Tourism industry for reopening parks

Industry players caution investment of billions of rupees at stake

​ Our Correspondent June 24, 2020
LAHORE: Stakeholders of the travel and tourism sector have pressed the government to reopen recreational parks with immediate effect, arguing that the three-month closure has not only put investment of billions of rupees at stake but has also caused mental stress among the masses.

Speaking at a press conference at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) on Tuesday, representatives of the travel and tourism industry promised that implementation of the standard operating procedures (SOPs) and safety measures would be ensured in the parks. They emphasised that recreational parks were a vital part of the tourism industry of Pakistan.

“The government decided to close all recreational parks about three months ago to contain the spread of the coronavirus,” they said. “Since the lockdown began, the investors associated with the recreational parks have spent heavily but have earned nothing in return, which has added to their suffering.”

They cherished government’s decision to reopen businesses throughout the country and stressed that recreational parks should also be allowed to function because the investors had poured billions of rupees to promote tourism.

The industry players emphasised that recreational parks helped promote physical activities among local communities and relieved stress. “These parks promote physical activities, support social wellbeing of communities, enhance property value and improve health,” they said.

The industry representatives lamented that Covid-19 had inflicted a considerable dent to the tourism sector.

Talking about the potential of Pakistan’s tourism sector, they were of the view that it direly needed government’s attention as well as public-private partnerships for further betterment.

“Most of the destinations in Pakistan are still a hidden and untapped treasure,” they said.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 24th, 2020.

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