The relationship between Pakistan and China began in 1950. Since then the bilateral relationship between the two countries has evolved and grown powerful. On 13th November the initiation of CPEC ( China Pakistan Economic Corridor ) was a stamp on how strong the relationship is between these nations as the mega project is worth more than 54 billion US Dollars. The CPEC will provide Pakistan with infrastructure development and employment opportunities that will help build better connectivity, information network, energy supply, agricultural development, poverty alleviation, and tourism.
Talking about tourism, the tourism industry makes a real difference to the lives of millions of people as it drives growth, creates job opportunities, reduces poverty rate, and promotes development and tolerance. The tourism industry has contributed $7.6 trillion to the global economy, that is 10.2% of the global GDP, and generated 292 million jobs in 2016. With the recent investments in Gwadar port and the influx of Chinese investments through the CPEC, tourism within the country is forecasted to increase in the years ahead making it a very attractive hub for investments in the tourism and hotel business. The Ambassador of Pakistan to China, Moin ul Haque, announced that there are unlimited possibilities for the development of the tourism industry between China and Pakistan. Both countries will aim to work jointly for developing a world-class tourist industry over the next decade. The project includes the expansion of the Karakoram Highway- the road that connects China with Pakistan and the placement of a fiber optics line, ensuring better communication between the two countries. With increased possibilities, there will be a massive increase in the number of visitors that will explore the beautiful and spectacular landscapes of the nation, as Pakistan is the home of the most stunning Himalayan peaks, including K-2 and various magnificent valleys and mountains, including the Arabian Sea, deserts, Indus Valley, Ancient mountains and historic forts. All this makes Pakistan one of the world’s greatest tourist destinations. In recent years Pakistan has recorded around 2.5 million visits from both domestic and international travelers per year. This is a sign that Pakistan has the potential to become a world-class and greatest tourist destination in the world, also the country is popular for its friendly nature and welcoming hospitality, especially among the foreigners. Although the Tourism industry was heavily affected due to covid-19, but Pakistan has taken all the necessary preventive measures by initiating smart lockdown and implementing SOPs (Standard Operating Procedure ), the country has successfully managed to limit the spread of the deadly virus. As a result, tourism has continued with certain restrictions in place. That being said, CPEC will massively help Pakistan in becoming the world’s number 1 destination for tourism
Concluding the topic I’ll say that it is a great initiative that will open opportunity doors for the two countries and will benefit both. China will get the opportunity to expand its markets in Asia, Europe, and beyond. On the other hand, Pakistan Northern Areas will gather more exposure and visitors, especially areas like Kashmir, Naran, Kaghan, Murree, and Deosai, etc, that will generate and increase the country’s economy. Accompanied by an improved security situation
in the rest of the country and better infrastructure, tourism is expected to grow. CPEC is a great opportunity for evolving the tourism industry of Pakistan. Pakistan should focus more on the importance of tourism through CPEC.