ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s cultural sites have seen a massive increase of 317% in tourist traffic in the last five years, with nearly 95% attributed to Punjab.
Gallup Pakistan, a research organisation affiliated with Gallup International Association, in their recent report Cultural Heritage and Museum Visits in Pakistan, has inferred that tourism has the potential to support and reinvigorate the economy of the country.
The data in the report has compared the traffic from 2014 onwards. The approximately 1.6 million visits in 2014 grew to 6.6 million visits in 2018, a 317% increase in five years with Punjab contributing a massive 95% whereas Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have fluctuated over the years.
Museum sites saw an increase of 50% with the number of visits increasing from 1.7 million in 2014 to around 2.7 million. KP and Balochistan have been the centre of these visits with Punjab and Sindh experiencing ups and downs. However, the provinces recorded the maximum number of visits in 2018.
Museums were preferred to cultural sites as the percentage of visitors rose by 130% to 100% of that of cultural sites. Museums received on average 50% more visits than cultural sites. KP recorded a 250% increase in museum visits in 2018.
The economic potential of tourism can be harvested to shoulder the staggering financial condition of the country. With further improvement, tourism can contribute greatly to the economy of Pakistan.