Visit Pak Year 2007, a damp squib despite ex-Pak minister Nilofers parachute jump, hug

June 9th, 2008 - 4:17 pm ICT by ANI  

Pervez Musharraf

Rawalpindi, June 9 (ANI): Pakistan Ministry of Tourism has said that former tourism minister Nilofer Bakhtiars Visit Pakistan Year 2007 to attract foreign tourists, failed to bear the desired results, and even the controversial pictures published worldwide showing her hugging her trainer after a parachute-jump, also failed to raise the number of tourists in 2007 compared to the previous year.

Millions of rupees were spent in making the tourism scheme a success, but during the year 2007, Pakistan attracted 0.8395 million foreign tourists only, as compared to 0.8984 million tourists in 2006, showing a decrease of 6.6 per cent.

However, during 2007, the country earned 276.1 million dollars as compared to 260.1 million dollars in 2006 showing an increase of 6.2 per cent. The benefit of increase was mainly attributed to the fluctuations in the exchange rate, reported the Dawn.

The main reason attributed to fall in tourism is the overall security situation in the country. Besides, travel advisories of European countries, US, Canada and various other countries have stopped their citizens to visit Pakistan following the bomb blast near the Danish Embassy in Islamabad , reported the Dawn.

The current energy crisis, rising fuel prices and food inflation have also negatively affected tourism. A survey of hotels and guest houses speaks of poor tourism season. Till recent years, during this season, hotels in Rawalpindi used to have many foreign tourists destined for the Northern Areas.

Swat, an important tourist destination is no more a place of attraction for domestic or foreign tourists as the Valley has become no less than Waziristan or the tribal belt, being unsafe for tourism.

After becoming the federal minister for tourism, Nilofer had designed the Visit Pakistan Year 2007 programme and launched it within and outside the country with the participation of dignitaries, including President Pervez Musharraf and the then prime minister Shaukat Aziz. However, the outcome of the spending running into millions of rupees was disappointing. (ANI)

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