Many say TCKP gets ‘friendly’ media coverage but not working for tourism promotion in true sense
Pukhtun Nama Report
PESHAWAR: While the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has immense tourism potential, the mismanagement of Tourism Corporation authorities has bogged down this potential.
It may be mentioned here that the TCKP obliges journalists by taking them to tours of festivals and also to have ‘friendly’ media coverage only. On the ground, there is little improvement in tourism promotion in the province.
It is also a matter of concern that each time KP tourism authorities hold an event at any tourism location, there is no follow-up inquiry into what problems that particular area faces in terms of tourism promotion. At times, garbage is left at the site once the tourism event concludes.
Recently, snow festivals were organised in Chitral and Galiyat, but several residents of the areas said that the tourism events are just cosmetic measures.
“The tourism authorities of KP are just doing photography sessions and videos for coverage in the media, but actually there is no real step being taken for tourism. Roads in our area are still dilapidated, besides other issues,” said Abdullah, a resident of Chitral district where several tourism events are held from time to time each year.
Each time there is a tourism event or festival, the TCKP invites own hand-picked journalists for tours and festivals while ignoring many others who know about the tourism beat.
Sources told the Pukhtun Nama that the TCKP has hired a few journalists on monthly salaries and they keep on a “favourable” media coverage for the tourism department, and to ignore the steps that are needed for tourism promotion. For example, there are plenty of tourist destination in Lower Dir, including Laram Top and Asbanr valley but tourism but no facilities are available at such scenic locations.
Also, even in Peshawar, there is no recreation park where families can sit to enjoy weekends. The lone park nowadays is Garrison Park, where people cannot sit and enjoy due to lack of space while the Army Stadium has already been banned for public.
When contacted, the Tourism Corporation media manager Haseena was a bit answerless on how to promote tourism. “My responsibility is just to help with arranging a tourism event in a scenic area, but I don’t know what else we should do to promote tourism in those areas and I am not supposed to inquire about the area once our events conclude,” she said.
She also said that they can take any journalist who wishes to cover a tourism event, but added that some journalists were known to them since long time who often like to visit and cover tourism spots in their reports, this is why only they go with them.