Media and Tourism ~ a reflection – by Mahhad Nayyer

Tourism and traveling is big business in today’s world. People travel and see fascinating things. Traveling is a way to relax. People take pictures to freeze their memories. I also travel a lot after coming to America, but my Pakistani soul is desperate to see anything related to my beloved country.

In past 6 months, I have visited several big book stores and libraries. I always go into Travelling and Tourism section and try to find a book on travelling and touring Pakistani. I haven’t found a single book yet. Why? Does this mean that we have a bland country? Obviously NO. Our country is rich in natural beauty. From northern mountains to valleys to plains to deserts and sea shores, we have worth seeing places. We have different regional rich cultures and when they are blended together, they give rise to a rich Pakistani culture which doesn’t consist of just a black burqas and bearded men~ that’s what people think here.

I have seen books for travelling and tourism on almost every country. There are books about India, Iran, Jordan, Egypt, Congo, Jamaica, Haiti, Honduras, Tunisia, etc. My point is not to disparage the travelling in such countries, but to emphasize the need for production and publication of quality books about travelling Pakistan and spreading them all around.

We also have to revolutionize the media in this aspect. They broadcast everything negative but never promote tourism and positive aspects. People not living in Pakistan only get what they see in T.V, or read in magazines and journals. Why will International media tell the world about Pakistan as a tourist destination when our own media is not telling them anything? Charity always begins at home.

All of us should start individual and collective efforts in promoting tourism to Pakistan. Things are not that bad as they are portrayed. We should start working on this issue before it’s too late. Even if an ordinary foreigner goes to a book store and picks a book about Pakistani Travel, just flips few pages and see some pictures of worth seeing places, it will have an effect.

I request all of you to raise this issue to concerned authorities, especially to the Ministry of Tourism- Government of Pakistan to take practical steps in this regard.

If not now, then when???

Beautiful Deosai Plateau