Chinese investors are keen to invest into the tourism sector of Pakistan as the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects will create new investment opportunities after the building of road and railways connectivity between the two countries.
“We are planning consultations with Pakistani companies on developing joint tourism products,” said Chen Qiang, president of Yema Group Company Limited.
Qiang, addressing a Pakistani delegation, said the increased connectivity after the development of rail and road links between Kashgar and Pakistan will be convenient for people to travel.
“In 2015 alone, 30 million local and foreign tourists visited the scenic and historically and culturally rich Xinjiang province,” he said. “A delegation from Xinjiang province also visited Gilgit Baltistan to explore opportunities for joint tourism and mutual businesses.”
The official said a big cultural park is under construction in the city where cultures and lifestyles of different countries, especially the members of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), will be on the display. Pakistan has recently become a SCO’s member.
“Special efforts are being made to set up a Pakistani pavilion in the park where individuals, including cooks, singers and artisans will be brought from Pakistan and given employment,” he added.
Yema Group is already operating Xinjiang Ancient Ecological Park, spreading over 13.34 hectares. The park features rare and precious natural relics and cultural essence of the ancient silk route, ancient petrified woods and oil paintings by legendary painters.
Qiang said the new park will be much larger.
Declared as the demonstration base for cultural industry by the SCO, Yema is authorised to hold cultural festivals. Senator Abdul Ghafoor Haideri said last year 2.5 million tourists travelled to northern areas in Pakistan. Their journeys can be extended to Xinjiang and other destinations, he added.
Haideri said Chinese tourists can access the 700-kilometre long coastal belt along the Arabian Sea through Kashgar-Gwadar road network planned under the CPEC.
Currently, a bus service is operational from Gilgit Baltistan to Chinese border. From there onwards, transportation is available for Kashgar and Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang. Kashgar and Urumqi are also connected via air routes and there are 12 flights on daily basis between the two cities.
A large number of people from Pakistan, especially businessmen visit Xinjiang. Urumqi is the first stop for goods coming from Central Asia to China. Being a Muslim majority province, Halal food is easily available, which can also promote tourism.
Source: The News