Skip to main content

Pakistan gears up for Chinese tourists

By Daniel Hyatt China.org.cn, January 31, 2019

People walk on a street decorated with Chinese lamps to celebrate the Lunar New Year in Bangkok, Thailand January 26, 2017. [Photo/VCG]

As China progresses towards becoming the world's largest economy, its citizens have gained increased spending power. Their increased outlays are not only encouraging domestic consumption but also helping the global economy.

Tourists from China made 140 million visits abroad last year and spent more than US$120 billion, according to data from the China Tourism Academy. Chinese travelers are increasingly looking for unique destinations in their neighborhood.

While growing political uncertainty and diminishing facilitation for foreigners in traditional tourist hubs of the west are discouraging visitors from China, its neighbors are working hard to offer a lively and welcoming experience.

Pakistan presents itself as an exquisite choice for those who prefer less-traveled roads. Although the U.S. based Forbes magazine has only just decided the country is one of the 10 coolest places to go to in 2019, Chinese tourists have been coming to Pakistan ever since the establishment of strong diplomatic channels in the 1950s. Enjoying unmatched goodwill among the Pakistani public, they are also facilitated by a visa-on-arrival service and a complete waiver of visa fees.

Pakistanis are even breaking the language barrier with China, with thousands enrolled in local Confucius institutes to get to grips with Mandarin. On the financial side, all leading banks have established dedicated Chinese desks and Alipay will shortly begin local operations.

Rapport with China has been further built up with the launch of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) – the southern prong of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Since its inception, there has been an extraordinary influx of Chinese business travelers who have incidentally discovered the unexplored beauty of the country.

This picture taken on June 27, 2017 shows a truck driving along the China-Pakistan Friendship Highway. [Photo/VCG]

The road link between the two countries has existed since 1979, when the Karakoram Highway (Friendship Highway) was constructed to connect China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region with Gilgit Baltistan. After improvements since the inception of the CPEC, it is now open year round and a luxury bus service runs on the route from Lahore to Kashi in Xinjiang.

For those on a tight budget, ride-hailing services and accommodation sharing platforms form the backbone of their trip to Pakistan. Others with more cash, however, can use an increasingly comfortable transportation system and luxurious hotels spreading even into the remotest areas.

Hotel occupancy rates have been at a record high since Pakistan successfully purged a decade-long insurgency from its soil. In the affected areas, the government is presently setting up new hill stations to take advantage of the majestic mountain terrain of the north and northwest.

Pakistan was a prominent stopover along the ancient Silk Road. Taxila, a city in northern Pakistan, was a Buddhist heartland where caravans used to make routine stopovers. Its archaeological remains are preserved to this day, creating a much-frequented destination for those wishing to trace the footsteps of bygone traders.

Buddhism, one of three major teachings of Chinese philosophy, has deep roots in Pakistan. From the 7th century, during the Tang Dynasty, Chinese monks frequently made spiritual trips to areas now in Pakistan.

The rich history of Pakistan lives on in the form of colorful festivals such as the Basant in Punjab and Chilam Joshi in Chitral. Cultural days of different regions also retain the indigenous heritage of different provinces. 

Despite its relatively small geographical area, Pakistan has a full seasonal range. Seeking to escape the tough winters of northern China, vacationers can enjoy the warm and golden beaches of Gwadar from November to February, while an escape from the Chinese summer from May to July is available for trekkers hiking up to base camps of the northern mountains.

The potential of Chinese tourist spending can be harnessed through online travel platforms, and Pakistani tour operators are being encouraged to build an active presence on these apps.

China's Spring Festival is just around the corner. Most Chinese traveling at this time are heading for their home towns and a family reunion though, more are now heading towards tourist hotspots within and outside China. If Pakistan manages to woo even a fraction of these, it will be a game-changing revolution for its tourism industry.

Daniel Hyatt is a Pakistan-based freelance journalist and commentator on modern China.

Opinion articles reflect the views of their authors only, not necessarily those of China.org.cn.



http://www.china.org.cn/opinion/2019-01/31/content_74424298.htm

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

SSG Commando Muddassir Iqbal of Pakistan Army

“ Commando Muddassir Iqbal was part of the team who conducted Army Public School operation on 16 December 2014. In this video he reveals that he along with other commandos was ordered to kill the innocent children inside school, when asked why should they kill children after killing all the terrorist he was told that it would be a chance to defame Taliban and get nation on the side. He and all other commandos killed children and later Taliban was blamed.
Muddassir Iqbal has deserted the military and now he is  with mujahedeen somewhere in AF PAK border area”
For authenticity of  this tape journalists can easy reach to his home town to interview his family members or   ISPR as he reveals his army service number”
Asalam o Alaikum: My name is Muddassir Iqbal. My father’s name is Naimat Ali. I belong to Sialkot divison (Punjab province), my village is Shamsher Poor and district, tehsil and post office  Narowal. Unfortunately I was working in Pakistan army. I feel embarrassed to tell you …

The Rise of China-Europe Railways

https://www.csis.org/analysis/rise-china-europe-railways

The Rise of China-Europe RailwaysMarch 6, 2018The Dawn of a New Commercial Era?For over two millennia, technology and politics have shaped trade across the Eurasian supercontinent. The compass and domesticated camels helped the “silk routes” emerge between 200 and 400 CE, and peaceful interactions between the Han and Hellenic empires allowed overland trade to flourish. A major shift occurred in the late fifteenth century, when the invention of large ocean-going vessels and new navigation methods made maritime trade more competitive. Mercantilism and competition among Europe’s colonial powers helped pull commerce to the coastlines. Since then, commerce between Asia and Europe has traveled primarily by sea.1Against this historical backdrop, new railway services between China and Europe have emerged rapidly. Just 10 years ago, regular direct freight services from China to Europe did not exist.2 Today, they connect roughly 35 Chinese…

CPEC Jobs in Pakistan, salary details

JOBS...نوکریاں چائنہ کمپنی میںPlease help the deserving persons...Salary:Salary package in China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in these 300,000 jobs shall be on daily wages. The details of the daily wages are as follows;Welder: Rs. 1,700 dailyHeavy Duty Driver: Rs. 1,700 dailyMason: Rs. 1,500 dailyHelper: Rs. 850 dailyElectrician: Rs. 1,700 dailySurveyor: Rs. 2,500 dailySecurity Guard: Rs. 1,600 dailyBulldozer operator: Rs. 2,200 dailyConcrete mixer machine operator: Rs. 2,000 dailyRoller operator: Rs. 2,000 dailySteel fixer: Rs. 2,200 dailyIron Shuttering fixer: Rs. 1,800 dailyAccount clerk: Rs. 2,200 dailyCarpenter: Rs. 1,700 dailyLight duty driver: Rs. 1,700 dailyLabour: Rs. 900 dailyPara Engine mechanic: Rs. 1,700 dailyPipe fitter: Rs. 1,700 dailyStorekeeper: Rs. 1,700 dailyOffice boy: Rs. 1,200 dailyExcavator operator: Rs. 2,200 dailyShovel operator: Rs. 2,200 dailyComputer operator: Rs. 2,200 dailySecurity Supervisor: Rs. 2,200 dailyCook for Chinese food: Rs. 2,000 dailyCook…