LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar on Monday inaugurated the Government House Murree for the general public. He said the house has been offered for unofficial use for the first time.
Addressing the ceremony, the chief minister said the facility of staying could be availed, adding that inauguration of the heritage resort for the people is a wonderful occasion.
Transformation of government buildings into rest houses is the start of eliminating VIP culture, while Prime Minister Imran Khan has set an example of austerity by staying at his home, he added.
He said the promotion of tourism was a priority agenda of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led government and regretted that the sector was badly ignored in the past.
The CM said that decision has been made to use government buildings of historical importance for tourism purposes, he added.
On Muree House, he said the golden jubilee of the historic building was held 15 years ago and a number of international personalities have stayed in the building.
Buzdar said: “It is an honour to stay in such a magnificent building and the government does not want to limit this honour to its dignitaries only”.
As many as 177 rest houses and guest houses have been opened in the province by the Punjab government as the government wants to use all available opportunities for the promotion of tourism as an industry, he added.
The CM said the tourist spots of far-flung areas, including that of southern Punjab are being developed and added that tourism development cooperation resorts are being renovated in DG Khan.
He said that camping sites, safari and paragliding events will be held to promote tourism and heritage markets will also be setup to promote the local culture.
The double-decker buses will be run soon in Multan and DG Khan, he said and expressed hope that a large number of local and foreign tourists will be attracted through such initiatives to earn foreign exchange.
This would also create employment opportunities for the local population, he added.
CM Buzdar said parkway project will be introduced in the areas of Koh-e-Suleman and Kotli Sattian and best staying facilities will also be provided in Kala Bagh and surrounding areas of Namal Lake.
He said the government wants to use famous Ochali Lake of Soon Skasar valley for eco-tourism and Dhurabi Lake will also be developed as a resort. He added that Rohtas Fort Parkway will be developed in Tilla Jogian for the promotion of religious tourism.
He said that religious tourism is being promoted by the Punjab government and first TDCP motel has been opened in Nankana Sahib where best facilities will be provided to Sikh Pilgrims and other visitors. Sports Minister Taimoor Bhatti, ACS and DG Protocol also addressed the function.