Domestic tourists advised to ‘behave’ whilst visiting Hunza

Published: March 14, 2017
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GILGIT: With the summer tourism season in Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) just around the corner, hotel owners in the scenic Hunza Valley have urged tourists, especially the domestic kind, to “behave” while visiting  the valley.

In this regard, hotel owners in Hunza have issued a code of conduct (CoC), especially for domestic tourists.

“The need for issuing a CoC arose following some incidents which, I should say, were in bad taste,” said Ali Madad on Sunday.

Tourists spew tonnes of waste all over G-B

Madad is the president of the Hotel Owners Association in Hunza Valley.

The CoC comes just days before the tourist season starts in a region where, according to government, at least a million domestic tourists visited last year.

“There were some incidents last year when youngsters made ‘indecent demands’,” Madad told The Express Tribune, adding angrily that they were not running brothels in the valley.

“Due to such demands, some untoward incidents did take place in the hotels unfortunately,” he added

Domestic tourism has started to flourish in G-B in recent years after the Kaghan-Babusar road was improved and opened for traffic during the summer. It came at a time when international tourism in the region suffered after gunmen dressed as paramilitary personnel killed nine foreign tourists in an unprecedented attack at the base camp of Nanga Parbat in 2013. However, foreigners have started to return since.

More than one million tourists visited northern areas of Pakistan this season

According to the CoC, tourists have been asked to avoid indulging in debates over religion and sects, respecting religious spaces, local culture and values.

In addition, the tourists were asked to refrain from consuming alcohol in the valley since it is banned in the country.

“It is also expected you do not ask the hotel management for alcohol and other things,” reads the code which was drafted after reaching consensus during a recent meeting of hotel managers and owners in Hunza Valley.

Domestic tourists have also been asked not to photograph individuals without first seeking their permission since it was against local traditions and values.  Moreover, tourists were asked not to enter residential areas which disturb the routine life of locals.

“The tourists are our guests and certainly they are a source of income for the locals but that shouldn’t come at the price of destroying our local culture and tradition.”

Unlike other tourist destinations, Hunza, particularly the main town of Karimabad, is a congested town. Most of the tourist attractions in the town, the biggest of which is the 800-year-old Baltit Fort, can only be accessed by traversing through the entire town.

Unbeknownst to most tourists, after dusk, the locals come out to celebrate life as a normal neighbourhood. They thus consider the presence of tourists around that time an intrusion into their private space.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 14th, 2017.

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Reader Comments (17)

  • Sher Ghazi
    Mar 14, 2017 - 9:49AM

    Hunza Hotel owners also revise their own attitude instead of advising guests. Many years ago same owners not allowed local tourists to hotels . Now this time owners should respect and welcome tourist. Recommend

  • Ravian
    Mar 14, 2017 - 11:11AM

    The same should be implemented in other tourist resorts (Marree, Nathiagali, Kaghan etc) where hordes of guys are seen hooting at families with ladies. This needs to be countered to make tourism safe for all. Recommend

  • Aware Citizen
    Mar 14, 2017 - 2:21PM

    Law are here only need enforcement !
    no compromise on bad attitude tourists. Through out from valley or put jails. Strict action will suggest others not follow bad practices.Recommend

  • kamal
    Mar 14, 2017 - 2:22PM

    Exactly the way Saudi Arabia wants to run its non-Mecca and non-Medina Tourism industry. One has to understand. Tourism is for happy and young at heart and body. This necessitates pleasures to match. A connected phenomena. You cannot have one without the other.Recommend

  • Bunny Rabbit
    Mar 14, 2017 - 2:37PM

    and I thought Hunza was the most educated region of Pak. They say over all 90 % are educated .Recommend

  • farhan shah
    Mar 14, 2017 - 3:29PM

    A good initiative by hotel owners and association, but on the other hand there are a lot to be done from hotel owners side and also from government side. most of the hotel owners increase room rent and food prices up to 500 times, which is unethical act, plus government need to maintain check and balance and there is very extreme level energy crises in hunza, so govt. should ensure proper supply of electricity. Recommend

  • Zain
    Mar 14, 2017 - 3:35PM

    I think they have the right to demand such stuff. It is common knowledge people in Pakistan are known for there indecent attitude. Culture of Hunza is liberal and different and common pakistani go nuts there.Recommend

  • Khappay !
    Mar 14, 2017 - 5:07PM

    With this article, the tourism is surely attracted and no doubt Hunza will witness good business. Tarkeez Khappay. Recommend

  • Raza
    Mar 14, 2017 - 6:19PM

    Justified rules, they should be implemented all over Pakistan.Recommend

  • Billa
    Mar 14, 2017 - 9:58PM

    It is. That’s why they are asking non Hunza people to [email protected] Rabbit: Recommend

  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Mar 14, 2017 - 11:47PM

    There is a very simple solution of this growing problem. No one particular gender group should be allowed at these places. Two male friends don’t behave well but when they are in a group, they create all sorts of problems esp. college and university groups become very nasty. They should bring their own “things” with them instead of demanding “local things”.Recommend

  • PakArmy Luver
    Mar 15, 2017 - 12:42AM

    Bachelors should be prohibited from entering Hunza, only this way they can avoid all these problems.Recommend

  • kamran khan
    Mar 15, 2017 - 8:25AM

    Pakistan is in a dire need to have local tourism industry to flourish and thrive. Untoward incidents could be expected at such places but could be curbed by proper implementation of COC which is really essential to save this industry from downfall.
    Tourists should refrain from unethical and immoral activities. Otherwise, people would restrain to go at such places with families. I think the hotel owners prompt action in this regard is really commendable.

    On the other hand, Hotel owners should also take into account the 500% increase in room’s price during peak season. They should hold a meeting in order to fix the price of room’s and food at restaurants.Government should also play it’s part to improve the availability of basic facilities at such places i.e electricity and security.Recommend

  • junglee
    Mar 15, 2017 - 8:25AM

    In other words, banday day puttar ban jao!!!Recommend

  • kamal
    Mar 15, 2017 - 10:01AM

    @Ravian: No one would hoot if they were allowed to freely bring their female companions without being harassed.Recommend

  • NH
    Mar 15, 2017 - 12:37PM

    The rules are justified to keep the valley safe & secure for families. At the same time hotel room & food prices be standardised for Summer season & not be extremely expensive for domestic travellers. Recommend

  • ali
    Mar 15, 2017 - 4:46PM

    a much needed CoC, I hope it also included the environment and climate concerns as well.
    I suggest every tourist group should participate in development work. GB govt can offer summer camps and highly educated people from other part country come and teach kids for free they they get free accommodation food etc. this is how more schools get free teachers and people get chance to contricbute in the society and free stay.

    this can be repeated in other areas like bahawalur, thar etc,,Recommend

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