ISLAMABAD : Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) organized an Eco-Tourism Walk at F-9 Park, Islamabad on Friday. Approximately 250 students from selected schools and colleges and families from Rawalpindi / Islamabad participated in the event.
Mir Shahjahan Khetran, Managing Director PTDC was Chief Guest on the occasion. The walk was started from Khyber Gate (Gate No. 3) and ended at Shalimar Gate of the Park.
While speaking on the occasion, Mir Shahjahan Khetran said that PTDC has organized this walk to create awareness among our youth about importance of natural environment and eco tourism.
PTDC in collaboration with defunct Ministry of Tourism and NGOs initiated a number of Eco-Tourism projects in different areas that include Khunjerab, Chitral, Chouperson Valley, Dir Kohistan, Hussaini (KKH), Gilgit, and Shimshal valley. To create awareness among general public, brochures / pamphlets are published and with the help of local community, these projects are implemented successfully in order to develop this type of tourism. In addition to these areas, places around Islamabad like Margalla National Park, Shakarparian, Lake View Park, Shahdara etc. are also the sites for preservation of flora and fauna.
He said that in addition to these activities, PTDC in collaboration with Alpine Club, Adventure Foundation and Sustainable Tourism Foundation organizes different programmes for students in Kashmir, Kaghan Valley and Gilgit Baltistan to create awareness about preservation of environment. Students are trained about cleaning of mountain, safety of flora and fauna in these areas. He said that to promote environmental and eco tourism, PTDC has setup its tourist facilities at Khaplu, Satpara Lake, Rama Lake, Gupis, Phandar, Mastuj, Booni and Ayubia.
He appealed the Prime Minister to retain PTDC under federation in order to develop and promote tourism in the country and abroad. He said that I assure that with the financial support of the government for one whole year, PTDC will stand up on its feet again and will start its efforts with full acceleration to promote and develop tourism in the country and abroad.
Ecotourism is a form of tourism that involves traveling to tranquil and unpolluted natural areas. According to the definition and principles of ecotourism established by The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) in 1990, ecotourism is “Responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people.
Participants from Muhammad Ali Jinnah University, Ayesha Lasani School, Cadet College Kallar Kahar, Comsats Institute, KS Institute, and PCCI attend the walk. At the endpoint of the walk, certificate and shields were distributed among the students and participating schools.