The Embassy of Pakistan Berlin organized a Tourism Seminar at the Institute of Cultural Diplomacy on 9th March, with participation of Chief Minister of Gilgit Baltistan, Mr. Hafiz-ur-Rehman as the chief guest. The seminar was attended by senior officials of Gilgit Baltistan government and a large gathering of students, faculty and researchers at ICD, local representatives of tourism and hospitality industry, German media and members of Pakistani community. The delegation of Gilgit Baltistan government is currently on an official visit of Berlin to participate in the annual International Tourism and Trade Fair (ITB-7-13 March 2016).
The Seminar was addressed by the Chief Minister, Ambassador Jauhar Saleem and Mr. Mark Donfried, Director, ICD. The Chief Minister in his address underscored the marked improvement in security situation in Pakistan, following the success of Zarb-e-Azb. He said that there were zero crimes reported in Gilgit Baltistan in the last two years. He further added that tourism was one of the priority areas of the present government and there were lot of infrastructure development projects in the pipeline. He further informed that in order to facilitate travelling to the Northern areas, there were two daily flights currently operating to Gilgit and Skardu while plans to open Gilgit airport for international flights in the near future were under consideration.
Ambassador Jauhar Saleem made a presentation focussing on investment and tourism opportunities in Pakistan. He emphasized that Pakistan offered the most liberal investment regime in the region with huge incentives for foreign investors. The improved security situation and availability of educated and skilled manpower were added advantages of investments in Pakistan. He also spoke at length about major tourism attractions and invited the German public to visit Pakistan to explore its beauty and experience its cultural richness. Mr. Mark Don Fried, Director, ICD, spoke about cultural diversity of Pakistan and its vibrant society. The talk and presentation generated huge interest among the audience and was followed by Q&A.
A Book titled Heritage Tourism - Hunza-Nagar & Baltistan, published by Agha Khan Trust for Culture, was launched on the occasion. The book is a beautiful addition to the exiting literature on the area and provides an insight into the natural dividends of the area, its heritage, culture and culinary delights.
The audience were shown a documentary prepared on Gilgit Baltistan by Agha Khan Rural Support Program. There was also a performance by Pakistani and German instrumentalists and singers, which received huge applause from the audience.
9 March 2016
Embassy of Pakistan