ISLAMABAD - In order to fully exploit tourism sector, Prime Minister Imran Khan directed to formulate National Tourism Coordination Board with inclusion of relevant public and private stakeholders from all the four provinces and Gilgit-Baltistan and AJK, which would help develop regulatory framework in tourism sector.

The decision in this connection was made in a meeting of National Task Force on Tourism held in the chair of Prime Minister on Monday.

Secretary to the Prime Minister Azam Khan briefed the participants regarding recommendations of the earlier constituted National Task Force on Tourism.

In order to ameliorate tourism sector of Pakistan after 18th amendment and to develop synergies amongst provinces and regions, it was proposed to formulate National Tourism Coordination Board with inclusion of relevant public and private stakeholders from all provinces including G-B and AJK so as to integrate efforts, coordinate with national and international organizations and to facilitate provinces in developing regulatory framework in tourism sector.

The participants were apprised of the major issues and challenges being faced by tourism sector and their possible solutions with dedicated time bound roles of various public sector organizations at federal, provincial and local government level.

Specialized, religious, adventure & sports, eco-tourism and others thematic types of tourism were discussed in detail with their areas and potential target market. Moreover, in order to complement 100 days agenda of the government, new destinations were highlighted based on their potential and proposed activities, to be developed in all provinces and regions of Pakistan.

Prime Minister Imran Khan stated that Pakistan has huge potential in tourism sector and tourism has increased phenomenally during last three years. He emphasised on need to incentivise and facilitate the tourism industry while removing all the bottlenecks and hurdles impeding the promotion of tourism in the country.

The Prime Minister directed to ensure environmental protection and cultural preservation while undertaking tourism related projects in tourist areas of the country.

He stressed to bring tourism to the centre stage of development process by ensuring that development proposals of other sectors are seamlessly fed into the development of tourism potential of provinces/regions. The Prime Minister directed to develop framework for public private partnership specially to attract foreign and local investment in large scale tourism related projects in the country.

He emphasised that relevant tourism departments should develop their tourism policies and plans in accordance to the international best practices of sustainable tourism to ensure the sustainability of environment, local economy and cultural norms.

Prime Minister Imran Khan while agreeing to the recommendations of National Task Force on Tourism, directed for devising a comprehensive plan of action in consultation with relevant public and private sector organizations of all provinces and regions for implementing a well synergized and well-coordinated mechanism for promotion of tourism in the country.