Integrated zones – the future of the tourism sector

PESHAWAR: The Integrated Tourism Zones (ITZ) project is a milestone for the tourism sector as it will increase tourism inflows by providing all necessary facilities in addition to attracting huge investment in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

As a unique project, ITZ is seen as a new future for the tourism industry that will provide services to both local and foreign tourists at one location in the province, according to a press release.

The provincial government has already prepared a master plan and a feasibility study for four different ITZs.

Tourist destinations to be developed in line with international standards include Ganol in Mansehra, Mankial in Swat, Madaklasht in Chitral and Thandiani in Abbottabad.

According to the plan, Ghanol ITZ will be built on 480 land channels, while Mankiyal will be built on 754 channels, Madaklasht on 540 channels, and Thandiani ITZ will be built on 640 land channels.

The main components of the ITZ project include: roads, trails, tracks, water supply, solid waste management, stable electricity supply and infrastructure development. These ITZs are expected to create 16,000 direct and indirect jobs and attract US$8 billion in investment.

The Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the World Bank are jointly developing an ITZ project with International Development Association (IDA) resources under the Multi-Donor Trust Fund (MDTF). The MDTF was created to support crisis-affected areas of the KP. Additional WB financing will complement these activities by supporting the tourism sector.

The KP is also committed to designating at least eight remote and unexplored scenic spots as new ITZs to ensure sustainable tourism planning and development in these locations. The project will help the KP to further explore this idea by providing best practice and regulatory support for the ITZ concept, as well as supporting feasibility studies for up to two ITZs to support decision-making to implement the concept in the KP.

The Khyber Pakhtun Khwa Culture and Tourism Authority (KPCTA), under the auspices of the Department of Sports and Tourism, recently showcased ITZ, a water sports theme park and other tourism-related projects at Dubai Expo 2020, which were well received by investors.

The Khyber Pakhtun-hwa government, investors and international firms have signed 44 Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) worth $8 billion to invest in the sector.

The organizers presented a number of projects to investors at the Investment Conference in the field of tourism and other industries.

A detailed briefing was held on the ITZ feasibility studies prepared by a Malaysian firm under the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Integrated Tourism Development (KITE). The display of tourism projects at Dubai Expo 2020 has become a launching pad for investment in the tourism sector.

Yesterday, the KP government issued three letters of intent (LOI) to a state-owned Kuwaiti company to…

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