Kalash 28 September, world tourism day started with recitation of holy Qur’an. On behalf of organizers a senior journalist and ex. Chairman Ayun and Valleys Development Programme Mr. Mukham uddin welcome participants and brief the participant on potentials of Tourism in regards to Kalash valleys. He highlighted issues and also suggests forming a committee that would work for promotion of tourism in Kalash valleys. Talking to participant Mr. Zarin Khan In charge Tourism Cooperation Khyberpakhtunkhwa briefed participants about importance of tourism. He said that tourism could be good source of income if utilized its potentials for Tourism.
Khan added that ‘’ in Europe there is youth hostels or bed and breakfast facilities where tourist especially youth are getting encouragement having such facilities youth could pay minor and also cook themselves’’.
Kalash valleys are hub for tourism but unfortunately the valleys are deprived from basic facilities. Mr. Sohail secretary Mumuret hotels association highlighted road issues that are a pathetic in the valleys. He asked district concerns to promote healthy activities to promote tourism in the valleys.
Hazart Karim who did master in Islamic education and later he returned to the valleys and started working on tourism promotion activities. He said I have a topic to highlight local foods and guides he said I had been worked for 15 years and worked with different tourism promoting agencies now me working as a teacher. He also said that whenever tourism enters in a region he comes to a guide and then he visits other places.
Guide sought to be educated about the specific area so he could give accurate information to the tourist. You could guess that guide needs to be well-educated. So we could promote soft image of the country.
He added that ‘’ I have done one and half year’s tourism hospitality training at Pakistan institute of tourism and hospitality’’. Tourist needs special care so they could return with good image. He requested district government to ban on land selling to outsiders if proper action didn’t take then valleys could face a problem.
Wazir Zada manager AVDP appreciated efforts of local police force concerning maintaining law and order situation in valleys. He appreciated efforts of SHO and his team efforts taken in this regards.
Zahid Alam introduced as young Social worker talked about the past peaceful nature of the valley he highlighted war on terror created issues and security concerns. He said there is a lot of potential in the valleys.
During local government in past organized Jashne Mumuret for tourism now there should be such activities.
Kalasha religious identity in national data based remained focal point to discuss by some speakers while the forum was to celebrate world tourism day. Wazir highlighted winter sports festival and said that Luke Rehmat founder and CEO of Kalash People’s Development Network have been organizing indigenous winter sports festival in collaboration with district government and local NGOs and he express that he would like to continue the initiative in coming 2015.
Akram Hussian encouraged the participants and disclosed that more than 5000 thousands tourist have been entered in the valleys he said that it’s encouraging for tourism. ‘’There are more than 3000 non registered tourist they considered to be government officials and staff’s friends, 108 foreign tourist the remaining are domestic tourist are seems to be increasing’’ Tourist figure given by Akram were those who visited the Kalasha Dur museum and there is tourist those visited during weekends and museum unable to count them so far.
Akram added that there should be tourist information center so tourist could have right information regarding the valleys.
Shahi Gul a local handicraft promoter said that roads are very dangerous in the valleys so how could how a tourist comes. She said that education should be promoted in the valleys so tourism could be managed properly.
For non school going girls there should be handicraft working center so girls could be benefited from it.
Chief Guest Amin Ul Haq district commissioner Chitral said that unfortunately I am very sudden that no one highlighted tourism focused things of Chitral and Kalash valleys.
Tourism and recreational activities are very important factor of a society. There is a lot of positive potential for tourism due to its unique geography.
Hotelier sought to bring change in their behavior with tourist. Keep hotel clean so tourist would be feel better. Keep eyes on employees to provide better services to the tourist.
Amin said why tourism declined now while it was better 12 years ago. I admit law and order situation is worsened but it seems lack of interest with tourism could be other reason.
He said that law and order situation is getting better and tourism could be promoted and you people could play your positive responsibilities.
He asked the participants that meet minority MNA and asked him to raise the issue in Parliament to solve identity issues of Kalasha community. Use your vote for right people in order to solve your problem.
Alarming case for Kalasha people as there are only 25% Kalasha population in Mumuret valley while Muslim community are around 75 % the status shard by district commissioner Chitral.
Pak army representative appreciated efforts taken by local organizations and TCKP concerns for organizing world tourism day.
He said we are fully aware of threats posed to Kalash valleys but people are so lazy unfortunately. They need to play active role for the area. People coming to the valleys to see culture and natural beauty but the valleys lack of facilities required for better tourism. There is peace in the valleys its due to support of locals in the valleys. At the end a committee formed to work for promotion of tourism.