LAHORE: Three-day Gilgit-Baltistan Festival kick-started on Friday at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry to highlight flora and fauna of Gilgit-Baltistan. Stalls of herbal products, gemstones, woodcraft, agricultural products, tourism monuments, climbing wall and food court from the mountains were a great attraction for the visitors.
The festival was jointly inaugurated by the Provincial Minister for Tourism, Sports, Archaeology and Museums, Gilgit-Baltistan, Fida Khan Fida and the LCCI President Malik Tahir Javaid. The LCCI Senior Vice president Khawaja Khawar Rashid and executive committee members were also present on the occasion.
Addressing the participants on the occasion, the Provincial Minister for Tourism, Sports, Archaeology and Museums,Gilgit-Baltistan, Fida Khan Fida said that government of Gilgit-Baltistan is giving special focus towards the up gradation of tourism sites and for the promotion of tourism related activities. He said that all the segments of the economy are being given equal importance therefore a comprehensive strategy has been adopted to promote tourism. The minister said that since the law and order situation has improved therefore the flow of international tourists is also getting a considerable momentum. He said that Pakistan is one of the few countries in the world that have great tourist destinations. He appreciated the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry to organize three-day festival to bring to the limelight the potential of Gilgit-Baltistan.
The LCCI President Malik Tahir Javaid in his address said that lack of proper infrastructure is hitting hard some of the finest tourists sites therefore the government would have to divert its attention towards these areas. He said that in today’s world when all types of technology is available, there must not be any problems for international tourists to get easy access to all areas. He said that Gilgit-Baltistan has huge potential but it could not be tapped so far only because of unavailability of good road network. He said that tourism is a billion dollar industry and has played a very vital role in the economic well being many of countries that have no other industry. He said that Pakistan could earn billions of dollars by highlighting its tourism potential in the outer world. He said that the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry would continue to work for the promotion of this segment of the economy.
The LCCI President said that Ambassadors working abroad should be tasked to contact tourism related organizations for highlighting the tourists sites in Pakistan and also said that the 3-day Gilgit-Baltistan would help promote sustainable tourism, culture and heritage of Gilgit-Baltistan.