Tourism is one of the most rapidly growing industries throughout the world, which accounts for 10 percent of the global total GDP. It is an important source of income generation, job creation, poverty reduction, foreign exchange earnings, knowledge sharing and promotion of cross-culture understanding and cooperation.
Geographically, Pakistan’s location in the world is ideal for tourists. But security issues and lack of interests on government side has been mainly responsible for neglecting the scope of this important sector. The PTI government has fully realized this scope and given top priority to promote tourism in holistic manner under the supervision of Mr. Syed Zulfiqar Abbas Bukhari (Zulfi Bukhari), Special Assistant to the Prime Minister, who is working day and night to develop tourism industry on modern standard.
Chitral is one of the few places in Pakistan which present ideal opportunities to attract domestics and foreign tourists. The beautiful topography, terrain landscapes surrounded by mighty Hindukush range, glaciers, green pastures, hot springs, wildlife biodiversity, delicious fruits, local handicrafts and trout fish among others are some of the items attractive to the tourists. This is also a fact that at present the number of domestic tourists to Chitral has mushroomed and the number is increasing every year. The good attitude of host communities is also a positive step in this direction.
For promoting tourism hotel industry is inevitable and a standard hotel is taken as main step .The construction of Bejaan Hotel Chitral will herald a new milestone in promoting tourism in the Chitral. This mega project is being initiated by American -Pakistani typhoon Mr. Anwar Aman, who has dedicated it to his late mother. We the people of Chitral should owe our gratitude to the son of the soil who is launching such a beautiful building here. This indicates his deep love with the place of his birth and, may be knowing well that this project might not bring him the financial return.
Ironically, this mega project also faces many challenges and controversies. Many opponents of the project assume that establishing such high standard hotel in Chitral, such as Bejaan Hotel Chitral, will convey the wrong message of Chitral being a developed area and as result will discourage public and private entities to intervene in the development of the area. Another give the wrong impression that such a hotel will encourage indecency in Chitral which will be a direct onslaught on our cherished religious and cultural norms. The last but not the least another group exists who opposes the construction due to their self-interests as this is a natural phenomenon.
If look at the above mentioned criticism, we cannot find concrete proof to justify such illogical criticism. As far the beautiful building is concerned it will not discourage interventions in the development of Chitral, but rather will offer better tastes and accommodation to the tourists. The hotel will also bring about healthy competition among the stakeholders. More importantly during the execution phase new skills will be furnished to the local people beside handsome earnings. After completion the hotel will provide more than 300 jobs mainly to the local community.
As far as indecency is concerned, there are around 60 Islamic countries in the world all having five and even seven star hotels. We have the examples of Saudi Arabia and Iran where such hotels exist in a good number. Are there any danger to religion and cultures? Not at all. These are only exaggeration coined by opponents to further their agenda. Instead of opposing the grand project, we should extend moral support to it, otherwise, in future, we will not be able to achieve the well wishes our benefactors.