ISLAMABAD: Balochistan Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sports Abdul Khaliq Hazara on Wednesday said the provincial government is planning to introduce a new tourism policy in order to revamp and develop the sector for increasing provincial revenue.
Talking to APP, the provincial minister said, "We will try our best to boost provincial tourism, as it has large scope given the unique terrain of the province."
“Balochistan is a blessed province that has extensive natural resources,” he said, adding that the federal government's assistance was needed to explore untapped tourist sites in the province.
Hazara urged investors not to hesitate from investing in the tourism sector of Balochistan, saying that in a new Pakistan the negative perception of Balochistan should end.
"Balochistan has great potential in tourism and it is the right time to invest in the sector.”
The minister added that the provincial government is making efforts to enhance road connectivity, establish motels and undertake other development projects across the province. "We are also working to provide all facilities to tourists visiting Balochistan.”
He remarked that boosting tourism in the province would generate more jobs for the local community, adding that Balochistan was a resource-rich province, which constituted 44 per cent of the country's territory.
“The resources have been distributed on a population basis under the 18th amendment, whereas the income generated through tourism in the country should be distributed on the basis of area of the provinces,” he suggested.
Hazara further said that the province has several coastal areas like Gwadar, Jiwani and Pasni along with numerous historical, religious, environmental and astonishingly beautiful sites, which can be developed into mega tourist spots and easily bring development to the province.
"Balochistan is home to one of the most beautiful tourist destinations of the country that attracts a large number of tourists every year," he mentioned. "The Quaid-i-Azam Residency with its lush green lawns, chinar trees and flower gardens reflects a striking view of the whole valley. Ziarat is a holiday resort amidst one of the largest and oldest juniper forests in the world," he said.
With improvement in the law and order situation, the number of tourist arrivals had increased fivefold in a short span of time, the minister said. "It is our goal to see every city of the province filled with foreign tourists."
The minister further said that the tourism department would launch new projects to develop tourist facilities, hotels, rest houses and restaurants, as well as more centres to provide relevant information to visitors.