PATA Pakistan Chapter celebrated World Tourism Day

Posted: Tue 30 Sep, 2014 10:37 AM

PATA Pakistan Chapter celebrated World Tourism Day

Meeting of Minds on World Tourism Day


KARACHI: PATA Pakistan Chapter celebrated World Tourism Day at an afternoon event at the Pearl Continental Hotel with Sindh’s tourism administration joining in full measure.

Ms. Sharmila Farooqi, Sindh Government’s Advisor on Tourism, Culture and Antiquities was the Chief Guest and the Sindh Tourism Development Corporation participated with an exhibition of its impressive array of books, booklets, posters, picture cards and framed pictures, all projecting one or the other historical, archaeological and social assets of the province.

Leading the Corporation’s team and presentations was its new Managing Director, Syed Mohsin Ali Shah, whose speech showed clearly the positive re-orientation of its work culture.

In his Address of Welcome, the host Chapter’s Chairman, Lt. Col. [R] Akbar Ali Shareef spoke of the high potential of Tourism in Sindh, recounting the several interactions which the Chapter had held with previous ministers and secretaries, offering its full support and asking in return only a clear policy and continuity of that policy. He drew attention to the frequent and rather quick changes of ministers and secretaries which put the private sector stakeholders back to square one after generating hopes.

He expressed hope that the recently renewed interaction between the Chapter and the provincial tourism administration would be more sustained and effective in the best interest of tourism in Sindh.


Chairman Shareef mentioned his recent visit to Cambodia attending PATA’s annual Board Meeting and travel mart. If thaat war-ravaged country can become such a successful tourist destination, he said, Pakistan has all the more assets from its north to south to foster a vibrant tourism industry. In this international context, he lamented the undoing of the federal tourism administration at Islamabad which has caused Pakistan’s unfortunate absence at the world forums of Tourism.

Speaking to the audience the learned Advisor showed her grasp of the developmental possibilities inherent in the province. She went into some details about the efforts at Goragh Hill, Kheenjhar Lake and Rani Kot and mentioned the problems in continuing old or undertaking new projects; the more common being paucity of funds. She mentioned the recent arrangement with the American Ambassador for development of Makli necropolis. [HOLIDAY Weekly # 38].

Ms. Farooqi announced that she was working on formulating a long term policy and invited suggestions from the Chapter. She indicated also that the STDC Board may be reconstituted. She pointed to the possibilities in government’s Public-Private-Participation policy.  

Invited to the rostrum, Syed Mohsin Ali Shah mentioned the corporation’s new undertakings, including his engagements with TAAP. His short speech showed clearly the Marketing orientation he has given to the corporation’s work culture.

The Chapter’s Committee Member and Honorary Secretary Syed I. R. Kazimi conducted the proceedings. His opening remarks and those in introducing the next speakers were replete with candid observations about past initiatives and failures in promoting tourism in Sindh which, he said, has as much tourism potential as the whole of Egypt; recounting the commonalities of the Nile, Pyramids with the Indus and Mohenjo Daro; also that Alexandria and Karachi are sister cities.


Taking position with the theme of this year’s World Tourism Day, he mentioned the singularities of Sindhi communities of Tarparkar and Manchhar and called for Tourism to be made the prime mover for development to be actually achieved for these communities.

Referring to the Advisor’s remarks about paucity of funds, he suggested that STDC should be converted into Sindh Tourism Authority, vesting it with management, promotional and regulatory powers which will give it the funds from licensing fees for financing investments and project management.

Referring to the Devolution, Mr. Kazimi mentioned the ‘excellent work’ done by the then Minister Ayaz Soomro and Secretary Dilawar Mangi, who, he said had done a very good job of take over and of swift policy articulation and policy activation.

With ultimately a very good attendance qualitatively, the Chapter’s event started late because an unequal trade body and its relevant Standing Committees, neither of which had ever celebrated the World Tourism Day, called a meeting at the same time, calling away some travel agents; some airlines which had indicated their acceptance on the ‘regrets only’ invitation by the Chapter, stayed away from both events.

The High Tea and the exhibition by STDC went well with the participants and both Chairman Akbar Ali Shareef, Chief Guest Sharmila Farooqi and Moderator Syed Kazimi received compliments for their commitments to Sindh and Tourism.


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