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CARBS Business Review

Icy Behavior Could Freeze Tourism

Nisar Ahmad

27 April, 2023

Icy Behavior Could Freeze Tourism

It was a freezing evening in the second week of January when my family and I were traveling to Chitral. As we encountered treacherous conditions on the snow-covered Lawari Road, my car started skidding uncontrollably. In a stroke of luck, kind-hearted locals came to our rescue, offering us food, shelter, and assistance. This experience made me realize the significance of the behavior of residents in shaping the reputation of a tourist destination.

 

Unfortunately, the tragic snowstorm in Murree in January 2022 shed light on some distressing incidents. Locals took advantage of the situation, charging exorbitant prices for basic necessities and services, leaving stranded tourists in dire straits. This inhumane behavior not only tarnished the reputation of the place but also contributed to the loss of 22 precious lives.

 

As a frequent traveler, I can attest that such acts of kindness from locals are not uncommon. However, they often go unnoticed and unappreciated. It is disheartening to witness the negative impact of cold behavior on the tourism industry and the reluctance it instills in visitors to return to such destinations.

 

From an Islamic perspective, exploring nature and traveling are encouraged, with tourists considered guests deserving of wholehearted hospitality. Pakistan, with its diverse natural beauty, mesmerizing landscapes, and rich historical and religious sites, holds immense potential for tourism. Recent progress on the International Travel and Tourism Development Index, with Pakistan moving up six points to secure 83rd place among 117 countries, is encouraging. Travel and tourism have the potential to contribute significantly to Pakistan’s economy, with a projected contribution of Rs. 1 trillion by 2025.

 

To achieve this milestone, it is crucial to attract and retain tourists by not only developing infrastructure in tourist destinations but also cultivating a welcoming and tourist-friendly attitude among residents. The warmth of behavior can be a major attraction for visitors, while cold and unwelcoming behavior could further hinder the struggling tourism sector.

Nisar Ahmad

Nisar Ahmad

Nisar Ahmad is an M&E Expert by Profession. Currently he is leading the M&E Department of a leading humanitarian organization in Pakistan. He has a passion for traveling, and keeps exploring the tourist attractions all over Pakistan.

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Disclaimer

Please note that all opinions, views, statements, and facts conveyed in the article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official policy or position of Chaudhry Abdul Rehman Business School (CARBS). CARBS assumes no liability or responsibility for any errors or omissions in the content. When interpreting and applying the information provided in the article, readers are advised to use their own discretion and judgement.

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