Islamabad: Federal Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan, Muhammad Barjees Tahir inaugurated the Pakistan Pavilion at the World’s leading Travel Trade Show, ITB-2014 in Berlin .

Chief Minister of Gilgit Baltistan, Syed Mehdi, Provincial Minister for Tourism, Culture and Youth, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Mehmood Khan, and Adviser to Chief Minister of Gilgit-Baltistan on Culture and Tourism Sadia Danish were also present on this occasion.

Nine Tour Operators from the Private sector along with Departments of Tourism, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit-Baltistan Provinces are participating in this World’s largest trade fair of Travel & Tourism sector, said a message received here.

Talking to the participating tour operators on this occasion, Federal Minister said that there was a need for active marketing of Pakistan’s beautiful landscape and its ancient civilizations to attract tourists from around the world.

He said that travel & tourism sector was a key driver for investment and economic growth.

The Federal Government has been giving due attention to the development and improvement of infrastructure facilities including road networks and other related services, he added.

Mr. Muhammad Barjees Tahir said that since Tourism was a provincial subject, therefore, all the provinces should take necessary steps including development and improvement of various tourist spots in their respective provinces to boost both domestic and external tourism in their respective regions.

Federal Minister also held a meeting with the representatives of German Tour Operators, and exchanged views as how Pakistan could be made attractive destination for German tourists. He informed them that development of Travel & Tourism sector was on the priority agenda of Pakistan Government and various steps were being taken to attract investment and promote this sector.

Speaking on the occasion, Managing Director of the Oriental Tours, Ms Andrea Diefenbach said Pakistan has a great potential in tourism sector and there is a need to improve various industry related facilities including a good network of air/road links and hotel industry to attract the foreign tourists.

Earlier, while talking to Secretary General of the World Tourism Organization (WTO),DR.Talib Rifai, the Federal Minister apprised him of various challenges Pakistan had been facing in its fight against terrorism.

Dr. Rifai appreciated Pakistan government’s efforts that it had been making to put the country on the track of development and prosperity despite many odds.

ITB is world’s largest Travel Trade Show held every year in March in Berlin. It provides an opportunity to the participants to learn about new trends, market developments, and to deepen existing business relations.

Over 110,000 trade visitors are expected to attend this year’s show besides general public in large number. The Show offers representatives overview of travel products from 10147 tourism & related services companies hailing from 189 countries.

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