The Punjab Planning and Development Department has set its sights on boosting the tourism sector by strengthening institutional capacity through better skill development. It aims to improve economic growth and aid new job creation also, besides improving the country’s image abroad.
The department, organized a knowledge-sharing workshop to greatly help private sector engagement in tourism. Among the key objectives was to explore the potential to attract private sector participation.
The provincial government is implementing the Punjab Tourism for Economic Growth Project, in collaboration with the global world Bank Group, to aid infrastructural development of selective religious sites in Punjab. These sites will be selected based on their heritage value, historical significance and tourism potential.
“The project shall explore institutional modalities to activate the private sector by developing public-private partnership frameworks, undertaking private-public partnership feasibilities and developing sector-specific guidelines,” said Development and Planning Department Secretary Iftikhar Ali Sahoo.
He reiterated that Punjab recognizes the immense untapped economic potential of the tourism sector. The secretary underlined that the provincial government was focused on revitalizing and promoting economic growth by boosting the tourism industry, as outlined in the government’s ‘First 100 Days Agenda’.
During the workshop, a presentation emphasizing tourism initiatives being undertaken by the Tourism Development Corporation Punjab (TDCP) was also distributed by the TDCP managing director. He emphasized the way the private sector led the charge for growth in the sector with the government’s help. The MD said the regulation of the sector can cause job creation and economic development in the tourism sector.
Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) Tourism Committee Chairman Raja Hassan Akhtar remarked that the FPCCI has always advocated and voiced the collective opinion, aspiration and concern of the private sector, offered advice and solid assist with the national government in its efforts to market exports, encouraged foreign investment and stimulated economic activity in the national country.
The global World Bank Group’s Kamran Akbar completed an analytical exercise on cultural and heritage tourism. He laid special concentrate on the tourism policy and regulatory frameworks, faith-based tourism concerning the Sikh circuit, Buddhist circuit and Sufi shrines, alongside adventure and leisure tourism.
Planning and Development Board Chairman Habibur Rehman Gilani highlighted the necessity for private investment and entrepreneurship promotion in the tourism sector of Punjab to foster concrete, inclusive and sustainable economic growth.
“The Punjab Tourism for Economic Growth Project is based on the government’s agenda and can serve as a platform to market strategic alliances because they build public-private partnerships,” said Minister for Tourism Raja Yasir Humayun Sarfraz. He added these partnerships are targeted at upgrading existing facilities also to create a robust technique to improve the engagement of the private sector.
“The unexploited potential of the tourism sector could be unlocked also it can donate to the economic growth substantially,” he said. The minister believed this may be achieved through He acknowledged that through effective implementation of the project, an investor-friendly business environment and improved institutional capacity.
The event was attended by players of the private sector who actively participated in interactive sessions and the appreciated government’s intent and initiatives to facilitate private investments in tourism.