Prime Minister Imran Khan and his government came in power with many aims to bettering the country, one of them being increasing tourism in Pakistan and showing the world potential that the country possesses in the sector. PTI’s efforts it seems are finally paying off as Conde Nast Traveller, a luxury travel magazine, has named Pakistan as one of the top tourist destinations for 2020. Pakistan is the destination its editors are most excited about in not only the upcoming year but also the next decade.
“The adventure traveller’s must-visit goes from strength to strength,” wrote the award-winning luxury and lifestyle travel magazine, and highlighted popular destinations in Pakistan.
The magazine’s list chooses destinations based on “major events and trends around the world” and aims to be “geographically diverse, as well as one that covers a range of trips, from eco-tourism to adventure, to inspire every type of traveller. There are the destinations that have been on our radar for a while, but keep getting better.”
Feature published, “adventure traveller’s must-visit”, by Lizzie Pook and Tabitha Joyce, the magazine hailed Pakistan as the “adventure traveler’s must-visit” country. “Thwarted by tales of terrorism and Taliban rule, Pakistan’s tourism industry has been stymied for the past two decades,” it said, adding that despite these concerns, the country’s “ancient valleys [and] relaxed visa restrictions” were finally bringing it back into focus.
The magazine also credits the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s visit to Pakistan this November for putting the country back into the spotlight.
“Pakistan has more peaks taller than 22,965ft than China and Nepal combined, making it an almost magnetic spot for adventure travellers and intrepid hikers,” it said. “Visitors can follow in Michael Palin’s steps while traversing the 12,250ft Shandur Pass, home to the world’s highest polo field, or meet with the Kalash people of the Hindu Kush, famed for their cowrie-shell headdresses and brighter-than-bright embroidery.”
National Tourism Coordination Board (NTCB) Chairman Sayed Zulfikar Abbas Bukhari posted this incredible news on his Twitter Handle
— Sayed Z Bukhari (@sayedzbukhari) December 14, 2019
According to the Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC), Inbound tourism in Pakistan has witnessed a marked increase of over 70 percent during the year 2018 as compared to a corresponding year, mainly due to multiple initiatives, especially improved security situation.
“The number of foreigners, who visited Pakistan in 2018 on tourist visa stands at 17,823, which was 10,476 in 2017,” an official source in the PTDC told APP.
He said as many as 60,070 foreign travel enthusiasts visited tourist attractions in the country during the last six years, especially to the mesmerizing places located in the northern parts of the country.
Jonny Bealby, founder and CEO of adventure-tour operator Wild Frontiers told the magazine that he was seeing massive improvements in Pakistan’s tourism industry. “A focus on security measures, which saw the British FCO [Foreign and Commonwealth Office] lift its advice against travel to large parts of the north, and the election of Imran Khan, who has vowed to increase international tourist numbers, has already had an impact,” he said.
“Hardy visitors will find that little has changed since Mughal times—with the peaks’ gemstone mines, fairy meadows, and winding trails are worn into the ground by heavy-laden yaks—while the Karakorum, stretching upwards from the north-west frontier and carved into the ancient bedrock, is one of the world’s most astonishing highways,” it adds.
In addition, to Pakistan, the magazine’s list advises travelers to seek out Kyoto, Japan; Rijeka, Croatia; Panama; Rabat, Morocco; British Virgin Islands; Frisian Islands, Denmark; Qingdao, China; Lebanon; Portland, Maine, U.S.; Dakar, Senegal; Egadi Islands, Sicily; Paris, France; Siargao, Philippines; Galway, Ireland; Kangaroo Island, Australia; Salvador, Brazil; Armenia; Kyrgyzstan; Plymouth, U.K. as top holiday destinations for 2020.