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Chitral top attraction for foreign tourists

Thousands of tourists flock to Chitral on Eid

PESHAWAR: Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) welcomed and hosted five million domestic and foreign tourists in 11 months, with Lower Chitral emerging as the most popular destination for foreigners, despite the Covid-19 fears and restrictions imposed on travelling, according to KP Culture and Tourism Authority (CTA) officials.

Experts believe foreign tourism could be encouraged further if peace is ensured coupled with infrastructure development, including building of roads and revamp of transport system.

KP has received a large number of tourists, both domestic and foreign, from August 2021 to June 2022.

The CTA has put on record a total of 2,250 foreign tourists and around 5.29 million domestic visitors during the period.

Compared to previous years, tourism has improved as KPCTA is trying its best to promote various hill stations in the province.

Being serene and peaceful, Lower Chitral district has attracted the largest chunk of foreign tourists — 945 to be precise — while Galiyat received the maximum number of domestic tourists pegged at 2.85 million. 

District Chitral enjoys a solid reputation for being peaceful where crime ratio at times comes to almost nil and also it boasts linguistic diversity where locals speak about 23 different languages.

Also, Lower Chitral is home to the oldest Kalash culture and tourists from every corner of the earth show up to witness the unique lifestyle, round-the-year festivals and colorful traditions of the people attired in the most attractive tribal costumes.

The CTA officials while speaking to The Express Tribune said that they are currently working on setting up tourism police, tourism destinations in the merged tribal districts and installing of sophisticated camping pods.

They added that the leasing process of all the government rest-houses has been started to facilitate tourism.

Tourism has always proved itself a major catalyst in projecting the soft-image of our country. Pakistan has great importance in the world from the tourism perspective as it has improved its ranking from 89th in 2019 to 83th in 2022 on the International Travel and Tourism Development Index (ITTD).

Imran Kabir, a local resident from Kalash community, said that with the opening of Lowari Tunnel, tourism in Chitral has improved but more steps are still required to attract more foreign visitors. 

Source 

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