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Global Go To Think Tank Index (GGTTI) 2020 launched                    111,75 Think Tanks across the world ranked in different categories.                SDPI is ranked 90th among “Top Think Tanks Worldwide (non-US)”.           SDPI stands 11th among Top Think Tanks in South & South East Asia & the Pacific (excluding India).            SDPI notches 33rd position in “Best New Idea or Paradigm Developed by A Think Tank” category.                SDPI remains 42nd in “Best Quality Assurance and Integrity Policies and Procedure” category.              SDPI stands 49th in “Think Tank to Watch in 2020”.            SDPI gets 52nd position among “Best Independent Think Tanks”.                           SDPI becomes 63rd in “Best Advocacy Campaign” category.                   SDPI secures 60th position in “Best Institutional Collaboration Involving Two or More Think Tanks” category.                       SDPI obtains 64th position in “Best Use of Media (Print & Electronic)” category.               SDPI gains 66th position in “Top Environment Policy Tink Tanks” category.                SDPI achieves 76th position in “Think Tanks With Best External Relations/Public Engagement Program” category.                    SDPI notches 99th position in “Top Social Policy Think Tanks”.            SDPI wins 140th position among “Top Domestic Economic Policy Think Tanks”.               SDPI is placed among special non-ranked category of Think Tanks – “Best Policy and Institutional Response to COVID-19”.                                            Owing to COVID-19 outbreak, SDPI staff is working from home from 9am to 5pm five days a week. All our staff members are available on phone, email and/or any other digital/electronic modes of communication during our usual official hours. You can also find all our work related to COVID-19 in orange entries in our publications section below.    The Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) is pleased to announce its Twenty-third Sustainable Development Conference (SDC) from 14 – 17 December 2020 in Islamabad, Pakistan. The overarching theme of this year’s Conference is Sustainable Development in the Times of COVID-19. Read more…       FOOD SECIRITY DASHBOARD: On 4th Nov, SDPI has shared the first prototype of Food Security Dashboard with Dr Moeed Yousaf, the Special Assistant to Prime Minister on  National Security and Economic Outreach in the presence of stakeholders, including Ministry of National Food Security and Research. Provincial and district authorities attended the event in person or through zoom. The dashboard will help the government monitor and regulate the supply chain of essential food commodities.

TOURISM LAGGING BEHIND AS POTENTIAL REMAINS UNTAPPED

ISLAMABAD: 

In the field of tourism, Pakistan offers much attraction in the developing world. The historical and cultural heritage of the nation is a testimony of the glory of this ancient land as the country has numerous tourist attractions at Swat, Kalam, Malam Jabba, Shangla, Balakot, Ayubia, Murree, Chitral, Gilgit, Naran and Kaghan valleys, and other mountainous ranges, historical and archaeological places in other parts of the country.

There are few places on the earth that posses the majesty and grandeur of the northern region of Pakistan. Northern Pakistan remains a land of contrasts, unique in its legacy of landlocked civilisation and blessed as no other destination with an amazing array beautiful valleys, lakes, rivers and mountains.

However, due to mismanagement of tourism, this industry is not growing. Despite having a lot of potential, the industry is lagging behind in contributing revenue to the economy as well as behind other developing countries in the region.

If we go back a decade, the trend of tourism was fast gaining pace in 2000, but unfortunately 9/11 disrupted and reversed the advance for two consecutive years – 2001 and 2002. Thereafter, a recovery got under way and tourism recorded unprecedented growth in 2004 and 2005.

However, visitor arrivals have not progressively increased from 2005 to 2009, show latest figures for the period. Though the data shows a recovery from approximately 7.98 million visitors in 2005 to 8.6 million in 2009, an annual increase of 3.9%, it is not very encouraging when compared with India, which has achieved a 9% annual rate of increase.

In terms of tourism receipts, Pakistan’s receipts have declined by 1.2% from $243.5 million in 2008 to $240.6 million in 2009, shows data of the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS).

Data for 2011 and 2012 is not available. Latest figures quoted by the World Trade Organization (WTO) show that total visitor arrivals in Pakistan increased from 8.6 million in 2009 to 9.1 million in 2010, a 6.1% rise. International tourism receipts rose from around $272 million in 2009 to $305 million in 2010, a gain of 12.1%.

Pakistan’s place in South Asian tourism is also not very encouraging. Country-wise analysis reveals Pakistan is far behind others in growth of tourism. Bhutan’s tourism has grown 39%, Sri Lanka 31% and Nepal 22%, the highest growth rates in the region. They are followed by the Maldives at 18% and India, the largest destination in the region, at 9%, show WTO figures.

Pakistani Diaspora and others visiting friends and relatives here account for more than half of all foreign arrivals at 56%. Holiday and vacation visits are limited to only 14.7% of all arrivals.

At present, business visitors account for 21% of all arrivals in Pakistan. There is potential on this side, if more opportunities are provided to businesses to invest in different sectors on a large scale.

Pakistan has also a lot of potential for religious tourism, especially pertaining to people belonging to Sikh and Buddhist faiths. Only 8,800 tourists came to Pakistan for religious purposes in 2005, a very low figure.

In the case of holiday and recreation tourism, over 75% of long-haul leisure tourists confine their tours to major cities such as Lahore and Islamabad and to the northern part of the country.

Major impediments in the way of tourism growth include political instability, regional and local conflicts, and poor security and safety. In addition to these, lack of adequate information and poor quality control of both tourist services and facilities are also hindering the growth.

If managed properly, the tourism industry can play a significant role in socio-economic development and promise future growth of the country.

This article was originally published at: The Express Tribune

The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint or stance of SDPI.