To celebrate International Mountain Day 2021, Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) in collaboration with Alpine Club of Pakistan and other partner organizations organized a 3-day program to raise awareness about the importance of mountains in human existence, to highlight the potential and restrictions in mountain development, and to foster alliances that would bring good change to mountain people and surroundings worldwide.
The inaugural session was held on 10th December 2021 in the President House. President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan-Dr. Arif Alvi was the chief guest of the session. Addressing the inaugural session, Dr Arif Alvi stated that “Pakistan is a country rich in natural beauty, and the birth place of many civilizations. Mountain tourism is a foundation of the local economy, offering jobs and business possibilities. What we have to do is to properly plan and develop mountainous areas and enhance our Human resource with skilled workforce.”
Managing Director of Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC), Aftab-ur-Rehman Rana, while giving a presentation highlighted potential of mountain tourism and efforts of present government for the development of tourism for the socio-economic development in the mountain areas of Pakistan. He especially mentioned that government is working to create an enabling environment for private sector to come forward to invest in developing high standard facilities for the tourism in Pakistan. He also stressed on the need to promote eco-friendly tourism in the mountain to safeguard the natural environment of our mountain areas.
Giving presentation in the inaugural session Colonel (R) Manzoor, Ex-President Alpine Club of Pakistan mentioned that “our nation is ideal for explorers since it has some of the world’s highest mountain peaks and a diversified topography that responds to the needs of all types of tourists.”
Chief Guest Dr Arif Alvi also presented the awards among the nominees who have made valuable contribution in the field of sustainable mountain tourism under the categories of Climate Change, Sustainable Tourism and Mountaineering and Adventure Sports. A large number of prominent professionals from Tourism Industry, environment and Hospitality Sector were present in the event.
In the continuation of the event, PTDC and Alpine Club of Pakistan organized a one-day conference on the theme of Sustainable Mountain Tourism at Pearl Continental Hotel-Rawalpindi on the 11th of December 2021. Sustainable mountain tourism can help to provide new and alternative livelihood opportunities while also encouraging poverty reduction, social inclusion, landscape and biodiversity protection.
Another event was also organized on 11th of December 2021 to create awareness about mountain tourism among young children and students of various institutes on Margalla Hills National Park. It was a day-long event consisting of nature study camp and Eco-hike for children to study ecology of Margalla Hills. This event was jointly organized by PTDC, Alpine Club of Pakistan, Sustainable Tourism Foundation Pakistan and Islamabad wildlife Management Boards.
On 12th of December 2021, another field activity was held on Margalla National Park where university students participated in Eco-hike and clean up drive on Trail 5 of Margalla hills.
This event was organized by PTDC with the support of Riphah International University, Pakistan Sports Board, Sustainable Tourism Foundation Pakistan, Pakistan Association of Tour Operators, Islamabad wildlife Management Boards and Hashoo Group.
As a national tourism organization, PTDC’s efforts to promote and develop tourism, especially in the mountain areas of Pakistan is not a hidden truth. PTDC motivates every Pakistani to engage in mountain protection and adventure activities.