Crystalizing Pakistan’s Positive Image
It’s always been problematic for Pakistan to project its positives in the international arena. Ever since the hapless events of 9/11, Pakistan is struggling to regain its aplomb by changing the international narratives. It was said that Pakistan is the land wracked by terrorism and dogmatist violence. But this isn’t the case now as Pakistan is mobilizing its soft power and is poised to pick up Tourism as its winning pitch.
Pakistan, whose serene beauty vailed behind barren deserts and rocky cliffs in the eyes of the outside world; is now engendering its immense hold in potential tourism.
Pakistan’s positive image building and tourism go hand in hand
Probably, you’re thinking that how tourism could reflect a positive trajectory? Well, Pakistan invested in the tourism industry to create a funnel whereby tourists drive around in the country and get to know the region’s pure soles and hospitable people. Fortunately, Pakistan has access to all fronts of Tourism. For instance, religious, cultural, Eco or adventure, heritage, wildlife, and even sports. Mind-boggling, right?
Welcoming the Religio-Cultural Community from all over the world
Way back, Pakistan took its first step when it did a cultural and religious exchange in Nankana Sahib by opening Kartarpur Corridor. The sanctity of the Gurdwara is accentuated when gazillions of Sikh pilgrims descend upon the place from within Pakistan, Middle East, Europe, the US, and Canada, but the majority arrive from neighbouring India. Yes, India! This welcoming gesture not just highlights shared cultural heritage but it lifts multilateral relations.
On the same page, Pakistan shows its consent by permitting Sri Lanka’s monks to visits ancient Buddhist shrines. This gratifying wink strengthens our diplomatic relations, in fact, it helps in reiterating Pakistan’s positive image.
Aside from this what other straps of Tourism, we’re putting in absentia?
So, paralleling with religio-cultural Tourism, Pakistan has capitalized on mountaineering a.k.a. eco or adventurous Tourism. Scenic localities like Passu cones, Eagle’s nest, Deosai plain, Bakarwals, Tau butt, Siran Valley, and many others take visitor’s breath away by their picturesque not-to-handle beauty. Such places offer trekking, skiing, hiking, surfing, camping, or cruising, which tourists relish.
Months backs, on the ranges of K-2 a Pakistani mountaineer named Ali Sadpara disappeared, although it’s heart-rending, he contributes to epitomize Pakistan’s positive image in the international world. This episode gives us an expense but upticks Pakistan’s image as an attractive tourist destination.
Despite this, what if it’s not just an adventurous tourism but more than that? How so?
Balochistan, Pakistan less-explored region yet an off-the-beaten-track hideaway. Its pristine beaches, Moola Chotak its exotic nature’s waterpark, its jaw-dropping island Astola, mud volcano, and a lot more.
Apology for missing out on our ‘deafening silence’ deserts, which is a whole lot of theatre and a worth odyssey to delve into.
When tourists like Rosie, Jordan, or Eva visited the above-mentioned destinations, they create a holistic vlog and blog about their experiences which eventually rebrand Pakistan’s positive image.
Media’s Picture worth more than a thousand words
A country’s mainstream and social media indeed become a double-edged sword if not used properly. For this reason, we’ve to use our media properly so to promote an and inclusive and progressive Pakistan.
State in-action for deepening the roots the tourism
It does not just end there, as Pakistan is inviting students from around the world’s top universities to visit this region’s hot spots. Pakistan Trek offers the students to build an understanding of the geopolitical nature of Pakistan. By this, they’ll be able to see the true self of the country and change the construal of Pakistan.
NBP is also in the same row as it is promoting tourism’s different sectors. In this flow, our expo isn’t left behind as it connects all the tourism stakeholders in the country including officials, airlines, travel agencies, and technology partners. After jotting down all the dots Pakistan will be able to hold on to Tourism and its positive image.
Thus, to eradicate the concrete monstrosity Pakistan must rectify its image. But what is stopping us?
Structural impediments, visa policies, in-capacity Tourists guides, lack of digital infrastructure, and much more are those obstacles that needed to be solved immediately.
All these lacking can be fixed if we as a nation address them. For instance, easing the whole process of visas, introduce capacity-building training, and institute digital infrastructure to make sure that the journey of tourists is safe and sustainable.
Zunaira Ali is the Freelance writer. She is graduated from the School of Politics and IR Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad. She frequently contributed to Pakistan’s leading newspaper. She is working at STUDENTINN SOLUTIONS as Intern Content Writer.