Who We Are?
Sustainable Tourism Foundation PAKISTAN
Pakistan has great opportunities for the tourism development based on its spectacular natural landscapes and unique cultural heritage. Tourism is one of those economic activities that have the potential to bring considerable benefits to the nation. If it is managed effectively, tourism can be used as a vehicle to deliver socio-economic benefits directly to rural and remote areas.
To guard against past mistakes and to help promote best practice in the future, it is important to recognize the need for partnership and cooperation for the development of sustainable tourism in Pakistan. All stakeholders should join hands to adopt the internationally recognized nature and culture friendly practices to insure the sustainable development of tourism sector in coming years.
The Sustainable Tourism Foundation Pakistan (STFP) has been formed as a national body by a group of eminent professionals from the tourism industry as well as environmentalists as a non-profit and non-political organization to promote environmentally responsible and sustainable tourism in Pakistan. The Foundation is registered under the Societies Registration Act XXI, 1860.
STFP is working closely with federal and provincial governments agencies responsible for the promotion of tourism as well as it has established networking with private sector organizations and other like-minded national, regional and international organizations to facilitate and support synergy of policies, initiatives and activities at local, regional and national level.
What is Sustainable Tourism?
“If tourism contributes to the maintenance and improvement of biological resources and their diversity;
If it ensures the preservation of culture and values of people and strengthens community identity;
If a process is set in motion in which the benefits of tourism are broadly shared and a wider participation in decision-making related to development and the management of natural resources is promoted;
If economically efficient, positive backward and forward linkages among economic activities are increased to relieve the pressure on fragile resources and contribute to improvements in the quality of life of the population;
and if resources are managed in ways, which not only support present needs but also supports the needs and aspirations of future generations;
Then the presumption is that tourism is sustainable.”
Background of Sustainable Tourism Movement
Since the Rio Earth Summit held in 1992, there has been a steady increase in the awareness around the world for the need to consider environmental and cultural issues in the Travel & Tourism industry and not simply its economic returns. There has been growing recognition that those who profit from tourism are not always those who have to bear its costs.
Governments, industry and academia have undertaken research and implemented actions to minimize the impacts of the ever increasing travel industry on the natural, human, built environment and to develop sustainable tourism practices. In 1996, the World Travel and Tourism Council, World Tourism Organization and the Earth Council worked together to produce “Agenda 21 for the Travel and Tourism Industry: Towards Ecologically Sustainable Development”.
Ecotourism is a well-known term around the world and more recently the importance of sustainable tourism has been gaining recognition. Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism are closely related and if anything, ecotourism rests within the scope of sustainable tourism.
Sustainable tourism refers to a broad range of tourism ventures that take into account ideas of sustainable development. Importantly, sustainable tourism development is supply driven rather than demand driven with consideration given to social, economic and environmental factors. It is planned within the carrying capacity of an area – both ecologically and culturally – and control of the development remains within the community as much of the economic benefits as possible
Our mission is to promote and facilitate the growth of sustainable and equitable tourism in Pakistan in close partnership with concerned stakeholders from the public, private and non-profit sectors.
To fulfill its mission, the founder members of STFP have identified the following specific objectives:
- Encourage and promote best practices of sustainable tourism to minimize Ecological Footprint and safeguard natural and cultural heritage of Pakistan.
- Work with government bodies by providing valuable inputs to develop policies and strategies for the promotion of sustainable tourism and help implement the same.
- Work with tourism service providers to enhance quality of their products and services to a level so they can be sustainable and eco-friendly.
- Work with conservation organizations to develop management plans for ecologically sensitive areas where tourism will have an impact on the natural, social and cultural environment.
- Develop models of ecotourism and heritage tourism in different part of Pakistan for demonstration of sustainable and responsible tourism.
- Build capacity of local community to use tourism for local socio-economic development based on the best practices of sustainable tourism.
- Provide information and educate to the public on environment friendly and responsible tourism.
- Develop contact and collaborate with national and international organizations to initiate ecotourism and sustainable tourism projects in Pakistan.
- Facilitate the exchange of knowledge, experiences and ideas on sustainable tourism among the stakeholders by organizing trainings and other activities to create awareness on ecotourism, responsible tourism and sustainable tourism.
- Develop and continually up-date an information bank of sustainable tourism principles, tools, resources and best practices for further dissemination among concerned stakeholders.
- Generate joint benefits through increased cooperation, networking and partnerships among sustainable tourism stakeholders.
Our Core Values
Environmental Conservation: Pakistan’s natural environment is our greatest asset, upon which our businesses and jobs ultimately depend. It is therefore vital that we take active measures to protect our natural resources in order to guard against over-exploitation, which would undermine the ability of both current and future generations of Pakistan to benefit from them.
Social Responsibility: Every individual and organization working in the tourism industry must be committed to the betterment of Pakistani society and in particular to host communities in the areas in which they work. As a representative of Pakistan, we must set a strong positive example by giving back a fair share of what we take.
Cultural Protection: The tourism industry plays an important role by promoting inter-cultural contacts. Furthermore, Pakistan’s rich cultural heritage is a valuable resource in itself. Tourism activities must therefore be developed and managed in close consultation with host communities to guard against exploitation and to ensure that they are protected from unwanted cultural change.
Cooperation: Development of sustainable tourism cannot be achieved by individuals and organizations working in isolation. To be successful, close co-operation among all the stakeholders is required.