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Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: A Tourist Haven with Record-Breaking Footfall

Tourist destinations in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have gained global fame, attracting a considerable number of tourists each year for leisure and sightseeing.
by Hina Gul - 11 Jan, 2024 1644
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Tourist destinations in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have gained global fame, attracting a considerable number of tourists each year for leisure and sightseeing.

Among the popular spots are Swat, Kumrat, Nathia Gali, Galyat, Naran, Kaghan, and Chitral. These locations offer both domestic and international tourists the chance to revel in snowfall during winter and pleasant weather in summer.

Besides general tourism, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa draws foreign tourists engaging in religious practices, primarily related to Buddhism. Notable sites include the Takht Bhai ruins in Mardan district, But Kara in Swat, and various others.

Tourism Figures for 2023

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Tourism Department reports that from January 1 to December 26, 2023, the province witnessed a staggering 169,884,496 tourists. Among them, 4,554 were foreigners. Galyat recorded the highest influx with over 6.3 million tourists, followed by Naran Kaghan with 580,000, and Malam Jabba with 3.5 million.

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Dir Upper and Dir Lower collectively hosted 1.38 million tourists. Lower Chitral saw 591,330 visitors, while Upper Chitral and Upper Dir had 38,771 and 417 tourists, respectively. Lower Chitral topped foreign tourist visits with 1,624, followed by Naran Kaghan (897), Galyat (237), Malam Jabba (588), and Chitral Upper (791).

Tourism Statistics for 2022

In the preceding year, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Department of Tourism reported the arrival of 54 foreign tourists in Upper Dir, 140 in Malam Jabba, 145 in Galyat, 801 in Upper Chitral, 1,616 in Lower Chitral, and 191 in Naran Kaghan. Domestic tourists numbered 88,596,636, and foreign tourists surpassed 2,000 during this period.

Tourist Footfall in 2021

From August to December 2021, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa welcomed 565 foreign tourists and 58,348 domestic tourists. Key attractions included Kumrat Valley (140,148), Malam Jabba (1,292,194), Galyat (2,600,000), Boni Mastooj (58,766), Kailash (185,692), and Naran Kaghan (1,515,485).

Initiatives by the Tourism Department

Saad bin Owais, the spokesperson for the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Tourism Department, outlined various measures taken to boost tourism. Camping pods have been established in locations like Gabin Jabba, Sulatanr, Broghil, and Shangla. Additionally, tourism police have been deployed, and small picnic points are being developed at dams within tourist spots.

In 2023, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Culture and Tourism Authority organized the traditional festival "Chamoos" in Chitral, attracting local and foreign tourists. The department facilitated a visit to Peshawar for Polish tour operators in October, showcasing the city's historical and tourist sites like Mahabat Khan Mosque, Chowk Yadgar, Ghanta Ghar, Sethi House, Heritage Trail, Gor Khatri Peshawar, Islamia College, and the renowned Truck Art locations to promote foreign tourism and enhance tourism activities in the province.