Travel and Tourism Industry Growth in Pakistan

Pakistan's travel and tourism industry is booming with significant improvement in security situation. In 2015, it contributed 7% of Pakistan's GDP.  It includes foreign and domestic travel and tourism spending or employment in the equivalent economy-wide concept in the published national income accounts or labour market statistics.

There are are multiple indicators showing this industry will contribute more this year. Growth in air travel and hotel occupancy are among the top indicators of travel and travel and tourism industry growth.

Pakistan Hotel Occupancy Source: Express Tribune

Hotel Occupancy:

“The rate of hotel occupancy has surged to 80% across the country compared to 35% before the current calendar year started,” said Beach Luxury Hotel Director Business Development Rehan Wahid, according to report in the Express Tribune newspaper. “Hotels in Islamabad and Lahore are fully booked most of the days. However, this is yet to happen in Karachi,” he said.

Thanks to the ramp-up of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor  (CPEC) related projects, Gwadar is leading the way for new hotel construction with permits issued for least 5 new 5-star hotels so far in the new port city.   These include a 250-room hotel apartment project of the management of Pearl Continental Hotels and another one of the Bahria Group. Gwadar Airport growth of 73% was the fastest of all airports in Pakistan.

Air Travel: 

Pakistan air travel market is among the fastest growing in the world.  IATA (International Air Transport Association) forecasts Pakistan domestic air travel will grow at least 9.5% per year, more than 2X faster than the world average annual growth rate of 4.1% over the next 20 years. The Indian and Brazilian domestic markets will grow at 6.9% and 5.4% respectively.

Pakistan saw 23% growth in airline passengers in 2015, according to Anna Aero publication. Several new airports began operations or expanded and each saw double digit growth in passengers. However,  Gwadar Airport growth of 73% was the fastest of all airports in Pakistan.

The top 12 airports all saw large double digit increases. Multan  grew 64%, Quetta 62% and Faisalabad +61% all climbing one place as a result of all of them seeing a growth of over 60%. Turbat Airport in Balochistan is the newest airport to reach the top 12 in terms of traffic.

Security Situation: 

The key reason for travel and tourism boom is significant improvement in the security situation since the launch of Pakistan Army anti-terror campaign called Zarb-e-Azb. Civilian deaths have been cut from 2,378 in 2011 to 412 this year until August 14, 2016. Total number of deaths, including civilians and security personnel, have been reduced from 11,704 in 2009 to 1232 so far in 2016, according to South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP.org)
Terrorism-Related Deaths in Pakistan Source: South Asia Terrorism Portal


Summary:

Hotel occupancy rates have risen from just 35% in 2015 to 80% this year. Air travel is growing rapidly with IATA forecasting Pakistan to be among the world's fastest growing air travel markets. All airports in the country, including several new ones, are seeing double digit increases in the number of passengers flying in and out of them. Improved security since the start of Operation Zarb e Azb and political stability are underpinning growing confidence in Pakistan.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Pakistan Sees Robust Growth in Consumption of Energy, Cement and Steel

Politcal Stability Returns to Pakistan

Auto and Cement Demand Growth in Pakistan

Pakistan's Red Hot Air Travel Market

China-Pakistan Economic Corridor FDI

Mobile Broadband Subscriptions and Smartphone Sales



Comments

Riaz Haq said…
Li Ka-Shing’s 2nd #Pakistan Container Terminal to Start Operations at #Karachi Port Soon http://bloom.bg/2bcCjyH via @markets

Billionaire Li Ka-shing’s Hutchison Port Holdings Ltd. is set to start its second Pakistan terminal after a five-year delay, giving mega vessels access to the coastal city of Karachi for the first time.
Hutchison’s terminal operations in South Asia’s second-largest economy will commence before the end of this year, as agreed with the Karachi Port Trust, the company said in an e-mailed reply to questions on Monday.
Li’s company, a unit of his Hong Kong-based flagship CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd., is tapping into expanding growth in Pakistan as China plans investments valued at $46 billion in power plants and road projects. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s government is targeting an annual growth rate of 7 percent next year as the country is set to complete an International Monetary Fund loan program next month.
“Pakistan has been lagging behind big time and now we are moving into the future with this terminal being one of the deepest in the region,” Abid Butt, chief executive officer of Karachi-based freight company e2e Supply Chain Management Ltd., said by phone. “The port can become a transshipment location given India is congested and located better than Dubai’s Jabel Ali.”
Hutchison Port shares gained 1.2 percent to 0.440 Singapore dollars as of 9:01 a.m. in Singapore trading. The stock was down 18 percent this year as of the close Monday.
Karachi Delays
More than half of the nation’s total trade is done through transshipment, said Butt. However, roads around the port in Pakistan’s biggest city will need to be expanded to accommodate cargo from the world’s largest ships, he said.
South Asia Pakistan Terminals Ltd. will handle as much as 1.7 million twenty-foot equivalent units a year and increase the nation’s container handling capacity by more than half, according to a person familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified as the plans are private.
Hutchison’s port will begin operations in the last week of October and will aim to handle 250,000 twenty-foot equivalent units in the first year of operations and increase that to more than 2 million in five years, the person said.
The commercial operations of the terminal with a depth of 16 meters was initially expected to start in 2011, four years after the agreement. Bureaucratic wrangling and a slowdown in road construction and dredging delayed the port operator’s plans, the person said. Some road works and dredging are still not complete, the person said.
‘Leftover Dredging’
“Most of the work is done and the leftover dredging and road work will be complete before the launch,” said Shafiq Faridi, spokesman for the Karachi Port Trust said by phone.
Pakistan handles about 2.5 million twenty-foot equivalent, including Hutchison’s first venture Karachi International Container Terminal that started in 1998.

Riaz Haq said…
How technology killed #Pakistan’s historic red light district of Heera Mandi in #Lahore

http://gulfnews.com/news/asia/pakistan/how-technology-killed-pakistan-s-historic-red-light-district-1.1883487

Pakistan’s oldest red light district was for centuries a hub of traditional erotic dancers, musicians and prostitutes - Pigalle with a Mughal twist, deep in the heart of vibrant Lahore.
But as an e-commerce boom revolutionises how Pakistanis conduct the world’s oldest profession, locals say the historic Heera Mandi district is under threat.
Balconies where beautiful women once stood are now empty, while rust eats away at the locked doors of vacant rooms. The only stubborn hold-outs are shops selling instruments that once facilitated the aperitifs of music and dance.
Men now can book a rendezvous online through escort websites or even directly with women over social media, instead of searching out streetside solicitation.
With location rendered meaningless, sex workers like Reema Kanwal - who says the business “runs in my blood” - have abandoned Heera Mandi.

The district, whose name translates as “Diamond Market”, is close to the echoing, centuries-old Badshahi Mosque.
During the Mughal era, the empire that ruled most of India and Pakistan in the 15th and 16th centuries, Heera Mandi was a centre for mujra, traditional singing and dancing performed for the elites.
The wealthy even sent their sons to the salons of tawaifs, high-class courtesans that have been likened to Japanese geishas, to study etiquette.
Later, when the British came, distinctions between courtesan or mujra dancer and prostitute were blurred.
Dance and sex became intertwined, and Heera Mandi began its long slide into sordidness - but even so, Reema remembers “glorious” days.
Reema’s mother and grandmother were also prostitutes, making her part of Heera Mandi’s generations of women who danced and pleased men in the market.
“People used to respect the prostitutes of Heera Mandi, we were called artists,” she says - but all has changed over the last decade. “Now we don’t have any honour.”
She blames the loss on a rush of girls without her family background taking up the profession who have not been taught “how to treat people” the way she has.
Diamonds in the rough
Such girls, she says, need nothing to market themselves but a mobile phone, with which they can advertise on Facebook or Locanto, some offering services over Skype for as little as 300 rupees ($3).
Dozens of escort services with online bookings claim to serve thousands of clients in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad.
In a deeply conservative Muslim country where prostitution is banned and sex outside marriage is criminalised, one website says it caters to roughly 50,000 customers.
With the old traditions falling by the wayside, girls also no longer need an entourage of musicians and teachers, say the owners of the music shops that are the final remnants of old Heera Mandi.
The intricate mujra dancing that was such a foundation of the red light district required years of teaching and live musicians. Now girls learn easy but provocative dance moves via YouTube.
“They take a USB or sometimes they don’t even need that, they have songs in their cellphones, they plug a cable and play the music,” laments Soan Ali, one of the music shop owners.
Like Reema, Ali’s family has also been in Heera Mandi for generations, and he proudly recalled his father’s “hospitality” as he attempted to lure clients for his mother.
Riaz Haq said…
Over 1 million visitors in Pakistan's Northern Areas this year.

More than one million domestic as well as foreign tourists visited Northern Areas during the current season to enjoy adventure tourism.

The ratio of tourists increased by 25 percent as compared to last year due to the measures taken by the government for improved law and order situation in those areas," said Mukhtar Ali, Manager

Policy and Promotion of Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC).

He said that Pakistan has a great potential for adventure toursism, adding that the country has the world highest mountains in knot of four great mountain ranges, the Hindu Kush, Pamir, Karakoram and the Himalayas.

He said that the country has the distinction of having five peaks above 8,000 meters each including the second loftiest mountain of K-2.

He said that the country also has the largest glaciers on the globe outside the polar region, adding that these mountains and glaciers offer a tremndous attraction for adventurers.

He said that in current season, number of domestic tourists as well as increased, adding that PTDC is planning to further streamline facilities for tourists in various destinations.

Mukhtar Ahmed said that PTDC is in consultations with provinces for devising joint strategy for improving tourism sector.

He said that about one million tourists visited the northern areas during this summer season.

He said it is a good sign that the people are visiting tourists points without security especially Naran, Ayubia, Swat, Gilgit and Skardu.

Replying to a question, he said PTDC has a chain of 39 motels and three restaurants, which are providing best facilities to the tourists.

He said,"We are providing international level boarding and lodging facilities to the visitors."

http://www.brecorder.com/pakistan/general-news/312565-tourists-ratio-increases-by-25-percent-during-current-season-ptdc.html
Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan’s new private air carrier Serene Air to start flying domestic routes by year-end

http://tribune.com.pk/story/1201285/domestic-operations-new-air-carrier-start-flying-year-end/

Serene Air has been granted a licence by the air travel authority to establish a private airline in Pakistan, said sources in the aviation industry.

The airline would begin operations on domestic routes by November or December 2016, as per its plan submitted to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), stated a source, who remained involved in the developments.

PIA to lease 8 planes to upgrade fleet

“The authority granted Serene Air a licence in March 2016 to establish the airline with headquarters in Pakistan, however, the company has not yet been granted the Air Operator Certificate that will allow it to fly,” he said.

“The grant of the certificate is linked with the acquisition of aircraft mentioned in the business plan.”

He said airline officials were expected to fly to the United States to acquire five Boeing 737-800s, which would be bought with the approval of CAA officials. “The 737-800 is the latest aircraft of Boeing company.”

As per rules, the company is required to have at least three aircraft to establish an airline.

Serene Air will fly on almost all domestic routes, including Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar, Quetta and Multan. CAA rules say the airline can apply for an international licence if it successfully operates on domestic routes for over a year.

At present, there are three airlines that are already flying on domestic routes, of which one is state-owned – Pakistan International Airlines (PIA). The remaining two – Airblue and Shaheen Air – belong to the private sector.

Passengers ‘damage’ PIA Premier aircraft

Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry Standing Committee on Aviation Chairman Muhammad Yahya Polani said Pakistan’s aviation industry had a huge potential.

“Pakistan should launch more airlines on domestic routes as the availability of more air carriers will spark true competition and benefit passengers with lower fares and improved service quality,” he said.

“All the three airlines operating on the domestic routes have less than 100 aircraft combined, which are below the required number to serve the nation with an estimated population of 220 million,” said Polani.

“The Turkish Airline has more than 300 aircraft for a population of 75 million. It covers over 1,500 destinations every day and what’s more is that its private sector airlines have even greater number of aircraft.”

Similar is the case with the United States’ United Airlines. It has over 1,000 aircraft that fly to 6,700 destinations every day while the United Arab Emirates airline flies to over 1,300 destinations every day and has a very limited population.
Riaz Haq said…
#Chinese consortium to launch new #airline in #Pakistan. #China #FDI #CPEC #PIA

http://nation.com.pk/national/05-Nov-2016/chinese-consortium-to-launch-new-airline-in-pakistan

Praising the country’s economy as capable of absorbing and capitalising the direct foreign investment, the Chinese investors have expressed their interest in launching a new airline in Pakistan for which they would be discussing modalities with the Government of Pakistan.

-----

The delegation apprised the Prime Minister that they are bringing $3 billion Investment Fund to Pakistan because of the vision of the Prime Minister that focus on infrastructure development and energy sectors.

The Chinese delegation also expressed its intent to explore possibility of starting a new airline in Pakistan after the permission from the Government of Pakistan. The Chinese side said that it is actively pursuing its investments in infrastructure, power, aviation and tourism sectors of Pakistan.

“We fully appreciate the vision of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif which enunciates that economic prosperity is an offshoot of infrastructure connectivity and self-sufficiency in the energy sector,” the members of the delegation stated.
Riaz Haq said…
#Hyatt Announces Plans for 4 New Hotels in #Pakistan. #CPEC #Tourism #Karachi #Lahore #Islamabad #Rawalpindi
http://www.newschannel10.com/story/33688357/hyatt-announces-entry-into-pakistan-with-plans-for-four-hyatt-branded-hotels

Expansion of Grand Hyatt and Hyatt Regency brands in Pakistan in co-operation with Bahria Town key to enhancing worldwide customer preference

CHICAGO --(BUSINESS WIRE)
Hyatt Hotels Corporation (NYSE: H) announced today plans to expand its Grand Hyatt and Hyatt Regency brands in Pakistan with the signing of management agreements by a Hyatt affiliate for four Hyatt-branded hotels: Grand Hyatt Islamabad, Hyatt Regency Karachi, Hyatt Regency Lahore, and Hyatt Regency Rawalpindi. Bahria Town, one of the largest private developers in Asia, will own the four Hyatt-branded hotels.

“We look forward to collaborating with the Bahria team to open the first Grand Hyatt and Hyatt Regency hotels in Pakistan,” said Peter Norman, senior vice president, acquisitions and development – Europe, Africa, and Middle East (EAME) and Southwest Asia for Hyatt. “Following last year’s announcement for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), we are optimistic about the growth of Hyatt’s brands in Pakistan. The opening of these hotels will serve as a testament to the global appeal of the Grand Hyatt and Hyatt Regency brands as they continue to expand worldwide and offer more choices to our guests.”

With the announcement a Grand Hyatt and three Hyatt Regency hotels in Pakistan, Hyatt is taking another step in growing its brand footprint in the Middle East and Southwest Asia. The EAME/Southwest Asia region is a significant growth opportunity for Hyatt as the segment accounts for approximately 25 percent of the company’s executed contract rooms base. As of December 31, 2015, the Company had approximately 60 Hyatt-branded hotels under development in EAME/Southwest Asia.

Grand Hyatt Islamabad will be meticulously designed to exemplify the Grand Hyatt brand’s signature level of grandeur with an abundance of options for creating spectacular experiences. Expected to open in 2023, the hotel will offer 400 guestrooms, seven food and beverage outlets, two ballrooms, seven meeting rooms, a spa, fitness facilities, private club, and kids club. Additionally, the hotel will be the first internationally-branded golf resort in Pakistan and will have a state-of-the-art golf club house. The hotel and golf club will be easily accessible from the Murree-Islamabad Expressway, which connects directly to Islamabad's city center and diplomatic area 30 minutes away.

Hyatt Regency Karachi will offer a range of amenities, as well as spaces that will make the hotel a go-to gathering place for any occasion. The hotel will feature approximately 200 guestrooms, a lobby lounge, three-meal restaurant, and more than 17,000 square feet (1,600 square meters) of flexible meeting and event space. The hotel is expected to open in 2023.

Hyatt Regency Lahore will deliver on the modern expectations of today’s travelers and meeting planners.The hotel will feature authentic food and beverage offerings that will build off the Hyatt Regency brand’s history of culinary excellence. The hotel will serve as the perfect venue for a variety of events such as weddings, social banquets, exhibitions, meetings, and conferences. Additionally, the hotel will feature a private club offering food and beverage outlets, tennis courts and banquet facilities, among other amenities. The hotel is expected to open in 2021.

Hyatt Regency Rawalpindi will be designed to connect today’s travelers to who and what matters most to them. The 165-room hotel will offer multiple food and beverage outlets and more than 11,000 square feet (1,100 square meters) of flexible meeting and event space. The hotel is expected to open in 2022.
Riaz Haq said…
New Islamabad Airport will further promote the progressive image of Pakistan: PM

http://tribune.com.pk/story/1224889/briefed-pm-reviews-progress-projects/


ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday said that the new Islamabad Airport will be an icon of excellence and will further promote the progressive image of Pakistan.

The prime minister expressed these views while chairing a meeting on Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and aviation affairs at the PM House.

He reviewed the progress on the new airport and was apprised that all construction packages of the new airport are on track. He directed to complete the link road project from Rawalpindi to New Islamabad Airport by March 2017.

New Islamabad airport gets another deadline

The National Highway Authority was also directed to monitor the quality of work on the link road project according to the required standards. The overall performance of the national carrier during the last six months was also reviewed, while the PIA chairman gave a presentation to participants of the meeting and informed that significant increase in revenue has been registered.

Riaz Haq said…
RENOWNED NAME IN HOTEL INDUSTRY OPENS NEW LOCATION IN DEFENCE, KARACHI
http://www.brecorder.com/pakistan/industries-a-sectors/327559-renowned-name-in-hotel-industry-opens-new-location-in-defence-karachi.html

A renowned name in the hotel industry- the Ramada chain, opened their new location in Defence, Karachi.

The chain has over 800 hotels across 63 countries, says a statement here on Friday.

It said that at a ceremony held recently at the hotel itself, Yasin H. Kassam C.E.O and Managing Director of Pakistan Beverage Ltd. and Iftikhar Qureshi, CEO of Ramada Creek Hotel, signed an agreement for the supply of carbonated and non-carbonated beverages to the guests of the hotel.

Speaking at the occasion Ramada Creek Hotel CEO, Iftikhar Qureshi commented: `It is United International Group's vision to redefine hospitality in Pakistan and to provide travelers and guests with the best options available to make their stay comfortable and relaxing which is why signing with Pakistan Beverage Ltd. was the next natural step'.

Qureshi also expressed interest in opening up more 5 star hotels in the country to truly contribute towards the economy.
Riaz Haq said…
PAKISTAN’S TOURISM INDUSTRY GRADUALLY RECOVERING
http://www.brecorder.com/pakistan/industries-a-sectors/328271-pakistans-tourism-industry-gradually-recovering.html

With 2016 already a record year for the tourism sector in Pakistan at the local level, tourism was gradually recovering from the dark era of post September 11, 2001.

The country hopes to once again attract international tourists who had deserted it for the past 15 years, according to an articled published in "Asialyst" a Paris-based Website.

As Pakistan was one of the countries most affected by terrorism, since last year foreign travellers have been returning little by little.

In Karimabad, a small village overlooking the Hunza Valley in the Gilgit-Baltistan province of northern Pakistan, Lal Hussain, 65, looked out at the view of the river and the snow-capped peaks of the Karakoram.

It was the season when the apricot trees were in bloom and the water from the melting of the glaciers irrigated the valley.

With his son and nephews, Lal Hussain runs the Hunza Inn, one of the oldest hostels in Karimabad, established in 1980. "It's not like before," he sighed.

In the past fifteen years, Lal Hussain has lost 80% of his turnover. "Because of the foreign media, tourists have a biased image of Pakistan and are afraid to visit the region," he said.

Seated around the large common table of the Hunza Inn, however, were some Chinese tourists who had ventured into the Pakistani mountains, and Fabrizio, an Italian from Rome.

After travelling extensively in India, Fabrizio was discovering the country for the first time. "It's true that my family was afraid when I told them I was leaving for Pakistan," he said. "But in reality, we don't feel any danger here at all, there is no problem."

He said he intended to hike, relax and visit the region.

Fabrizio was the only European in the village.

Twenty years ago, Karimabad was the gateway for all foreign backpackers and trekkers, said Lal Hussain. "In summer, the high season, we even had to refuse people," he added.

Gilgit-Baltistan region is a paradise for mountaineers.

Located at the junction of the Hindu Kush and Karakoram ranges, between India, China and Afghanistan, it is home to five out of fourteen mountain peaks in the world that are over 8,000 metres high, including the mythical K2.

The hippie trail and the golden age of tourism in Pakistan Lal Hussain's story is one of a flourishing industry that collapsed. Now, it is gradually reviving.

In 2015, Pakistan attracted 5,634 foreign tourists. According to the biennial report of the World Economic Forum, Pakistan ranks 125th in the world in terms of foreign tourists.

From Sindh, with its sandy beaches, to Punjab and its palaces, from the old city of Lahore to the heights of the Himalayas, not to mention the Cholistan desert, the "Country of the Pure" possesses all the trump cards it needs to attract travellers from all over the world, the articled noted.
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan can become a well known destination for leisure tourism
http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2016/11/13/city/pakistan-can-become-a-well-known-destination-for-leisure-tourism/

Clifton Beach is the most popular beach among domestic tourists and most of the locals are not even aware of any beach other than Clifton beach.

Talking to APP, Managing Director Abdul Ghafoor said Clifton Beach is very close to Karachi city and famous for camel and buggy ridings and for family picnics, yet there were other beautiful beaches in the country that tourists ought to know of.

Hawke’s Bay is less crowded with clearer water –leisure seekers and holiday makers may rent a hut to spend a weekend there.

Sandspit Beach is good for swimming and sun bathing -the water there flows through an unusual rocky formation.

French Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches around Karachi -with clearer water and fresh air- is a rocky beach, he said.

Paradise Point beach is good for family picnics and camel or horse riding – there is a natural rock formation that looks like a carved archway, which is an amazing point to enjoy the sea view.

Devil’s Point beach is a good point to have some silent and peaceful time away from the city hustle and bustle.

Kund Malir Beach, a desert beach is a nice drive on Coastal Highway to Balochistan – the area belongs to Hingol Park, and is situated just 145 km from zero point.

Gadani Beach is one of the beautiful beaches of Pakistan it is commonly known a harbor for ship breaking.

Gwadar Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches of Balochistan with most clearer and in emerald color waters located in Arabian Sea he said.

Pasni Beach is commonly famous for its fishing harbor – one can have a good camping experience there.

West Bay Beach is located in Gwadar – the beach is going to be developed for future leisure tourism, added Abdul Ghafoor.
Riaz Haq said…
#CPEC #Fiberinternet Cable Connecting #Pakistan & #China Will Be Completed In 2017. #fiber http://pakchinanews.pk/cpec-fiber-optic-connecting-pakistan-china-will-be-completed-in-2017/ …

The project designed to connect Pakistan with China via high speed fiber optic cable is anticipated to be finalized by next year. It will complete one year ahead of the actual time.

The first part of $44 million project started this year under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Project. Work on eight divisions of 100-125 kilometers length has already started. By engaging special tools, human resource and services the venture is expected to be completed by next year.

While talking to The Nation, Director Pakistan-China Optical Fiber Cable project Colonel Waseem Ahmed, revealed that 820 kilometer fiber optic cable will be placed from Khunjerab to Rawalpindi. And in second phase the cable will be laid from Rawalpindi to Gwadar and Karachi.

Special Communications Organization (SCO) an affiliated department of Pakistan Army was given the job to offer telecom services in the mountainous area after T&T botched to provide telecom facilities in hard geographic localities of AJK and GB. In fiber optic project also the organization will have to contest against life-threatening weather and other tasks.

As per the project cable will be put down from hilly areas of Khunjerab to Karimabad, Naran, Masnsehra, Abbottabad, Taxila, and Rawalpindi, one of the hard lands of the country.

Ahmed further added that weather, physical conditions and extreme low temperatures are the major obstacles of the first phase of the project. He said that due to extreme weather at Babusar top and some areas in Chillas and Sost, his organization has employed specified tools.

Once finished, this back-haul fiber optic cable will offer Pakistan with a direct telecom access to China, Central Asian States and from there to Europe and to and from the United States.

At present, Pakistan is connected with the world via four undersea fiber optic cables, whereas other five are in progress and will be working in the upcoming years.

Riaz Haq said…
World's Biggest Long-Haul Carrier #Emirates Airline started with $10 million in seed capital and a couple of jets leased from #Pakistan #PIA in 1984.
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2017-01-05/is-emirates-airline-running-out-of-sky


In 1984, Dubai was a backwater, one of the seven city-states that made up the fledgling United Arab Emirates, when its ruler, Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed al-Maktoum, and his son Mohammed decided to start an airline. With $10 million in seed capital and a couple of jets leased from Pakistan, Emirates was created a year later under the leadership of a pair of British expats, Maurice Flanagan and Tim Clark, initially serving regional destinations before making its first flights to London in 1987.


The airline, which is based in Dubai and owned by its government, has become the world’s largest long-haul carrier by never relaxing its grip—on employees, on airplane manufacturers, or on its own ambitions. Emirates recently configured a plane to seat 615 passengers, a record, and flies the world’s most epic nonstop route, an 8,824-mile arc from Dubai to Auckland. Emirates is essentially the only buyer of the largest commercial airliner, the Airbus A380, which it gilds with stand-up cocktail bars and in-flight showers. For every flight departing Dubai, as cabin crew head to their airplanes, the last room they traverse is a hall with mirrors on one side and windows to the tarmac on the other. The space allows workers to inspect themselves for perfection against a backdrop of government-owned taxiways thick with Emirates jets. That’s the airline, in one image: glamour and ambition in a framework of absolute control.

Since 1985, Emirates has grown from a two-plane operation at a desert airstrip into a force whose every movement rumbles through global aviation. The airline’s growth is inseparable from that of Dubai, with both straining the laws of financial and physical gravity. The company’s chairman is Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the uncle of Dubai’s absolute monarch. He also runs the airport authority, the aviation regulator, and the city’s largest bank, should Emirates ever need a loan. Out in the desert, a half-hour drive from the coast’s skyscrapers and malls, the government is building a $32 billion, five-runway megahub precisely to Emirates’ specifications. Its ambitions are consonant with its name: Dubai World Central. The project will have a capacity of 220 million passengers per year, four times the number that New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport serves today. Two-thirds of humanity lives within the radius of an eight-hour flight. Among industry veterans, the airline’s rise inspires a respectful awe. “Emirates is unprecedented,” says Tony Tyler, a former chief executive officer of Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific. “There’s never been anything as huge.”

Yet as Emirates dictates new standards of technology, luxury, and range, it’s finding that more and more is beyond its mastery. Conceived as a titanic bet on the growth of what development economists call the Global South—the Middle East, Africa, South Asia, and Latin America—the airline is at risk if those emerging markets don’t, in fact, emerge. Emirates in May reported its first-ever annual revenue decline and is cutting some of its plans for growth amid slackening demand from sub-Saharan Africa, Turkey, and Brazil. The slump has industry analysts wondering how Emirates will fill the staggering number of planes it has on order. The company has agreed to buy 50 A380s and 174 Boeing 777s, adding to the 92 and 148, respectively, it currently flies. By comparison, British Airways operates 12 A380s, and American Airlines, Delta, and United have zero.
Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan to launch new private #airline #SereneAir with 125 weekly flights to 7 Pakistani cities http://www.ch-aviation.com/portal/news/52352-serene-air-to-launch-with-flights-to-seven-pakistani-cities … via @chaviation

Serene Air (SEP, Islamabad) will initially serve the domestic Pakistani market before venturing abroad. A Radixx International press release confirming Serene Air's choice of IT systems said the start-up would serve Lahore Int'l, Islamabad, Karachi Int'l, Faisalabad, Quetta, Peshawar, and Skardu with approximately 125 weekly flights initially.

Serene Air will launch with a trio of B737-800s but additional aircraft will provide for its expansion both domestically and, eventually, internationally. Once it has completed its certification, expected during the first half of this year, Serene Air will compete with the likes of AirBlue (PA, Karachi Int'l), PIA - Pakistan International Airlines (PK, Karachi Int'l), and Shaheen Air International (NL, Karachi Int'l).
Riaz Haq said…
New #Islamabad international #airport to be ready for operation by July 2017. #Pakistan http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2017/01/31/new-islamabad-airport-to-be-ready-for-operation-by-july/ … via @epakistantoday

The New Islamabad Airport in Islamabad will be ready for operations by late July.

Around 95pc work on the New, Islamabad International Airport has been completed and the remaining would be done by March 2017.

The facility will then be inaugurated by the prime minister on August 14.

During a high-level meeting to review progress on the new Islamabad Airport and its allied infrastructure at the PM House in Islamabad with officials of the Aviation Division, National Highway Authority (NHA), Islamabad Mayor, and other officials, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif stated that infrastructure projects were the backbone of our economy and essential for the public.

The premier was informed that the new airport would have a capacity to handle 4,500 passengers at a time with 15 parking bays and terminal gates. Moreover, the airport would be able to accommodate two A-380 aircraft would be able to dock simultaneously. Further, the new airport would have state-of-the-art facilities such as cargo handling, safety and security, passenger facilitation and parking services.

With regards to allied infrastructure for the new airport, the NHA chairman said that the facility would be serviced through two main access road leading off from the M-1 and M-2 motorways. It would also have a road leading from the main GT Road (N-5).

Moreover, the airport can also be accessed through the Islamabad Metro from the Golra Mor. The PM will also inaugurate the new metro link along with the airport on August 14. Nawaz directed that no compromise should be made on the quality of work on the airport, access roads or the Metro Bus link. The prime minister was further informed that work on the new terminal at the Allama Iqbal International Airport in Lahore is expected to commence in March 2017.
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan air travel data for 2014-15 according to Civil Aviation Authority:


International Passengers 11,695,832

Domestic Passengers: 6,339,888

Total: 18 million


Air Cargo:

International: 350,000 tons

Domestic: 38,663 tons

Total Cargo: 388,000 tons

http://www.caapakistan.com.pk/upload/AT/stats/2014%20-%202015-APT.pdf
Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan's private airline #ShaheenAir adds another Airbus A319, increasing its fleet size to 25 aircrafts

http://www.dawn.com/news/1316336

Shaheen Air International (SAI) announced on Wednesday that the airline has inducted another Airbus A319 into its fleet.

The airline is also slated to receive five more aircraft of the similar model. Earlier, there was only one A319 Airbus in the fleet of the airline.

"With 24 planes under its auspices, Shaheen Air is brimming with excitement upon receiving their 25th aircraft," said a statement.

The new aircraft comes wrapped in a new livery that builds on the revamped brand identity and philosophy of Shaheen, said the release.

The Airbus A319 has been custom-fitted with thin and linear seats and it can accommodate around 150 passengers in its all-economy segment.

Last month, the company had re-branded itself by launching a new logo.
Riaz Haq said…
#Saudi Airlines to start direct flight from #Jeddah to #Multan in #Pakistan

http://www.arabnews.com/node/1077306/corporate-news

Saudi Arabian Airlines is set to launch its first direct flight from Jeddah to the Pakistani city of Multan from Saturday, April 1. Eight weekly round-trip flights have been scheduled.
Saudi Arabian Airlines spokesman Abdulrahman Al-Taiyeb said it is part of the company’s plan to expand its international destination network based on operational and marketing studies, and on the optimal use of new airplanes which are joining the Saudi Airlines fleet regularly.
The carrier is continuously developing its international operational plan with the aim of increasing its share in the international flight sector, and achieving new records in carrying pilgrims.
The company has finalized the creation of its office at the new destination. The first flight SV800 will take off at 02:50 from Jeddah and arrive at Multan Airport 09:30 Pakistan time.
The arrival of the flight will be celebrated in Multan. Top executives from the airline’s offices in Pakistan and officials from the airport and Multan’s Civil Aviation Authority will take part in the ceremony.
The first flight to depart from Multan International Airport SV801 will take off on the same day at 11:30 and will arrive at King Abdul Aziz International Airport at 14:30 Saudi time.
Flights to Multan — the airline’s fifth direct-flight destination in Pakistan after Peshawar, Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad — will be on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday.
Aircraft to be used are B777-300ER, which have the capacity of 30 and 383 business and economy class seats, respectively.
Riaz Haq said…
Upsurge in the influx of tourists
The Pakistani economy was able to generate approximately $1 billion in revenue because of the 1,040,000 international tourists who arrived in 2015. This tourist figure is projected to reach 1.7 million by the year 2025. This will, in turn, help Pakistan to be the world’s fastest-growing Muslim economy ahead of Indonesia, Malaysia, Turkey and Egypt by 2017.

Improvement in employment rate
In the midst of an increase in tourism and better security conditions of the country, the number of people employed directly by the hospitality industry reached 1,429,500 in 2015. The employment rate is projected to increase by 2.1% per annum over the next 10 years.

Increase in investment
Due to the sheer beauty in Pakistan, the investment which this particular sector received in the year 2015 was USD 3272 million which made up 9.3% of the total investment done in the country. Over the next ten years, this investment rate is forecasted to rise by 7.6% pa over the next ten years. Due to the ongoing CPEC mega project whose main highlight is the Gawadar city, a huge chunk of this investment is allocated to the construction of ten hotels in this city which can in turn boost tourism in the area.

https://en.dailypakistan.com.pk/business/state-of-pakistans-travel-and-hospitality-industry-in-the-last-year/
Riaz Haq said…
Exclusive: CPEC master plan revealed

https://www.dawn.com/news/1333101

One of the most intriguing chapters in the plan is the one that talks about the development of a “coastal tourism” industry. It speaks of a long belt of coastal enjoyment industry that includes yacht wharfs, cruise homeports, nightlife, city parks, public squares, theaters, golf courses and spas, hot spring hotels and water sports. The belt will run from Keti Bunder to Jiwani, the last habitation before the Iranian border. Then, somewhat disappointingly, it adds that “more work needs to be done” before this vision can be realized.
The plans are laid out in surprising detail. For instance, Gwadar will feature international cruise clubs that “provide marine tourists private rooms that would feel as though they were ‘living in the ocean’”. And just as the feeling sinks in, it goes on to say that “[f]or the development of coastal vacation products, Islamic culture, historical culture, folk culture and marine culture shall all be integrated.” Apparently more work needs to be done here too.

For Ormara, the plan recommends building “unique recreational activities” that would also encourage “the natural, exciting, participatory, sultry, and tempting characteristics” to come through. For Keti Bunder it recommends wildlife sanctuaries, an aquarium and a botanical garden. For Sonmiani, on the eastern edge of Karachi, “projects like a coastal beach, extended greenway, coastal villa, car camp, SPA, beach playground and a seafood street can be developed.”
It is an expansive vision that the plan lays out, and towards the end, it asks for the following: “Make the visa-free tourism possible with China to provide more convenient policy support for Chinese tourists to Pakistan.” There is no mention of a reciprocal arrangement for Pakistani nationals visiting China.
Riaz Haq said…
A total of 19.6 million passengers (6.9 million domestic, 12.7 million international) flew commercial airlines in Pakistan in 2015-16, up from 18 million (6.3 million domestic, 11.7 million international) in 2014-15, according to Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

http://www.caapakistan.com.pk/upload/AT/stats/2015%20-%202016-APT.pdf

http://www.caapakistan.com.pk/upload/AT/stats/2014%20-%202015-APT.pdf
Riaz Haq said…
India air passenger data 2015-16

Domestic Passengers 85 million

International Passengers on Indian Airlines 18.3 million

International Passengers on Foreign Airlines 31.5 million

Total international traffic: 49.8 million

http://dgca.gov.in/reports/stat-ind.htm
Riaz Haq said…
The top 10 routes accounted for 1.38 crore or 31% of the total domestic air traffic in these 6 months. Mumbai – Delhi (1200 Km) was the busiest route with 31.4 lakh passengers followed by Bengaluru – Delhi (1700 Km) with 17.48 lakh. Bengaluru – Mumbai (840 Km) was the third busiest route with 16.38 lakh passengers. Mumbai – Goa was the 4th busiest route with 11.77 lakh passengers. Mumbai was a part of the 6 out of top 10 routes while Delhi was a part of 5 of these routes. Delhi-Chennai & Delhi-Kolkata routes saw a sudden increase in the number of passengers in March 2016, possibly because of elections in Tamil Nadu and West Bengal.

https://factly.in/10-routes-account-for-close-to-a-third-of-all-domestic-air-traffic/


Longest busy domestic air route in Pakistan is 1100 Km Karachi-Islamabad route

2nd longest/busiest in Karachi-Lahore at 1025 Km
Riaz Haq said…
JCR-VIS
SECTOR UPDATE
Aviation Industry
The aviation industry is characterized by high competition
arising from soft barriers to entry, cyclicality, and
vulnerability to economic shocks...


http://www.jcrvis.com.pk/docs/Aviation201608.pdf

Based on economic and
demographic growth,
IATA has projected
intra Pakistan air
traffic to grow at 9.9%
over the next 20 years,
more than twice the
4.1% projected annual
world growth rate. This
supports the prospects
of growing revenues for
airliners

Local Industry Structure
• There are three domestic players in Pakistan: Pakistan International Airlines
(PIA), Shaheen Air International Limited (SAI) and Air Blue Limited.
• Indus Air, which commenced flights in 2013, was forced to cease operations
in 2015 by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) on account of failure to meet
legal minimum requirement of fleet size of 3 airworthy aircrafts.

Total passenger traffic has grown at a CAGR of 5.3% over the last 5 years and has reached 15.1m
passengers during FY15.
• Based on economic and demographic growth, IATA has projected intra Pakistan air traffic to grow
at 9.9% over the next 20 years, more than twice the 4.1% projected annual world growth rate.
This supports the prospects of growing revenues for airliners.

Market Share (Domestic Passenger Traffic)
• Domestic passenger traffic has remained relatively stagnant over
the last five years. During FY15, total number of domestic air
passengers amounted to 3.15m vis-a-vis 3.59m during FY14. The
reduction was mainly due increase in number of domestic airports
/ destinations, facilitating direct travel.
• PIA’s market share in terms of domestic passenger traffic was 51%
for FY15. However, the same has decreased from 72% during FY10
on account of mismanagement and inefficiencies. Market share
of PIA is expected to decline further in FY16 due to a two week
airline strike, which allowed other players to gain market share.
• Shaheen Air is the second largest player having 27% (FY10: 14%) market share in terms of
domestic passenger traffic followed by Air Blue at 13% (FY10: 14%).
Market Share (International Passenger Traffic)
• Total international air travel for Pakistan has grown at a CAGR
7.1% over the last five years. Total international passenger traffic
amounted to 11.9m passengers (FY14: 10.9m, FY10: 8.5m) during
FY15.
• Market share of foreign carriers during FY15 has increased to 56%
(FY14: 53%) of total international air travel in/out of Pakistan.
Based on the above mentioned reasons, along with competitive
pricing from Emirates Airlines, PIA’s market share decreased from
43% in FY10 to 23% in FY15.
Riaz Haq said…
‘Emerging #Pakistan’ branding on #London buses https://www.geo.tv/latest/147309-emerging-pakistan-branding-on-london-buses LONDON: London’s iconic red double-decker buses are carrying brand Pakistan on the roads of Central London, the hub of world tourists. This ultimate branding campaign is running under the theme of “Emerging Pakistan” and will continue for four weeks.

Tens of thousands of people will get to see the London buses daily. During four weeks, millions will see these buses depicting the diversity and beauty of Pakistan.

The initiative is a part of celebrations planned by the Pakistan High Commission London for the 70th Independence Anniversary of Pakistan this year.

Fully wrapped double-decker buses are showcasing the pristine beauty of Pakistan with its highest peaks, beautiful landscape, rare fauna, monuments representing ancient civilisation, magnificent architecture and rich and diverse culture.

The moving buses are creating an unparalleled lasting visual impact on millions of pedestrians and motorists alike, especially the tourists. Millions of tourists visit London every year, mainly during summer. The buses decorated in Pakistani colours will pass through the tourist routes covering thousands of miles in total.

The bus wrapping campaign aims to introduce foreign tourists to the beautiful land of Pakistan that still remains unexplored.

Speaking to Geo News, Syed Ibne Abbas, Pakistan High Commissioner to the UK said: "Pakistan branding on the iconic London buses is projecting the true image of Pakistan in London which is the hub of the foreign tourists. This publicity campaign showcases the beauty of Pakistan, its culture, landscape and people, and will help promote tourism in Pakistan in the most effective way. The recent social uplift and economic prosperity in Pakistan underpins the theme of the campaign i.e. ‘Emerging Pakistan’ as acknowledged by many independent international organisations.”

He said foreigners are always mesmerised when they see the beauty of Pakistan’s culture and the richness of colours is appreciated all over the world.
Riaz Haq said…
THE EXPRESS TRIBUNE > BUSINESS
CPEC investments lift Pakistan’s hospitality industry

https://tribune.com.pk/story/1445622/cpec-investments-lift-pakistans-hospitality-industry/

Infrastructure investments for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) have given a helping hand to Pakistan’s hospitality industry as new hotels and guest houses are emerging in different parts of the country, said Jovago Asia Chief Executive Officer Nadine Malik.

“Pakistan’s middle class is growing and with higher disposable incomes, people are shelling out more money for leisure activities,” she said in an interview with The Express Tribune. “This is expected to further grow in coming months.”

Pakistan has achieved 5.3% gross domestic product (GDP) growth – the highest in a decade – in the outgoing fiscal year 2016-17. Gradual improvement in macroeconomic indicators and security situation since 2013 has helped all important sectors in the country.

---
“Chinese are coming to Pakistan in big numbers, which is also an opportunity for us,” she said, adding though most of them are coming to work on mega projects where they have company accommodations, there is still potential for the hospitality industry as new guest houses are being constructed in the country.

While refusing to share the exact data of annual hotel bookings, Malik said the total number of visitors on the hotel booking portal jovago.net has crossed 3 million since the website’s launch in 2014.

Jovago caters to domestic tourists while only 2% of its customers are foreigners. Its top season is June and July mainly due to summer vacations. In its first year of operations, most of its clients travelled to Naran and Kaghan in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, but later people also took interest in Muzaffarabad, Azad Kashmir, Hunza, Skardu and Gilgit-Baltistan. She said places like Naran, Kaghan, Hunza, Skardu and Muzaffarabad are open only for four to five months from April to August, so a lot of Jovago’s traffic is also concentrated in these months.

The second busy season is December during which families travel mostly from one big city (like Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad) to another due to winter vacations. A lot of travellers from mid-tier cities (like Faisalabad) also go to Islamabad and Lahore.

Most of the portal’s clients make business trips to Karachi, typically for just a few hours. However, due to improving security conditions in the city, a lot of them are now bringing their families with them to stay for a few days.

For instance, Malik said Arabian Country Club – a sprawling place with sports facilities such as golf and others about 45 kilometres east of Karachi – is usually booked out all the time.

“Our hotel partners in Karachi say that their occupancy rate, which was not more than 50% in 2014 on a good day, is now in the range of 70-80% mainly due to improving security situation in the financial capital of Pakistan.”

According to the Jovago CEO, the concept of long weekends is gaining momentum in Pakistan. For instance, a considerable number of people travelled around March 23 – a national holiday – that has been falling around weekends for the last two years.

Challenges

Malik said a lot of people still hesitate to travel inside the country due to perceived security threats. Apart from this, she added, there is a lot of room for improvement in terms of roads and other infrastructure facilities that could increase domestic tourism.

She felt that Pakistan needs more four and five-star hotels because the country has many two and three-star hotels but it lacks big ones.

According to Jovago Pakistan estimates, Pakistan’s annual travel, tourism and business travel spending exceeds over $12 billion. Leisure travel spending is expected to grow from $10.3 billion in 2016 to $17.6 billion in 2026 while business travel spending is expected to jump from $1.9 billion in 2016 to $3.3 billion in 2026.
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan improves ranking on tourism competitiveness index

https://www.dawn.com/news/1325829/pakistan-improves-ranking-on-tourism-competitiveness-index

With less than a million foreign tourists visiting the country on an average, Pakistan has been able to improve its ranking by one point in 2017 – currently at 124 out of 136 countries – covered in the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index 2017 released by the World Economic Forum.

Earlier, the country was ranked 125 out of 141 countries in 2015.

Average receipts per arrival have been estimated at $328.3 whereas total receipt has been amounted to $317 million, with travel and tourism competitiveness has a share of 2.8 per cent of GDP.

The worst ranking for Pakistan pointed out by the report was visa requirements where ranking was 135 out of 136 countries. The government’s prioritisation of travel and tourism industry was ranked at 132 among the 136 countries surveyed by the report, while the sustainability of travel and tourism industry development got the ranking of 128. Effectiveness of marketing and branding to attract tourists got the ranking of 125.

The quality of tourism infrastructure got the ranking of 123 while hotel rooms got ranking of 129.

Pakistan has a total of 36 world heritage cultural sites and attractiveness of natural assets scored 127.

In 2017, the travel and tourism industry continues to make a real difference to the lives of millions of people by driving growth, creating jobs, reducing poverty and fostering development and tolerance. For the sixth consecutive year, industry growth outperforms that of the global economy, showcasing the industry’s resilience in the face of global geopolitical uncertainty and economic volatility.

The industry contributed $7.6 trillion to the global economy, which was 10.2 per cent of global GDP, and generated 292 million jobs in 2016.

International arrivals followed suit, reaching 1.2 billion in 2016, 46 million more than in 2015. These promising figures are expected to continue increasing in the coming decade, report says.

Research shows that for every 30 new tourists to a destination one new job is created; and already today, the travel and tourism industry has almost twice as many women employers as other sectors. In 2016, nearly 4 billion people traveled by plane, a number expected to reach 7.2 billion by 2035.

The report says that travel and tourism competitiveness is improving, especially in developing countries and particularly in the Asia-Pacific region. As the industry continues to grow, an increasing share of international visitors are coming from and travel to emerging and developing nations.

In an increasingly protectionist context – one that is hindering global trade – the travel and tourism industry continues building bridges rather than walls between people, as made apparent by increasing numbers of people traveling across borders and global trends toward adopting less restrictive visa policies.

Despite the growing awareness of the importance of the natural environment to tourism growth, the travel and tourism sector faces enormous difficulties in developing sustainably, as natural degradation proceeds on a number of fronts, report points out.

Spain, France and Germany continue to top the travel and tourism rankings but Asia steals the show as the region’s largest economies show the greatest rise in tourism-friendliness. Asia’s largest markets are not only becoming larger source markets but also more attractive destinations.

Almost all of the region’s countries improved their ranking. Except for Japan, Hong Kong, China, South Korea and Malaysia also made it to the top 30, while India made the largest leap in the top 50 to land in fortieth place.

The United Arab Emirates, ranked 29th globally, continues to be the most travel and tourism competitive country in the region by far. Its performance continues to improve since 2015; the country welcomed 14.4 million international visitors in 2015, 4 million more than two years earlier.
Riaz Haq said…
Overseas investors in #Pakistan find 94% reduction in #crime. #Lahore 94%, #Karachi 92% reduction.

https://tribune.com.pk/story/1460324/overseas-investors-find-94-reduction-crime/

Overseas investors in Pakistan have observed up to 94% decline in different crimes all over the country in 2017, according to the annual survey conducted by Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI).

Respondents of the OICCI security survey 2017 experienced a drop in the overall street crimes with a 69% reduction in minor crimes (like mobile and cash snatching) and 90% decrease in major street crimes (like car snatching).

In terms of serious crimes like abductions/hostage taking and extortion (bhatta) – respondents across Pakistan reported major reductions as compared to 2016, ranging from 94% decrease in Lahore, closely followed by the rest of Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (93%) and Karachi (92%).

Security survey 2017 is conducted in June and highlights a positive movement in the OICCI members’ perception of the country’s security environment. This comprehensive security survey has been conducted every year since 2015. It reflects the foreign investors’ perception on the improving security environment in the country especially after the launch of 2013 Karachi operations.

OICCI members have reported significant improvement in confidence and comfort of their staff on security matters, which went up further after the 86% increase reported in the previous survey, as the staffs now feel even more comfortable in their everyday commute to/from the workplace.

More significantly, a noteworthy feedback from the latest OICCI security survey is that a higher number of expatriate business visitors have travelled to Pakistan in the past one year and most of the business related meetings are now being held within Pakistan. Prior to August 2013 these were conducted in other countries due to security concerns.

This is a strong indicator that Pakistan as a destination has improved on the security concerns map and that such foreign businessmen are being granted travel permissions for their visit to Pakistan from their respective embassies and travel security agencies.

An overwhelming 62% respondents reported substantial increase in the number of overseas visitors to Pakistan as compared to last year. The highest number of OICCI members’ foreign visitors was from European countries followed closely by visitors from Middle East, China, Singapore, USA and Japan.

The 2017 survey once again re-affirms that threats and security concerns have substantially reduced in Pakistan for all key stakeholders of businesses including OICCI members.

“The security environment has substantially improved not only for the survey participants, meaning foreign investors, but also for their customers, suppliers and employees,” said OICCI President Khalid Mansoor.

The 2017 OICCI security survey result mirrors the improved security environment all over Pakistan, especially in Karachi in comparison to the last year and greatly enhanced since the time prior to August 2013.

A significant majority of the respondents were confident that the general threats to business had reduced compared to last year and a look at the last survey in June 2016 echoed the improvement nation-wide with Karachi’s security situation being given the thumbs up by 89%, closely followed by Lahore and the rest of Punjab with 85% and 82%.
Riaz Haq said…
PAKISTAN ASPIRES FOR CPEC-DRIVEN AVIATION INDUSTRY GROWTH

http://quwa.org/2017/09/03/pakistan-aspires-cpec-driven-aviation-industry-growth/

In a one-day symposium – titled “CPEC vis-√†-vis Opportunities for Aviation Industry and Way Forward” – the Government of Pakistan, the Pakistan Air Force (PAF), the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA) and members of the private sector collectively expressed hope that the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would spur growth in Pakistan’s aviation sector.

The Daily Times (Pakistan) compiled a report outlining the thoughts and aspirations of each symposium participant, which included the Federal Interior Minister Dr. Ahsan Iqbal, the PAF Chief of Air Staff (CAS) Air Chief Marshal (ACM) Sohail Aman and other leading officials and industry representatives.

Short-term objectives center on guaranteeing the security of CPEC projects. In this respect, the PAF had outlined its success in building a capable intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) element for providing situational awareness for all relevant parties, including its sister services the Pakistan Army and the Pakistan Navy. The PAF had also expressed confidence in its ability to counter asymmetrical threats through precision-guided airstrikes. It is also committed to providing search-and-rescue support.

The panel’s long-term aspirations echoed earlier government sentiments, namely of channeling projected economic growth from CPEC to effect industry gains. In this case, it is aviation.

PCAA Additional Director of Air Transport International Regulation Syed Muzaffar Alam projected that air travel in Pakistan will see an additional three million passengers in the next three to four years. Alam believed that this growth will present opportunities for growth in Pakistan’s commercial airline sector, be it new airlines or expanded ground support providers. In relation, PAF Air Vice Marshal Razi Nawab, the Deputy Managing Director of the Shaheen Foundation, stressed that investment be made in raising new maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) entities and airlines in Pakistan to support growth in air travel.

Interior Minister Dr. Ahsan Iqbal called for developing Pakistan’s aviation development and manufacturing sectors, particularly through “Technology Intensive Clusters” at Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) in Kamra. He also advocated for research and development, joint-ventures and public-private partnerships.

The participating stakeholders proposed raising a joint working group comprising of representatives from the Government of Pakistan, the PAF, PCAA, the private sector and academic institutions to steward the objectives discussed at the symposium.
Riaz Haq said…
How many flights per day in Pakistan?

https://www.quora.com/How-many-flights-per-day-in-Pakistan

Tom Quetchenbach, occasional flyer
Answered Jun 4
To get a very rough idea, we can look at some data from the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority for 2015–2016. According to this data set, there were 157,214 aircraft movements (takeoffs or landings) at Pakistan’s larger airports in 2015–2016, of which 71,227 were domestic and 85,987 were international. That’s an average of about 431 aircraft movements per day. Assuming that this is double-counting at least most the domestic flights, because what goes up must come down (that is, each domestic flight consists of two aircraft movements in Pakistan—a takeoff and a landing), dividing the domestic aircraft movements by 2 gives 98 domestic and 236 international flights per day on average.

But that is certainly an underestimate, because it doesn’t account for flights to, from, or between smaller airports, military flights, etc. It’s also not clear to me whether this includes flights by smaller, unscheduled carriers and aircraft operators other than passenger or cargo airlines.
Riaz Haq said…
New Islamabad Airport to open by December 2017

http://pakobserver.net/new-islamabad-airport-open-december/

New Islamabad International Airport would be opened for traffic by the end of current year, Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Sheikh Aftab Ahmed told National Assembly on Thursday. Answering the question of Ms Khalida Mansoor, he said the main features of airside infrastructure includes main and emergency runways, taxiways and apron for parking of 28 aircraft, including 15 passenger boarding bridges, cargo apron for parking of 3 aircraft, state apron for parking of 2 aircraft and aircraft maintenance apron.
He said the airport has numerous allied facilities including Airfield Lighting System, Navigational Aids, Hydrant Refuelinc System, Air Traffic Control & Fire Crash Resale buildings, Radio & Radar building, Water Works, Sewerage Treatment Plant and a Cargo Complex.
Likewise, the Passenger Terminal Building has a capacity to handle 9 million passenger per annum and includes systems for baggage handling flight information & display, elevators, escalators, travelators, fire alarm and fire protection system, heating ventilation & air conditioning system, data centers, communication systems, PABX, wireless LAN and many other systems essential for modem day airport operations.
The new Islamabad International Airport would be able to handle all modern commercial aircraft including Airbus 319, 320, 321, 330, 340, 350, 380 and Boeing 737, 747, 757, 767, 777, 787 etc, he added.
Riaz Haq said…
#Tourism thrives in #Pakistan as number of foreign tourists triples and domestic tourism up 30% since 2013. #travel

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-09-27/as-terror-attacks-recede-tourism-in-pakistan-starts-to-thrive

As security improves, annual tourist arrivals to Pakistan has more than tripled since 2013 to 1.75 million last year, while domestic travelers rose 30 percent to 38.3 million, according to the state-owned Pakistan Tourism Development Corp. Over the same period, foreign tourist arrivals in the country’s larger neighbor, India, jumped from 6.97 million in 2013 to 8.8 million in 2016, government figures show.

The World Travel and Tourism Council puts the total contribution of tourism to Pakistan’s economy at $19.4 billion last year or 6.9 percent of gross domestic product. In a decade, the WTTC expects that to rise to $36.1 billion.

Still, security challenges remain. While casualties from attacks fell 43 percent last year, major cities, such as Lahore, are occasionally hit by bombings.

Jonny Bealby, the managing director of Wild Frontiers Adventure Travel Ltd., a London-based operator that has run trips to Pakistan for two decades, said his tours to the South Asian nation are up 60 percent from last year.

Along with security, Bealby said the main improvement in Pakistan has been infrastructure. “The roads have improved immeasurably reducing journey times.’’



---------

Annual tourist arrivals have more than tripled since 2013

Military campaign has boosted safety, infrastructure improved

After a bone-jarring mountain journey, Alan Cameron surveys the snow-capped peaks of Pakistan’s north near the Saiful Maluk lake. “It’s beautiful -- well worth the effort,” said the 34-year-old Canadian holidaying in a country better known for terrorism than tourism.

Taking a break from his job as an analyst at Jefferies in London, Cameron’s vacation last month underscores the rekindling of Pakistan’s tourism industry after a sustained military security crack-down, with annual arrivals more than tripling since 2013.

Keen to shed the image that it’s unsafe for visitors, Pakistan has begun a nascent tourism drive and this summer placed adverts across the sides of London’s iconic red buses. Road infrastructure has also been boosted across key holiday regions.

Since the 2014 massacre of more than 100 children at a military school, the army has neutered some insurgent groups and political militias. Tourists are now returning to areas such as the Swat Valley, a northern region known as the Switzerland of Pakistan that was controlled by the Taliban between 2007 and 2009 and where Nobel prize winner Malala Yousafzai was shot in 2012.

Riaz Haq said…
#Lahore based #Pakistani #American founder of #AI #unicorn Afiniti takes investors helicopter skiing in #Pakistan. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-10-02/tycoon-takes-investors-heli-skiing-to-show-them-pakistan-s-safe

AI firm Afiniti employs three-quarter of employees in Pakistan
Company may list next year with more than $2 billion valuation
In the northern snow-capped peaks of Pakistan, Zia Chishti disembarked off a helicopter and skied downhill on a mission to convince investors, clients and company executives that the nation once called by The Economist “the world’s most dangerous place” is now safe for business.

Chishti, who grew up in Lahore, gathered a group from more than a dozen countries including Alessandro Benetton, a heir to the billionaire family that owns the iconic namesake Italian clothing company, and Huawei Technologies Co. rotating Chief Executive Officer Guo Ping earlier this year to Pakistan, the back-end base for some of his businesses. Last month, his artificial intelligence company signed a deal with Huawei, which will help its push into Eastern markets including China, Japan and Australia.

For Chishti, ensuring his clients understand that Pakistan, which has struggled against internal militant groups, has changed since The Economist report a decade ago is critical because many of his employees who provide customer solutions, sales support and marketing to clients including Sprint Corp. and Caesars Entertainment Corp. are based in the South Asian nation. Chishti has added more people in Pakistan, a move that will also help him keep costs under control as his AI unit prepares for an initial public offering in the U.S.

“Pakistan by any reasonable and adaptive measure is an extremely safe place to do business,” said Chishti, whose office oversees the White House, said in an interview by phone. “All in all it’s a very favorable place to do business and the world perception just has to catch up.”

Despite a widespread negative perception over the country’s security record, multiple military operations have curbed domestic insurgents after a Pakistani Taliban massacre at a school three years ago shocked the nation. Last year, civilian deaths from terrorism dropped to the lowest in more than a decade.

The army’s drive has boosted the confidence of companies, including TRG, and foreign investment is up 155 percent to $457 million in the first two months of the business year started July. Chishti’s company has moved into a larger building this year that will fit 3,000 staff in the previously tumultuous port city of Karachi, which has been secured by paramilitary forces against gangsters, militants and political militias since 2013.
Riaz Haq said…
Air #China increases flights for #Pakistan to 7 per week - Samaa TV #CPEC

https://www.samaa.tv/economy/2017/10/air-china-increases-flights-pakistan/

Air China, China’s national flag carrier, has decided to increase flights on the Beijing-Islamabad-Karachi route from four to seven a week starting October 29.

Air China had launched the route between China and Pakistan in October 2016, starting with three flights per week. More than 120,000 trips on the route were recorded till September this year.

Hu Haitao, manager of Air China’s Islamabad office, said in a promotional event that the increased flights will “better serve the exchanges between China and Pakistan in trade and culture.”

Meanwhile, Zhao Lijian, ministerial counsellor of the Chinese Embassy in Islamabad, said that the development of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has boosted the two countries’ ties in politics, economy and science, providing a good opportunity for Air China to extend its business in Pakistan. – APP

Riaz Haq said…
Avari group launches hotel in Multan

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/235983-Avari-group-launches-hotel-in-Multan

China would not let anyone dismember Pakistan or harm its territory because it was investing $ 46 billion in it for its survival, a leading businessman said on Tuesday.
“China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would be a game changer for Pakistan which would bring prosperity, development and employment for thousands of people,” Byram Dinshawji Avari, chairman Avari Group of Companies told a press conference after the inauguration of Avari Xpress Boutique in Multan.
“I prefer to invest Pakistan and that’s why I am launching hotels of world-class in Multan, Sargodha, Faisalabad, Islamabad, and other cities. All Pakistanis should invest in Pakistan and they should not look to other countries.”
Avari said he did not agree with those economists who were expressing their reservations on Chinese investment. “China would neither prove to be an East India Company nor capture our country,” he said.
He added that Gwadar port would help boost international trade with China and central Asian states. “When a motorway can help boost country's economy, business, and
prosperity, then why China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, a major project of Rs4600 billion will not prove to be a game-changer,” Avari asserted.
He said that investors should come forward to raise the graph of Pakistan in economy. Speaking on the occasion, the former Punajb minister Jalaluddin Roomi hoped that trade and economic activities would increase with the establishment of hotels of international repute in Multan. “A special economic zone should be developed in Multan under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project,” Roomi demanded.

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