MULTAN: Improved road infrastructure and hotel industry will help promote tourism in various area including religion, archeology, agriculture and mountaineering in the culturally-rich region of south Punjab.
South Punjab, which comprises of three divisions including Multan, Bahawalpur and Dera Ghazi Khan, has hundreds of tourists’ sites with unique cultural heritage but the region lacked improved road infrastructure, hotels and modern parks to attract local and international tourists, said a conservator Engineer Muhammad Ilyas on Sunday.
He said the region had Indus valley, Hakra, Harappa and Mughal sites in great number. The low response of tourists toward these sites was due to the poor road infrastructure and unavailability of hotels.
“Similarly, the region is also facing a shortage of modern transportation system, especially for foreign tourists. Likewise, the cities of south Punjab also lacked parks. Modern parks help attract local people,” he said. He was of views that poverty could be alleviated in these areas by promoting tourism.
Engineer Ilyas said tourism could fetch handsome foreign exchange as foreign tourists would spend on transportation, hotels and guides. Many people will find excellent opportunity to earn money.
“Tourism will also help project the soft image of the country at international level,” he added. Talking about the archeological sites, he said there were a number of archeological sites across the region. He observed that there were seven big forts in Cholistan area alone including fort Derawar, Fort Maujgrah, Islamgrah and many others. Noor Mahal in Bahawalpur has its unique beauty also where a large number of people from across the country visit it.
Ilyas Khan also hinted that hill station of Fort Munro located in Koh-e-Suleman range, Dera Ghazi Khan where thousands of people visit for recreation in summer, could be a great source to promote tourism.
Archeology department’s sub-divisional officer Ghulam Muhammad said Multan has 38 sites including tomb of Shah Ruknuddin Aalam, Sawi Masjid, shrine of Bahauddin Zakariya and many others. Khanewal has six sites, Lodhran has eight, DG Khan has six, Muzaffargarh 10, Layyah two and Rajanpur seven sites. Vehari district has three archeological sites, he added.
Bahawalpur has scores of sites including tomb of Bibi Jawindi in Uch Sharif, tomb of Jalaluddin Surkhposh.
Shoukat Khan, a tourist, said the region was rich in different festivals and Urs celebrations were common. Horse and cattle show, jeep rallies, Vaisakhi and many others festivals were held with zeal and zest. Dachi (she-camel) dance, dachi race, horse dance, bull race and some other recreational sports offer recreation to tourists. Agricultural tourism has also immense potential in south Punjab.
Now, universities were also observing mango shows, mango blossom festival, and mango parties to attract the people towards the region. Shoukat also stressed for improvement in road infrastructure, hotels for accommodation facility for the tourists.