The tourism industry has emerged as a major income-driving industry in many developing and
under-developed countries in the world. There are many examples that show how the thriving tourism sector can have positive impact on economic growth,
employment generation and overall socio-economic development of the country.
Pakistan is blessed with natural beauty, cultural diversity and rich historical background. In spite of being blessed with a full range of tourism attractions, so far we have not been fully successful in exploiting this potential.
Tourism has remained an underrated industry in Pakistan mainly due to the low priority given to it by the government. It has resulted in public sector paying little attention to this sector in real
terms over the last five decades, which has resulted in a drifting apart of the public and private sectors
and decline in the overall growth of tourism in Pakistan. Moreover there has been lack of support by the government in assisting the private sector with
any form of management, organizational or policy structure that could allow the private sector to play its due role in the progress of this industry.
Moreover, as a result of 18th Amendment in the constitution of Pakistan, Federal Ministry of Tourism was devolved in 2010 and PTDC which has been functioning as the federal government's arm for the promotion and development of tourism in the country has been left in undefined form and is facing a serious financial crises as the federal government has stopped allocating any funds to PTDC for the promotional activities and
developmental work. Now the provinces are responsible to promote tourism
within their boundaries but there is serious lack of coordination at national level, cooperation among the provinces and private sector. The gap between public and
private sector has further widened over the last six years and as indicated in the TTCI Report tourism in Pakistan is facing its lowest level ever in Pakistan.
This is very alarming situation and it demands a serious efforts from the tourism industry stakeholders to join hands and develop an action plan for the revival of tourism in Pakistan. Therefore, in order to create a common platform for effective collaboration among the stakeholders of tourism industry of Pakistan, we have decided to establish Pakistan Tourism Forum (PTF) as a Think Tank on Tourism in Pakistan with the following objectives:-.
To promote collaboration and cooperation among the stakeholders of private and public sectors to work jointly for the revival of tourism in Pakistan.
To create a group of experts representing various segments of tourism industry to sensitize federal and provincial governments to recognize tourism and hospitality as a priority sector and make it an important segment of economic growth in the country.
To develop a short to mid-term private sector led action plan for the revival of tourism in Pakistan.
To promote research in tourism sector for better planning and sensible decision making.
To build capacity of tourism industry stakeholders to respond effectively in the crisis situation.
To create awareness about the sustainable development of tourism and hospitality sector in Pakistan.
This forum has representation of all the segments of tourism industry such as travel agents, tour operators, hospitality sector, transport sector, academia, civil society organizations and public sector organizations etc. It acts as a national think tank on tourism in Pakistan and provides advice and expert opinion to policy makers and major stakeholders on the sustainable development of tourism in Pakistan The membership to this form is purely on voluntarily basis and only those professionals from tourism industry have been invited to join it who are highly experienced in their area of expertise and are motivated and willing to work for this national cause. The forum has its secretariat in the office of Sustainable Tourism Foundation Pakistan at Islamabad and has a five members’ core committee to facilitate the process of its working.