ISLAMABAD: Pakistan will play host to the World Tourism Forum in 2020, it was decided in a meeting on Friday between Prime Minister Imran Khan and a delegation of the World Tourism Forum.
The World Tourism Forum delegation was led by the president of its executive board, Bulut Bagci. The chairman of Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) Syed Zulfikar Abbas Bukhari was also present in the meeting, held in Islamabad.
Over 1,000 foreigners will attend the five-day proceedings of the forum in Islamabad next year.
During the meeting, Prime Minister Imran said his government was making all-out efforts to promote tourism in the country. He lamented that the previous governments did not harness the true potential of the country’s tourism spots.
The premier said that eight new tourism resorts will be developed in eight coastal areas in Balochistan.
The PTDC chairman briefed the delegation on the initiatives being taken to promote tourism in Pakistan.
World Tourism Forum is an Istanbul-based organisation dedicated to developing tourism around the world with its annual meetings.
Pakistan on its way to becoming new global tourism player
In 2015, Pakistan welcomed 563,000 overseas arrivals. That figure rose to 965,000 in 2016, 1.6 million in 2017 and 1.9 million last year.
Earlier this year, Prime Minister Imran Khan announced a new visa policy for 175 countries to promote tourism and investments in the country.
Visitors from these countries will be able to apply for an online visa. As per the new visa policy, e-visa facility will initially be provided to five countries namely Turkey, China, Malaysia, United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates.