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Promoting circuit tourism and winter sports in Bam-e-Dunya




Virtual (Zoom)

Date & Time

08 April 2022

Ghulam Ali

Concept note

About the event

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.


Expected outcomes

  • Validation and agreement on the content of potential circuit tourism maps
  • Shared understanding of challenges and opportunities for circuit tourism and winter sports
  • Options for collaborative partnerships explored, especially on policy alternatives to realize tourism potential
  • Agreement on way forward for promoting sustainable tourism 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



Time (NPT) Description Responsibility
Inaugural session

Moderator: Laurie Vasily, Head of Knowledge Management and Communication, ICIMOD

09:45–10:00 Guests login
10:00–10:50 Opening remarks (5–7 min each)
Objectives, circuit tourism concept, and perceived model Ghulam Ali, Programme Coordinator, HKPL Initiative, ICIMOD
Welcome remarks Pema Gyamtsho, Director General, ICIMOD
Remarks Wendy Gilmour, Canada’s High Commissioner to Pakistan
Remarks Raja Nasir Ali Khan, Minister of Tourism, Gilgit Baltistan, Pakistan
Remarks Roy C Sidle, Director, Mountain Societies Research Institute, and Professor, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Central Asia
Remarks Ruijun Long, Director, International Centre for Tibetan Plateau Ecosystem Management, Lanzhou University, China
Remarks Hermann Kreutzmann, Professor, Human Geography, Freie Universität Berlin
Technical session

Circuit and winter tourism: Opportunities and challenges

10:50–11:10 Regional tourism potential in the HKH/HKPL Amanda DeSadeleer, First Secretary, Political, High Commission of Canada in Pakistan
11:10–11:25 Connecting tourism with the roof of the world Ruijun Long, Director, International Centre for Tibetan Plateau Ecosystem Management, Lanzhou University, China
11:25–11:45 Digitization and circuit tourism attractions/maps: Plenary discussion and validation of maps from experts and tour operators Faisal Mueen Qamar, Remote Sensing Specialist, ICIMOD

Syed Najam ul Hassan, Assistant Professor, Karakoram International University Gilgit, Pakistan

11:45–12:15 Plenary

Partnerships and regional collaboration for circuit tourism and winter tourism: Opportunities and challenges

Key questions

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?

Moderator: Jalal Uddin Shah, Global CEO, Rupani Foundation

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

12:15–12:30 Presentation on winter tourism opportunities in Pakistan and HKPL Rahat Karim, Assistant Director Tourism, Gilgit Baltistan
12:30–12:45 Winter sports and tourism market in China Liu Ge, P.E. Lecturer and Alpinist, Northwest University, China
12:45–12:55 Summary of the discussions and circuit tourism narrative for the region Anu Kumari Lama, Tourism Specialist, ICIMOD
12:55–13:05 Way forward and closing remarks Farid Ahmad, Head Strategic Planning, M&E, ICIMOD
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