Terrorists. Drone strikes. Al-Qaida. These are some of things that may come to mind when you hear the name Pakistan, but what about food, scenery, and ancient ruins? My family is from Pakistan and I’ve been there to visit almost every year. The first thing I can tell you is that you’ll never find better food anywhere in the world. Pakistan, and the people of Pakistan, is so much more than what the world thinks of them as; there aren’t terrorists or extremists hiding around every corner in Pakistan. Instead you’ll find people in need of help.
Ever since the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States of America, Pakistan has been the recipient of millions of dollars of US aid, meant to further the fight against militants and terrorists. Meanwhile, Pakistan has been trying to revitalize its own economy through tourism in order to help its struggling people. Pakistan should put the money towards helping the people, and creating a better name for itself worldwide. Nobody I know has ever wanted to go on vacation in Pakistan because it’s viewed as unsafe; that’s the attitude that the Pakistani government needs to be working to change.
To bring in more tourists and create more money for the economy, Pakistan needs to show people everywhere that it’s safe to visit the country. Pakistan’s Swat Valley used to be a premier vacation area because of its amazing scenery, but now it’s a nearly desolate, former battleground.
The government needs to convince media and tourism agencies to promote Pakistan as a tourist destination again. Pakistan also needs to get off the USA’s travel warning list. The country needs to put itself into TV ads, onto more travel sites and offer deals and packages as incentive for people to visit. Once locals start returning, Pakistan can show the rest of the world that it’s safe to visit.
There are plenty of people who want to see what Pakistan is like because it’s so different from the USA. People want to sample the amazing food, or explore the huge excavation sites of ancient ruins. Whatever your interest, there’s something waiting for you to discover in Pakistan. They just need to brand themselves a little better in order to get you there.
This guest blog post was written by PRowl Staff Member Faiz Mandviwalla.