The Kaghan Development Authority (KDA) has announced that a joint delegation from the European Union (EU) and the Austrian embassy in Islamabad has agreed to provide financial assistance for five major tourism projects in the picturesque Kaghan Valley, located in the Mansehra district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. The KDA Chairman, Aimal Zaman Khan, held a press conference on Friday to reveal the positive outcome of the meeting with the EU delegation.
During the meeting, the KDA officials highlighted the potential for the hospitality industry in the valley and put forward five projects that would boost tourism and uplift the local community’s living standards. The EU delegation expressed keen interest in the proposals and pledged their support to finance them.
Khan informed the media that the EU delegation showed particular interest in establishing a training institute for local hoteliers and human resources in the hospitality field. This institute would equip local residents with the necessary skills to provide quality services to the visitors, boosting the valley’s reputation as a must-visit tourist destination.
Furthermore, the EU delegation expressed interest in generating electricity for the business community of Naran by installing mega turbines at Kunhar River or local streams. This initiative would not only provide sustainable and clean energy to the community but also promote environmental conservation.
The delegation also showed a keen interest in establishing a skiing resort and installation of a cable car-cum-chairlift in Kaghan Valley. These projects would significantly enhance the tourism potential of the valley, attracting more visitors, and boosting the local economy.
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Additionally, KDA officials proposed linking the scenic Spat valley of Upper Kohistan with Kaghan valley through a road in Soach area. This proposal would promote inter-regional tourism and provide visitors with a new and exciting route to explore the natural beauty of the region.
The EU delegation’s commitment to providing financial assistance for these projects is a significant development for the Kaghan Valley’s tourism industry. With the EU’s support, the KDA will be able to realize their plans and execute projects that will benefit the local community and attract more visitors to the valley.
It is worth noting that Pakistan has so far reported three confirmed cases of monkeypox, a viral disease that can spread through close personal contact. Visitors from all over the world, including areas of central and west Africa, where the disease has re-emerged in recent years, visit Saudi Arabia for religious pilgrimage, and suspected cases of monkeypox in Pakistan are often linked to travel from Saudi Arabia. The provincial health department has conducted a refresher training course on monkeypox surveillance, response, and sampling techniques for rapid response teams at Jinnah International Airport to enhance their capabilities. It is crucial to ensure the safety and wellbeing of visitors and the local community while promoting tourism in the region.