Govt to Launch ‘Brand Pakistan’ Programme this Year, says Zulfi Bukhari

Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Overseas and Tourism Zulfi Bukhari announced that a programme by the name of ‘Brand Pakistan’ would be launched by the end of this year to promote tourism in the country. 

The prime minister’s aide, addressing a press conference on Sunday, said that Pakistan will host the World Tourism Forum in 2021, announcing that the Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) has completed its work related to the reformation of the tourism sector.

“We have formulated a comprehensive policy on tourism from 2020 to 2030 and with that we have also introduced a five-year action plan. Like other countries, Pakistan has launched a programme to promote tourism which was delayed due to the coronavirus,” he said.

Bukhari said that tourism ministers from eight countries, including Iran and Turkey, will visit Pakistan in line with the government’s initiative to reform the tourism sector.

The minister said that Pakistan facilitates e-visa and will soon launch a national e-portal which will contain all booking details regarding motels and other tourism information. He said that the tourism portal in Pakistan will be launched later this year.

PTDC is not closed, it is being reformed: Bukhari

Addressing the incident about the government firing multiple employees of the PTDC, Bukhari said that 360 employees of the corporation had been sacked as the government wanted to take tough decisions for the reformation of the corporation. 

“PTDC has lost Rs700mn in recent years. In 2019, the cabinet had decided to take action for the betterment of PTDC.”

He said that the PTDC motel in Naran was built on an area of 150 kanals and had the capacity to hire thousands of employees. The PM’s aide went on to add that Pakistan army is being consulted to reform hotels. 

He added that young people traveling around the world are being hired in this sector and the PTDC will be function under the National Tourism Coordination Board (NTCB).

Ruing that the Roosevelt Hotel suffered losses in the millions during the past couple of years, Bukhari said: “We are not talking about selling Roosevelt Hotel but why should we run our hotels while bearing extreme losses?”

He said that a committee headed by the finance minister has asked the private sector to give suggestions for improving hotels in the country.

Concluding that people will see the result of the reforms in coming two years, Bukhari said that about 46 new Three and Four Star hotels will be opened in the coming years as per the government’s plan.

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