08 April 2022
We are organizing this webinar in collaboration with our partners to exchange ideas on the potential of circuit tourism and winter tourism in the Hindu Kush Karakoram Pamir Landscape (HKPL), which represents “Bam-e-Dunya” (“roof of the world” in Persian). This webinar will provide a platform to engage tour operators, tourism departments, institutions, and experts to discuss the associated challenges and opportunities. The webinar will help foster regional cooperation and partnerships in sustainable tourism that could enhance the socio-ecological and economic resilience of mountain communities in the landscape.
The circuit tourism approach offers innumerable opportunities in the form of circuit tours across the HKPL-member countries (Afghanistan, China, Pakistan, Tajikistan). It can expand opportunities for regional cooperation and deliver financial and environmental benefits.
The objective of this webinar is to exchange knowledge and experiences and explore the potential of circuit tourism and winter sports in HKPL.
The four highest mountain ranges of the world – the Karakoram, the Hindu Kush, the Himalaya, and the Pamir are treasure troves for rich ecosystem services, water towers, biodiversity, and culture. The transboundary, contiguous high-mountain HKPL – extending across Afghanistan, China, Tajikistan, and Pakistan – holds tremendous potential for piloting circuit tourism, in addition to adventure tourism, ecotourism, and cultural tourism. Every year, thousands of tourists visit the landscape.
Policymakers need to address a wide array of challenges to promote circuit tourism and winter tourism in Bam-e-Dunya, including the need to improve tourism sector standards with quality and sustainable measures; ensure qualified human resources onboard; promote green financing; create an enabling environment; ensure resilience to externalities, such as the COVID-19 pandemic; and improve service quality and infrastructure, including road networks, amenities, information, security, and connectivity corridors.
In the Gilgit-Baltistan region and Chitral district of Pakistan, domestic tourism has significantly increased over the past few years because of positive measures taken by the Government of Pakistan, such as youth engagement and community and infrastructure development. Winter tourism/sports in Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral is also a growing sector, and the Prime Minister of Pakistan highlighted this potential during his visit to China for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics
Moderator: Laurie Vasily, Head of Knowledge Management and Communication, ICIMOD
Circuit and winter tourism: Opportunities and challenges
Syed Najam ul Hassan, Assistant Professor, Karakoram International University Gilgit, Pakistan
Partnerships and regional collaboration for circuit tourism and winter tourism: Opportunities and challenges
What policy measures are necessary in HKPL member countries to realize the circuit tourism potential and how can governments collaborate?
Do the circuit tourism maps help us visualize a viable business case for circuit tourism in the HKPL?
Panelists: Didar Ali and Sadrudin Hunzai, Tour operators from Pakistan;
Marc Foggin, Tajikistan;
Ruijun Long, Director, International Centre for Tibetan Plateau Ecosystem Management, Lanzhou University, China;
Chris Yuan, tour operator from China;
Amanda DeSadeleer, First Secretary, Political, High Commission of Canada in Pakistan;
Sadiq Saleem, President, Altit Winter Sports Club, Gilgit Baltistan, Pakistan
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