Pakistan tourism visa relaxation 22122018
A man rides the chair lift at the ski resort in Malam Jabba in Pakistan Image Credit: Reuters/file

Dubai: Looking for adventure holidays, its time to visit Pakistan as the country is now amongst the top destionations with low cost tourism.

British Backpackers Society (BBS) earlier this week has declared Pakistan as the world’s third highest potential adventure destination for the 2020. “After counting the votes from its membership of adventure travel experts from around the world, the BBS is delighted to announce that Pakistan has been awarded the third place in the ranking,” said a statement issued by the BBS.

Talking to APP, Samuel Joynson of the BBS said that Pakistan is a travel gem and is one of the world’s most exciting travel destinations right now.

What Pakistan offers

He said that Pakistan offers much more to travellers and tourists. It suggested adventure tourists: “In addition to touring the Karakoram Highway, visit the bustling markets of Karachi, taste the delectable flavours of the Punjab in Lahore and grab tea with some of the friendliest people that you will ever meet on the story-tellers street of Peshawar”.

Joynson said: “Your first trip to Pakistan will be a trip that you will never forget. Top adventure travel experience: Wedged in the north-eastern corner of Pakistan lies a geographical superlative like no other.”

From hippy-trails to adventure

According to the BBS, back in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, Pakistan was a highlight of the ‘hippy-trail’ from Europe to Asia, welcoming swathes of foreign tourists with open-arms and, with the difficult days of the early 2000s behind it, Pakistan is once again ready to say ‘Assalam-o- Alaikum’ to the world’s travel community.

“With a new e-visa system and a much needed reform of the once complicated ‘No-Objection-Certificate’ system completed, the Government of Pakistan has put tourism at the front and centre of its policy agenda and, with perceptions of the country around the world gradually changing, there are many reasons to believe that Pakistan will continue to enjoy surging growth in its tourism sector over the next decade”, said BBS.

To hasten this trend, the BBS would encourage the Government of Pakistan to invest heavily in promoting the country’s tourism assets overseas, putting spectacular images of the Passu Cones, the Hunza Valley or Concordia on, for instance, London buses or New York cabs to showcase Pakistan’s beauty to the world.

This, alongside the work of travel journalists and travel bloggers, will continue to transform global perceptions of Pakistan and will confirm to the world that it’s tourism economy is now definitively open for business.

Best tourism destination for 2020

Earlier in December, a US travel magazine listed Pakistan as top tourist destination for 2020

The Conde Nast Traveller, a luxury travel magazine aimed at upmarket tourists named Pakistan as the destination its editors are most excited about in not only the upcoming year, but also the next decade.

In a feature published on its website, the magazine also hailed Pakistan as the “adventure traveller’s must-visit” country. “Thwarted by tales of terrorism and Taliban rule, Pakistan’s tourism industry has been stymied for the past two decades,” it said, adding that despite these concerns, the country’s “ancient valleys [and] relaxed visa restrictions” were finally bringing it back into focus.

Magnetic spot for adventure travellers

“Pakistan has more peaks taller than 22,965ft than China and Nepal combined, making it an almost magnetic spot for adventure travellers and intrepid hikers,” it said. “Visitors can follow in Michael Palin’s steps while traversing the 12,250ft Shandur Pass, home to the world’s highest polo field, or meet with the Kalash people of the Hindu Kush, famed for their cowrie-shell headdresses and brighter-than-bright embroidery,” it added.

But the country’s majestic mountain ranges aren’t the only attraction, according to Conde Nast Traveller. “In Lahore, the sight of 100,000 worshippers crammed into the sandstone 17th-century Badshahi Mosque will leave you breathless, while Mughal-era architectural masterpieces stand resplendent on bustling street corners,” it said of the provincial capital of Punjab province.

With inputs by Agencies