The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Culture and Tourism Authority (KPCTA) has announced it will install camping pods at 10 more tourist spots besides granting loans to the locals to launch projects and create employment opportunities on identified scenic sites across the province.
KPCTA Director Kamran Ahmad Afridi said that installation of camping pods at five tourist sites had already been completed which had attracted a large number of tourists to the scenic spots. “Work on five other new scenic places was under way, which would be opened for the visitors next month.”
The DG added that the sites where the camping pods were being installed included Kalash in Chitral, Alai in Battagram, Mahbanr, Malika and Shaheed Sar in Buner.
Camping pods would also be installed in Jarogo waterfall, Kalam valley and Solatanr in Swat, Lashkargas in Broghil and Sarlaspur valleys in Upper Chitral, Kumrat in Upper Dir, Alpuri valley in Shangla, Samana Top in Hangu, Laram Top and Binshahi valleys in Lower Dir.
Afridi further said that work has also been initiated on other tourism-related projects for which Rs6 billion had been allocated. The official added that work on roads in 13 places had been started besides setting up tourist facilitation and information centres.
He went on to add that with the help of the World Bank, the K-P Integrated Tourism Development Project (KITE) container-based tourist facilitation centres were being established at Chitral, Abbottabad, Mansehra, Upper Dir through the Rescue 1122.
After completion, tourists would be able to avail facilities on an emergency basis at these locations. The KPCTA would also establish prefabricated washrooms at 22 places for ease of sanitary access by tourists.
The provincial government has already installed camping pods with at least two to four beds in several tourist attractions, including Bishigram, Gabin Jabba in Swat, Sharan in Kaghan, Thandiani in Abbottabad, Yakh Tangai in Shangla and Sheikh Badin in Lakki Marwat, Bamburet in Chitral and others.
Camping pods and tent villages at these resorts have already been renovated and opened for tourists.
The camping pods will provide both recreational and residential facilities for visiting families. They consist of either two or four bedrooms with a washroom, kitchen, children’s play area, parking lots and bonfire.
A camping pod could accommodate 40 to 50 tourists at a time, who can also access play land for kids and kitchens at the pods.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 21st, 2021.
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