IBA Karachi, KIU, and Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives jointly organized a conference on tourism sustainability in the global south
"Current trends, especially domestic tourism, place a heavy burden on the environment. We need to collaborate to preserve our ecological assets and make them sustainable for future generations." Dr. Attaullah Shah, Vice Chancellor, KIU
May 04-06, 2023, Karachi: A two-day national conference on 'Tourism Sustainability in the Global South', jointly organized by the Centre for Business and Economic Research (CBER-IBA), Institute of Business Administration, Karachi; Karakoram International University (KIU); and Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives, concluded on Friday.
The objective of the conference was to encourage tourism at the local level and ensure a discourse on the issues that hinder its growth, backed by reliable and valid research.
Executive Director IBA, Dr. S Akbar Zaidi inaugurated the conference. He welcomed the participants from various universities across Pakistan and emphasized the need for initiatives promoting eco-friendly tourism to avoid negative consequences. He expressed a desire for Pakistan's government to implement environmentally friendly policies in the country's tourist destinations, with the support of the local community, to positively impact the local economy. Dr. Zaidi urged the attendees to play an important role in this regard to improve the income of the local population and to promote tourism in the country and announced that the conversation on the sustainability of tourism would continue, and the next phase of the conference will take place in August.
Vice Chancellor KIU, Dr. Attaullah Shah, highlighted the importance of sustainability in tourism and emphasized that the local tourist spots must have an excellent infrastructure in place that is in harmony with the local weather and environment. He lamented the construction of hotels in different places in Gilgit-Baltistan.
Dr. Shah expressed his regret that the construction projects, that did not consider the needs and strengths of the local community, would have a negative impact on them and stated that implementing policies without research backing would not yield environment-friendly results. He also suggested that the services of tourism volunteers should be provided in all the tourist spots in the country, as they will make timely efforts to ensure environment-friendly tourism in the country.
Earlier, an MoU was signed between IBA and KIU to extend partnership between the two institutions on avenues of mutual interest including, research activities, conferences, faculty and student exchange programs. The agreement was signed by Dr. Zaidi and Dr. Shah on behalf of their respective institutions.
A number of panel and technical sessions took place during the conference. Scholars, and researchers presented their researches in the technical sessions. The researchers stressed that the government should execute policies which can ensure the promotion of tourism in the country, along with spreading awareness among the tourists to play their role in ensuring that tourism is socially and environmentally sustainable.
On the second day, discussions on topics including, potential sustainable tourism opportunities in Pakistan, gender and inclusivity in tourism, tourism facilities for people with disabilities, community based eco-tourism, and tourism safety in Pakistan, took place.
During the conference, distinguished researchers from across Pakistan presented their research findings, with the objective of recognizing the loopholes in Pakistan's tourism industry and proposing solutions to address them.
The second day of the conference concluded with closing remarks by Dr. Shah. The closing speech was given by Chief Guest, Dr. Asma Ibrahim. Certificates to the participants were distributed by Professor and Director CBER, IBA, Dr. Junaid Alam Memon.
A city tour of Karachi was organized on the third day to facilitate the participants to further discuss tourism.