KP Tourism Falls Decline Due To PTI Long March

KP Tourism falls decline due to PTI long march

PESHAWAR, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 2nd Nov, 2022 ) :Like others socioeconomic sectors, tourism was also affected in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa where significant decrease in arrival of tourists, mountaineers and trekkers from Punjab and Sindh provinces were witnessed due to blockage of roads owing to the long march of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf.

Once flooded of eco-tourists, mountaineers and trekkers besides adventure sports enthusiasts, Nathiagali and Ayubia, the most scenic tourist resorts of Hazara division were almost deserted these days due to lack of tourists from Punjab due to massive traffic jams on GT Road near Gujranawala and adjoining districts.

As a result, the hotels and tourism related business were badly affected in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab besides making hundreds of labourers, transporters, poachers, horse & camels riders and waiters jobless.

"A sharp decrease in arrival of tourists have been witnessed at Nathiagali, Ayubia and Thandyani after the start of long march and many make-shifts hotels and restaurants were closed," Ehtisham Khan, an owner of makeshift hotel at Nathiagali told APP.

Prior of the long march, he said a rented room in a ordinary hotel was available at Rs7000 to Rs10,000 per day against Rs3000 to Rs4000 during these days.

He said hotels at Nathiagali, Ayubia, Thandyani, Kaghan and Naran were largely depending on families tours packages from different districts of Punjab and Sindh whose were currently facing great financial losses.

He said that arrival of tourists from Central Punjab including Lahore, Gujranawala, Gujrat, Jehlum and Lala Mosa were also declined.

"I has earned about Rs5,000 to Rs7000 per day from horse riding of tourists between ancient tracks of Nathiagali and Ayubia prior to longmarch that was now slashed to below Rs2000 per day," said a local horse-rider, Ali Jadoon while taking to APP.

He said famous 11.44 miles long colonial era Miranjani-Nathiagali hiking trail that once flooded of horse riding lovers and trekkers was almost deserted.

Tasting bites of Peshawar's famous Chappli Kabab and Shawarma with bottle of water, Khayam Khan, a resident of Nowshera said that he came to Nathiagali for honey moon after spending nearly six hours to reach here from Abbottabad due to lack of transport.

"Last year, when I came to Nathiagali and Ayubia there was great hustle and bustle of tourists mostly arrived from Punjab, Azad Kashmir and Sindh where hotels owners had earned double but now most of hotels were empty," he said.

Tourism related business at Dongagali, Harnoi, Bagnotar and Kanspoor in Hazara and Kalam, Malam Jabba, Bahrain, Mahudhand, Margozar and Kalam in Swat were also affected.

Zahid Khan, President All Swat Hotels Association claimed decrease in arrival of tourists in Swat from Punjab and Sindh due to closure of roads and traffic jams in Punjab.

He said destruction of about 50 hotels and 150 restaurants in recent floods had caused about Rs 25 billion economic losses to tourism. Zahid said that approximately Rs 70 billion financial losses were incurred only to tourism-related businesses in Malakand division.

Akhtiyar Wali Khan, Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz KP Spokesman and Member Provincial Assembly said that long marches, sit ins and agitation politics were making negative effects on tourism and transport sectors.

He said travels and hotels industries in KP and Punjab were marred by the Imran Niazi long march.

Despite PTI leadership tall hue and cry, he said that no significant progress on Integrated Tourism Zones (ITZs) at Mankiyal Swat, Thandyani Abbottabad, Ganol Manshera and Madaklasht Lower Chitral were made and practical work were yet to be launched.

He said the proposed projects of fish jumping and disappearing in River Kunhar and tulip gardens in Mansehra were put into cold storage.

Wahid Ali Khan, former Provincial Minister said that people including hoteliers and transporters of Swat had first suffered great financial losses from militancy and floods and now from PTI long march.

He said illegal construction of hotels and buildings near banks of river Swat, especially at Kalam, Bahrain and Madain had marred the natural beauty of the tourist areas besides affecting trout fish production.

He said Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf was in power in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa since last ten years and enacted the Rivers Act 2014, but seemingly it failed to get implemented this Act in letter and spirit.

He said this failure on the part of PTI government has not only resulted in loss of human lives and property but also colossal damage to habitat, environment and livestock inflicting loss of billions of rupees.

Wajid Ali said that ill designs of Imran Niazi was exposed after targeting state institutions.

He said corruption of Imran Khan was exposed after ECP verdict in Tosha Khana case.