PESHAWAR: The Tourism Department of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Thursday presented to the CM, the Master Plan and feasibility report for the establishment of four Integrated Tourism Zones(ITZs) in Hazara and Malakand Divisions. The CM has given his node to further present the project to the World Bank for implementation. The international standard tourism spots in KP will not only promote domestic tourism but also attract millions of foreign tourists that will play a vital role in revenue generation and employment creation in the province.
The four proposed tourism zones include Ghanool, in Mansehra which will be established on 480 kanal, Mankiyal in Swat, on 754 kanal, Madaklasht in Chitral, on 540 kanal and Thandiyani in Abbottabad on 640 kanals of land. Sources informed that the land acquisition on three ITZs is in progress whereas there is no land acquisition required in Thandiani which is already under Galiat Development Authority (GDA). The easy access of Thandiani from major cities makes it an ideal place for families and friends alike. The ITZ Madaklasht in Chitral, located at the stepping stone to the destinations in northern areas would assist and attract long-term visitors, and bag packers. The tourism zones are expected to create 16,000 jobs coupled with an expected $2.8 billion of investment.
The major components of the ITZs project include roads, pathways, tracks, water supply, solid waste management, stable supply of electricity, and infrastructure development. Talking on the occasion, the chief minister said there was a huge potential for the promotion of tourism in the province, and in line with the vision of the Prime Minister, The govt of KP was trying to develop the tourism sector as a full-fledged industry. He also said that completion of the master plan for ITZs was an important development and hoped that the tourism in the province would develop on modern lines and up to international standards.
The Chief Minister also added that the government of KP was taking result-oriented steps to promote tourism in the province and create job opportunities for the general public. He also added that due to untiring efforts of the government, around 1.7 million people visited the tourist spots of the province during the ongoing season resulting in business activities amounting to Rs 66 billion that shows the resolve of the current government in promoting activities that should not only provide recreation to the general public but also play their part in progress and prosperity of the state.