Tourist Assistance Program (TAP) – Promoting Gilgit Baltistan, the Jewel of Pakistan
Gilgit Baltistan (GB) is Pakistan’s northern-most territory and home to 1.3 million people . The region has ten districts (namely Gilgit, Skardu, Diamer, Astore, Ghanche, Ghizer, Hunza, Nagar, Shiger and Kharmang), each with a spectacular trace of nature. GB is an amalgamation of beautiful landscape, unique cultural heritage and rich biological diversity, making it an attraction for tourists from across the globe.
A distinctive feature of the GB belt is that the three mightiest mountain ranges of Hindukush, Himalayas and the Karakoram meet here. Hence, making it a paradise for trekkers and mountaineers.
Improved security situation and efforts by the GB government to promote tourism, ‘Visit Gilgit Balistan, Jewel of Pakistan’ is an example of which, have encouraged a higher number of tourists in the region. A record number of one million tourists visited the area from March to August 2016. The literacy rate of the region is also highest in Pakistan.
The perceived benefits of this project are:
- Facilitate the local tourism industry and bridging the gap between the stakeholders. With information dissemination, tourists are more likely to have a comfortable, hassle-free stay.
- Boost the local economy and reduce poverty:
- By introduction of the homestay concept, an economic opportunity will be created for the local hosts and will help reduce poverty which is the one of the main focus of PPAF.
- Local community will benefit from the economic activities associated with tourism including food, crafts/souvenirs, cultural and adventure activities.
- Creation of social capital –
(i) the local community is further strengthened as it gets involved in nestled, tourism related activities
(ii) community-based information sharing and guidance for tourists
(iii) promoting family to family linkages among Pakistanis and strengthening the spirit of national solidarity.visited the area from March to August 2016. The literacy rate of the region is also highest in Pakistan.