ISLAMABAD-Maritime tourism is a huge source of earning in countries with coastal belts. Given its immense importance, the Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) is going to develop an exclusive project of maritime tourism in Gadani.
Gadani is one of the most beautiful sandy beaches of Balochistan located in the Hub Tehsil of Lasbella district. It also houses the world’s third largest ship breaking yard. Talking to WealthPK about the area, development phase, and its economic value, Managing Director of PTDC Aftab ur Rahman Rana said, “The PTDC will establish a model quality and eco-friendly maritime tourist resort on 174 hectares in Gadani. This project will set a precedent for other areas for development along the same lines. It might take 5-6 years to actually develop the whole project. The reason behind this little longer time is that it is in the initial phases and the feasibility study is on the way. After covering all the stages, it is also a part of the plan that this initiative will work under the public-private partnership.’’
Aftab said Gadani project was one of the future mega plans and an exclusive activity of PTDC, while the governments of Sindh and Balochistan were working on their own on other projects related to maritime tourism.
‘’The start of inter-coastal and intra-coastal cruise services is also a great development for the provincial tourism departments. As tourism is a trillion-dollar future tourism segment, it is important that all coastal areas in the country must be developed,’’ he added. Maritime tourism development in Pakistan also fulfills the commitment of the 14th Sustainable Development Goals of the UN SDGs agenda. The 14th SDG is about the conservation and sustainable use of oceans, seas, and all available marine sources. The development of this segment will not only empower the coastal communities, but also add to the GDP growth. In 2021, the global maritime and coastal tourism industry was worth US$2.56 trillion. It is expected to reach US$4.23 trillion by 2030 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.15%. Pakistan must take initiatives to develop its coastlines according to the international standards. To attract foreign tourists, it is important to equip the country’s coastlines with proper accommodation and recreational facilities. A well-framed agenda representing flexible policies to favor foreign investors is also needed.