Summer plan for tourism festival announced

KP finalizes summer plan for annual festivals

PESHAWAR: The KP government, in a bid to promote tourism activities, has finalized Summer Plan 2021 for holding various activities including sports events and cultural festivals during the upcoming summer season. 

The activities reflected in the summer plan include Dera Jaar Festival, Tour de Khyber Cycling Race, Mountain Bike Rally, Qaqlasht Festival, Chelum Josht Festival, Kurram Festival, Hazara Musical Festival, Shandur Polo Festival, Naran Festival, 4×4 Trans Himalayan Rally and Kalash Ochau Festival.  These activities will be held between March and August for which the Tourism, Sports and Culture Department is giving final touches to arrangements and preparations.  These activities are expected to attract a large number of domestic and foreign tourists and necessary steps are being taken to ensure maximum facilitation to the tourists.

 A meeting chaired by Chief Minister Mahmood Khan was informed that geo-mapping and profiling of all tourist destinations in the province had been completed and put on Google Maps for the convenience of domestic and foreign tourists.

Similarly, websites and mobile apps have been developed for providing online details of hotels, rest houses, and camping pods and other essential services and facilities in tourist destinations adding that now all types of tourist information are available to the tourists online.

Moreover, online booking and payment facilities for government rest-houses have also been extended to tourists. Similarly, a tourist facilitation hub with 24/7 helpline has also been established for the convenience of tourists and tourists can get any kind of help, service and information by using helpline number 1422, it was informed. 

2 Replies to “KP finalizes summer plan for annual festivals”

  1. I second respected Liaqat sb’s suggestion of inclusion of Broghil festival and would like to add two more in the list. If anyone in the team of CM KPK are actually reading these posts please bear in mind that Chitral is the only district in KPK where tourists can freely roam around without any fear. They are not treated merely as tourists rather guests of Chitral.

    We also need to look into the purpose of these festivals and ask ourselves these basic questions such as
    a) Why these festivals are held?
    b) What is the other side of it i.e. if these are not held and celebrated, what will happen?
    c) Which festivals take priority and which should be placed at the lower bar on a priority scale?
    d) What is the historical importance and background of holding these festivals?
    I feel that the published list tries to cover the supposed geographical bias. Jashn e Chitral is not included in the list which is a complete festival, held since at least a century, keeping the spirit of sportsmanship alive through the tide of times and also preserving the culture of Chitral. Similarly the winter festival of Kalash valleys where they play “ghalochun ghar”( local hokey played with an improvised version of Polo Mallet) on frozen snow.
    In Afghanistan and all Central Asian Countries the governments celebrate Jashn e Navroz as their most important regional festival. “Pathak dik” can be celebrated as a regional festival in some parts of Chitral.

    Tourism is something in which we don’t have to be politically correct rather we have to celebrate something that has a historic value, gives an entertaining environment, preserves the culture and keeps the local communities aware of their history and culture.
    There is a lesson learnt from our previous practices as well-we haven’t’ forgotten the year when without proper planning festivals were organised and tourists had to sleep on footpaths- out in the open. There was no food available in the bazaar as the markets and shops were closed due to public holidays. I am sure the Sarhad tourism corporation will thoroughly plan ahead of time (including emergency planning) to avoid chaos in the end.
    I would also like to suggest the tourism authorities to purchase all the required items from the local communities. We don’t have a calendar of events/festivals in KPK, if there is one or if its being developed; it should be shared an promoted in the national and international media. Environment conservation should be an integral part of all planning phases. There should be minimum say of the local civilian and Khaki bureaucracy in organizing these events as these are festivals of people and people should manage these. Last but not the least, the provincial or federal govt. must also think of setting up a tourism management institute in Chitral.

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