Islamabad:Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that the various initiatives taken by the Government of Pakistan for promotion of tourism were giving emphasis to development of rural areas.

“Several new destinations have been explored for tourists in rural areas of the country which is expected to uplift the economic and social status of local population,” he said in a message on the observance of ‘World Tourism Day’ today (September 27).

He said today, we are celebrating the Day as a country that hosted some of the world’s most kook vistas and fascinating cultures. This day is celebrated every year by all member states of the United Nation’s World Tourism Organization. Pakistan always joined hand with the world community to celebrate the day with zeal and fervour.

The theme of this year is ‘Tourism and Rural Development’. The Prime Minister said the tourism sector provided impetus to economic development in rural areas, which was in dire need of economic activities.

He said tourism not only helped in empowerment of rural communities by generating employment and boosting trade, but also enabled them to protect their heritage and allowed other people to experience their incredible cultures and traditions.

He further said placing rural development at the heart of tourism policies through education, investment, innovation, technology and employment transformed the livelihoods of millions and helped preserve the culture and environment.

The Prime Minister said he would like to inform the international community that the people of Pakistan were waiting for the tourists from around the globe anxiously to extend their hospitality for visiting their mountains, deserts, rivers, forests, and coasts.

He said Pakistan has diverse landscapes from mountains to sea along with a dynamic history, adding that Pakistan has limitless potential for tourism which the world has yet to discover.