Prime Minister Imran Khan made a promising address on Wednesday about the potential Pakistan has for tourism. He was speaking at the Pakistan Tourism Summit in Islamabad.
The two-day summit had an elaborate panel of speakers, but what seemed strange was that local travel bloggers were not featured in the event.
Dawn reported that some international travel bloggers, however, were invited. Among the invited were bloggers Trevor James, Mark Wiens, Eva zu Beck, Rosie Gabrielle, Alex Reynolds and Amel Lamloum, the publication reported.
Many local travel bloggers, including, Mystapaki‘s Bilal Hassan, Shariq Raza, Girl With Green Passport’s Anam Hakeem and others expressed their dismay over not being called to participate in the summit.
In fact, one of the international travel blogger’s, Alex, posted on her IG story, “It’s really concerning to me that in a country of 200 million people not a single local travel influencer is being featured in this summit. I humbly request that Atif Khan [tourism minister] and others stat giving local talent the support they deserve. There is no one better suited to create content that communicates the wonders of Pakistan than its own photographers, vloggers, bloggers.”
PM Khan said Pakistan is still exploring tourism. “We have so much potential,” the premier said. He gave an example of when he visited the Northern areas three years ago and all the hotels were booked. “That’s when I realised the power of social media,” PM Khan said, explaining that Pakistan has not done much to promote tourism and yet there is a high influx of tourists from abroad and within the country.
“The beauty of Pakistan is that we have so many undiscovered areas,” he said, adding that if tourism is not regulated and laws are not made, these areas will suffer. “Right now, majority of the areas are untouched.”