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CPDR holds roundtable to promote sustainable tourism in AJK

28th Jan 2022
ISLAMABAD - Dr. Shaheen Akhtar, author of the report, “Building Sustainable Tourism in AJK,” while addressing a roundtable organised by the Centre for Peace, Development and Reforms (CPDR) emphasised the inclusion of local communities in destination planning and management process to promote sustainable tourism.

Midhat Shehzad, Secretary Information Government of AJK, said that the AJK Government had launched its first-ever tourism policy in 2019 that envisions sustainable tourism with the participation of some key targeted partners in the public sector.

Mr. Zulfiqar Abbasi, President of CPDR hoped that this report may lay a strong foundation to formulate a realistic tourism policy for AJK, bringing in revenues, employment opportunities and economic activity for AJK’s population of around 4.5 million, well abreast with the challenges and opportunities of this fast-emerging sector.

Imran Nadeem, former Member Gilgit-Baltistan Assembly insisted the collaboration of the Government of GB and AJK for the construction of the Shounter tunnel which would reduce physical distance and tremendously increase tourist inflow in the two regions.

Dr. Waqas Kousar, Head of Public Policy Department at NUML was of the view that the growing tourism will open up significant employment opportunities and attract investment in this nascent sector.

The roundtable was attended by the representatives of the civil society, academia, policymakers and politicians from AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan who shared their experiences and came up with solid suggestions for improvement of tourism and capacity building of the authorities including Sardar Amjad Yousaf, Taqi Akhunzada, Ershad Mahmud, Irtaza Muhammad, Shaheen Kousar Dar and Ikram Ali.

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