KP govt to promote tourism through KITE

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PESHAWAR: The government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa under the KP Integrated Tourism Development Project (KITE) funded by the World Bank is promoting responsible tourism in the province.

The KP Department of Tourism has launched Destination Investment and Management Plans (DIMPs) and Visitor Management Plans (VMPs) for three tourist destinations including Kalam, Kumrat, and Chitral.

In addition to guiding tourist planning and destination management, the DIMPs and VMPs support responsible tourism by suggesting diversity and quality in the tourism offer of these destinations. With the assistance of foreign specialists and the KITE project, the DIMPs and VMPs were created by the KP Tourism Department in a year.

However, tailored strategies have been created for each destination to direct the public and private sectors’ investment. Destination management would enhance tourist experiences, better regulation, and resource mobilisation.

According to an official handout of the KP Tourism Department, in recent years, largely due to increased security and improved accessibility, the tourism sector in KP has experienced substantial growth, with around 1.2 million domestic tourists and thousands of foreign tourists arriving annually and generating over $120 million in direct revenue.

Recognising the high potential for tourism to contribute to economic growth and opportunity, the KP government has prioritised the development of this sector. Where increased tourism activity presents an opportunity for poverty reduction through economic growth, enterprise development, and job creation, with particular involvement of local communities among women and rural poor, it also increases environmental and social challenges in the area.

According to Kiran Afzal, a senior private sector specialist at the World Bank, the plans could aid the administration in managing the heavily frequented locations by offering mitigating measures to protect the attractions and ready the places for unforeseeable emergencies.

According to research, investment in tourism plays a crucial role in the development of all countries and is an effective source of income, employment, and wealth creation. Additionally, it plays an instrumental role in enhancing a country’s image and international perception. In order to achieve economic growth, Pakistan has identified sustainable tourism as a key driver. As such, this is also consistent with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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