The objective of holding the 2 day workshop in Lahore, was to have a meeting with a small groupof participants to see which specific themes emerged, that could be discussed with a larger group in the October conference. The overall aim was to understand how regional countries have ramped up tourism, both in terms of numbers of people and revenues. Clarification was also wanted about the role of government and the private sector; specifically, to understand whether a concerted strategy to develop tourism was used by government and the extent of private sector involvement. In addition, through the workshop the aim was to discover complementarities in tourism that could be explored between Pakistan and the other regional countries, through which Pakistan could leverage itself.
- Understand the strategic tourism visions of the countries;
- Discuss prospects and barriers to regional cultural and heritage tourism;
- Identify opportunities for trade and regional linkages; and
- Agree upon the way forward for building mutual framework for enhancing regional tourism.
The focus on tourism for Pakistan has two underlying drivers; the first is the possibility to increase revenues (both from tourism and through associated industries) and the second is to promote peace between the regional countries through people to people interaction. The long term purpose of increasing tourism revenues is to create diverse centers of growth within the country. It is also expected to enhance revenue from associated industries such as the craft and souvenir industries as well as hospitality and logistics.
Major themes that emerged from the discussions are briefly outlined below.
- Visa/Border restrictions
- Communications Strategies
- Private sector involvement
- Capacity Building
- Strategy & Tourism Circuits