Funds Allocated to Enhance Tourism in Tribal Districts

The federal government is working on improving Pakistan's tourism. To do so, they have allocated Rs.1.2 billion to improve tourism in tribal districts!

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has announced to spend Rs.1.2 billion to plan festivities and tribal activities in an attempt to enhance tourism in tribal districts since there is little to no infrastructure there.

The recently created Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Cultural and Tourism Authority has agreed to sponsor all festivals, an international cycling rally, a motorbike rally, winter season adventure sports, and other festival activities to enhance tourism in tribal districts.

The cultural activities are to be funded by the multi-billion rupees Accelerated Implementation Programme, a joint venture of the federal and provincial governments. The authority was yet to begin spending in the tourism sector, which is why this was considered an appropriate start to create tourism in tribal districts.

The Provincial Working Development Party recently approved Rs.494 million for holding festivals during the current financial year alone and okayed PC-I of the project in this regard. Overall, the party has assigned an outlay of Rs.1.2 billion for the year 2020-2021 to promote tourism in tribal districts.

The previous federal minister, Hamidullah Jan Afridi, seemed to disagree with the idea of spending money on festivities and events. He argued that instead of throwing money on the festivals, the government should focus on providing the tribal districts with necessary facilities first. Most of the tribal areas which are selected to open for tourism did not even have access to electricity, clean water, or communication networks, etc.

“This is an example of bad governance and financial mismanagement to spend cash resources on non-productive activities and publicity,” he said.

The tribal districts were kept out off-bounds for more than a century for outsiders if ever groups of domestic tourists who visited the tribal areas had to stay with local people because of the non-availability of hotels, an inn in the tribal districts.

However, they are looking forward to developing tourism in tribal districts and appointing tourists’ spots for the people. Their focus, though, is that funds allocated should be used for the development of the tribal areas instead of planning festivities and cultural events.

Also, Rs.188 million and Rs.69 million for the promotion of tourism was allocated for advertisement in media, the feasibility of adventure tourism, marketing videography, and social media projection, hiring of small-scale consultancies, and sponsorship for small scale promotion of tourist festivals and tourist events in tribal districts.

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