ISLAMABAD: Ambassador of Italy to Pakistan, Andreas Ferrarese called on Advisor to Prime Minister on Tourism and Sports, Awn Chaudhry, and Managing Director Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC), Aftab ur Rehman Rana to discuss the matters of mutual cooperation in the field of tourism. Franco Coco, Consular of Italian Embassy Islamabad was also accompanying him, said a press release. Ambassador shared the experience of growing tourism industry in Italy focusing on sustainable tourism, security and the beautiful landscapes and heritage of Italy and the flow of international tourists that increased three times by 2019. Awn Chaudhry apprised the Ambassador about the potential of tourism in Pakistan and the steps taken by the government including the improvement of infrastructure and security matters to facilitate both the local and international tourists. He expressed that that government of Pakistan is fully committed to make tourism sector a main segment of national economy and employment generation. Managing Director PTDC, Aftab ur Rehman Rana gave a detailed briefing on the Tourism development in Pakistan focusing on diverse landscapes, rich culture and heritage, ecological diversity, traditional sports, cuisine and crafts. He also shared details no various projects including the development of integrated tourism zones, master planning for development of tourist sites in Punjab, Sind, Balochistan and Sind. He also highlighted the potential of Gandhara region to attract religious tourism, importance of tourism sustainable mountain tourism in Northern Pakistan and development of eco-friendly coastal tourism in Baluchistan. Speaking on the role of PTDC in tourism promotion, MD PTDC said the establishment of National Tourism Coordination Board (NTCB), E-Visa facility, Integrated Tourism Development Program, Tourism Brand of Pakistan, National E-Portal on Tourism, privatizing of PTDC properties and publications on tourism in three different languages are the main recent initiatives to boost the tourism industry in Pakistan. Highlighting the potential areas of mutual cooperation, MD PTDC discussed the development of B2B linkages between the tour operators of Italy and Pakistan to increase flow of tourists from Italy to Pakistan, capacity building of Mountain Guides and Adventure Tour Guides by organizing training programs, exchange program for tourism professionals to learn from the best practices in tourism and hospitality sectors and support for Community Based Sustainable Ecotourism Projects and various tourism promotional activities through Italian Agency for Development Cooperation. Ambassador of Italy to Pakistan, Andreas Ferrarese highly appreciated the efforts of government of Pakistan to promote tourism and also shared his views to further improve the facilitation for tourist from European countries. He also assured full support and cooperation of Italian government to work with PTDC on the areas of cooperation highlighted in the presentation of MD PTDC. Awn Chaudhry thanked the Ambassador for taking time out of his busy schedule to visit PTDC Head Office and for extending his support for the sustainable development of tourism in Pakistan. On this occasion Chaudhry also presented a souvenir of coffee table pictorial book on Pakistan to the Ambassador of Italy.