Tourism plays significant role in boosting the economy globally. But Pakistan in this sector has remained far behind. Even though, Pakistan has plenty of potential in the tourism sector.UN’s general secretary Mr. Antonio Guterres has said “Every day, more than 3 million tourists cross international borders. Every year, almost 1.2 billion people travel abroad. Tourism has become a pillar of economies, a passport to prosperity, and a transformative force for improving millions of lives.” There is no doubt that tourism is an economy-enabling industry. Tourism industry contributes $1340 billion (10.2pc global GDP) in the global economy annually. Of this Europe’s share is 39 percent, Asia and Pacific 29 percent and America 24 percent.In 2017 the US, Spain and France earned $211, 68 and 61 billion accordingly. The same year, 35 million tourists visited Thailand and earned about $40 billion. Besides, China, Turkey and India received 60, 37and 1 million tourists accordingly.Pakistan is deemed to have enormous tourism potential. Pakistan inspires tourists from all around the world for eco-tourism, cultural, rural, adventure, urban, mountain, and religious tourism. Forbes magazine in December last year said ‘Pakistan is amongst 10 coolest places to visit in 2019.’The World Tourism and Travel Council say that direct tourism’s contribution to Pakistan’s GDP is only 2.7 percent. Based on this appalling state, Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation also reflects that only 1.7 million tourists visited Pakistan in 2017. Of them 30 percent were domestic. According to the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index 2017 launched by World Economic Forum ranks Pakistan 124 out of 136 countries. In visa requirement ranking Pakistan has been put at 135 out of 136 countries, and government giving priority to tourism and travel industry has been ranked at 132 out of 136 countries. Tourism can be a mainstay for Pakistan’s economy as it is doing in the world’s other countries. It can contribute unprecedentedly in economy. It is an avenue for investment, business opportunity, and a great tool for wealth and employment creation. It is estimated that each year Pakistan can earn $20 to 40 billion from tourism industry and more than one million people can get employment.The beauty lays in the beholder’s eyes. The piercing natural beauty of Pakistan makes one enthralled and captivated. On One side, snow-clad sky-touching mountains, huge oglacier, vast green grasslands, tree-attired hills and on the other, beautiful-looking brown-capped mountains, thousands acres spread of mesmerizing sand dunes, glittering mounds of sand span thousands of acres. Apart from it, eye-catching sea views, loving landscapes of rivers, heart-touching sceneries of lakes and lagoons. Besides, Pakistan is rich in cultural and religious tourism including Moen-Jo-Daro, Taxila, Makli necropolis, Takht-i-Bahi. Each city of Pakistan is the manifestation of great cultural and religious history. From Baltistan to Badin depicts rich and splendid cultures. Shrines of Sufi saints in Punjab and Sindh manifest religious-cum-cultural tourism including Baba Bulleh Shah, Ghulam Farid, Lal Shahbaz Qalandar, Shah Abdul Latif, and Shah Inayat, etc. In KP historical remains and temples of Buddha are good to see.Tourism exchanges economies, ideas, cultures, values, traditions, innovations and learning. It brings nations closer. It promotes social inclusion, interaction and collaboration among people globally. It improves inter and intra provincial relations and networking.According to UN “Tourism plants the seeds of understanding between peoples, promotes every nation’s heritage and natural wealth, and contributes to strengthening peace in the world.”Though, terrorism and extremism has been one of the huge challenges in the last two decades in Pakistan to promote tourism. But now overall security situation has become better, and terrorism has been wiped out from the country.Despite all that, preceding governments have overlooked the travel and tourism industry.The PTI government seems too interested in promotion of tourism, which is a worthy and laudable in the long run for the country’s overall economy.Minister for Finance, Asad Umar a few weeks ago tweeted “Portugal drops all travel advisories for its citizens coming to Pakistan. British Airways decides to resume flights to Pakistan. Victory against the terrorists bearing fruit of reducing isolation of Pakistan. Inshallah next summer will see record tourists coming to Pakistan.” Before elections, PM Imran Khan said ‘Promotion of tourism to strengthen the economy of the country will be among the top priorities of his party.”It is an affirmative indicator that the current ruling party has devised a friendly tourism policy and has also has eased visa requirements. Though dealing with millions of tourists each year, government should make standardised infrastructures and facilitations for foreign tourists as well as domestic tourists.Government must search, develop, and renovate fresh tourism sites and venues. Promotions – marketing and branding at global and national level must be carried out to attract and incline more tourists towards Pakistan.The writer works at AWARE based in BadinPublished in Daily Times, February 10th 2019.