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Tourism suffered 400 million dollars losses in Swat, says minister

NWFP Minister for Sports, Culture and Tourism Syed Aaqil Shah has said that NWFP was the most suffered province from terrorism, adding, the tourism industry suffered about U$400 million losses in Swat at the rate of U$.50 million annually in the last eight years.

Addressing a ceremony held to mark the world tourism day under the auspices of NWFP Tourism Corporation here on Sunday, he announced that the provincial government under the leadership of Chief Minister Amir Haidar Khan Hoti would act upon on maser plan for the promotion of tourism, which would help strengthen the province economically.

Tour Specialist Fida Ullah Sehrai, Zahoor Durrani, former MD NWFP Tourism Corporation Ghaffar Mehmand, General Manager STC Mushtaq Ahmad and a large number of students affiliated with tourism and media persons attended the ceremony.

Syed Aaqil Shah said chairlifts would be installed from Naran to Saif-ul-Malook Lake for the promotion of tourism, while 2MW hydrel power station would also be established.

He said NWFP had archeological sites of Buddha in large number and the government was preparing a special package for the people of Japan, Thailand, Sri Lanka to visit these sites.

The Minister said a great Lok Virsa Center is being established at Got Gatri and a cultural directorate has also been established, which would start work from October 15.

He said two-days cultural conference would be held in the last week of October, while the annual celebrations of 2500 years of Peshawar would be held in December.

Aaqil Shah said Pakistan is the only country in the world, which had most tourist sites, however ‘we did not get benefits from tourism industry, which should have been achieved’.

“The NWFP government was working on three projects for the promotion of tourism industry in the province, ” he added.

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