have not yet made the UNESCO Tentative List. Long before the creation of Pakistan in 1947, there were cultures and religions that existed before the independence. Pakistan's being the centre of various wars led to several dynasties and tribes ruling its lands. They left landmarks behind which some have become national icons whilst others needing the attention of concerned authorities. Some of these include:

Post-independence Pakistan retained its heritage by constructing sites to commemorate its independence by blending styles and influences from the past. Some of these include:

Tourism under Prime Minister Imran Khan

Prime minister Imran Khan plans to boost tourism to create millions of jobs.[48] “Pakistan has huge tourism potential. We will promote tourism to strengthen the economy,” Khan said in his first televised address to the nation.[48] Tourism Industry in Pakistan has already witnessed a boom as law and order has improved across the country in the last five years. The country of 220 million is already known for its hospitality globally.

Military operations launched by Pakistan armed forces during 2013–2017 against militants wiped out terrorism and militancy across the country especially from northern areas known for lush green valleys, fairy meadows, sparkling streams and snow-capped mountains, paving the way for revival of tourism.

Government of Pakistan has also eased visa policy for foreigners which has played a key role in attracting a large numbers of foreign tourists.[48]

“We are improving processes to issue tourist visas, in particular for groups and champion initiatives, which strengthen our visa on arrival program and eliminate NoC condition for high potential tourist destinations besides providing four-star accommodation at affordable cost,” said Fawad Chaudhary, a minister in government.[48] He also said " peace had been restored and the local and foreign tourists were coming in large numbers to visit the scenic places and heritage sites'[49]

The Imran khan government organized On the 2nd and 3rd of April 2019, The Pakistan Tourism Summit in a very professional manner at Jinnah Convention Centre, Islamabad which featured Prime Minister Imran Khan, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Interior Minister Shehryar Afridi, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhary, famous international bloggers who spoke about their experiences during the panel discussion and answered the question from the participants.[50]

Due to these measures 1.9 million tourists visited Pakistan in 2018 and as of 2020, As security in the country improves in just a couple of years, tourism in Pakistan has increased by more than 300%![51]

List of tourist regions and sites

Top-five tourist destinations

In October 2006, The Guardian released what it described as "The top five tourist sites in Pakistan" to help the country's tourism industry.[52] Pakistan was ranked 47 out of 200 countries in an analysis of the World Travel and Tourism Council's (WTTC) growth figures by lovehomeswap.com, which said, "If the country becomes more peaceful, visitor numbers are predicted to rise".[53][54]

Rank Location
1 Lahore
2 Taxila
3 The Karakoram Highway
4 Karimabad
5 Lake Saiful Muluk

Ski resorts and areas

Valleys

Lakes

Waterfalls

Data

Arrivals by year

1990s

1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
Tourist visitors[55] - - - - 383,000 378,000 369,000 375,000 429,000 432,000

2000s

2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
Tourist visitors 557,000 500,000 498,000 501,000 648,000 798,000 898,000 840,000 823,000 855,000

2010s

2010 2011 2012 2013[56] 2014[56] 2015[57] 2016[56] 2017[58][59] 2018[60]
Tourist visitors 907,000 1,161,000 966,000 565,212 530,000 563,400 965,498 1,750,000 1,900,035

See also

References

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Further reading

External links