KP government declares 3 tourist sites as ITZ to promote tourism

Peshawar – To promote tourism in the province, the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa authorized the declaration of three tourist sites as Integrated Tourism Zones (ITZ), including Ghanool (Mansehra), Mankyal (Swat) and Madakalasht (Lower Chitral).

This approval was granted at the first meeting of the Provincial Tourism Strategy Council held here on Tuesday under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mahmood Khan. The matter would be presented to the provincial cabinet for final approval.

Members of the provincial cabinet Taimur Jhagra, Ishtiaq Urmar, Chief Secretary Shehzad Bangash, Additional Chief Secretary Shahab Ali Shah, Chief Secretary of KP CM Amjad Ali Khan, administrative secretaries of relevant departments and other board members directors also attended the meeting.

Briefing on Integrated Tourism Zones, the forum was informed that Ghanol Integrated Tourism Zone will consist of 489 kanal area while Mankyal and Madaklasht Integrated Tourism Zone will include 450 kanal and 500 kanal of land respectively. It was further informed that Section 4 has been imposed on the lands identified for the newly approved Integrated Tourism Zones and that the land acquisition process has also been initiated.

Authorities said that a suitable site had also been identified for another integrated tourism area in Thandiani district in Abbottabad, adding that after paperwork, the site would also be declared an integrated tourism area. The meeting participants were informed that master plans for integrated tourism areas had been prepared and that in the next phase management plans would be prepared for these integrated tourism areas.

It was also revealed during the meeting that Integrated Tourism Zones will be showcased at Dubai Expo 2020 in order to attract foreign investment.

Addressing the participants, the Chief Minister instructed the districts concerned to ensure the preparation of the regulations for the said ITZs in the next two months and to submit them for approval.

He called on them to ensure the protection of the natural environment, including forests and rivers, adding that the ITZ management plan be completed as soon as possible. He said the government is working under an integrated strategy to promote tourism as an industry in the province, which will stabilize the local economy and provide employment opportunities for the population.

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