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TREK Initiative To Boost Responsible Tourism In KP

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Press Release: PM Imran Khan unveils responsible tourism initiative between World Bank, KP government and Nestlé Pakistan; says KP has taken the lead and other provinces must follow suit.

Adding another milestone, Prime Minister Imran Khan has paved new avenues for bolstering tourism in the country’s northern areas. He unveiled a new initiative – TREK – Travel Responsibly for Experiencing Ecotourism in Khyber Pakhtukhwa earlier last week at the Prime Minister House. TREK is a join collaboration to promote ecotourism in the province between the World Bank, Nestlé Pakistan and the provincial government.

Attending the event were Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtukhwa, Secretary Sports & Tourism KP Abid Majeed, World Bank Country Director Najy Benhassine and Nestlé Corporate Affairs Head Waqar Ahmad, amongst other dignitaries.

“Ecotourism is a whole new science, and I’m really glad that the KP has come forward with this initiative. Tourism will get a boost automatically, when tourist areas are clean, green and welcoming for tourists. I congratulate CM KP, World Bank and Nestlé Pakistan for coming together for TREK,” PM Imran said, addressing the participants.

Flanked by SAPM on Tourism & Overseas Pakistanis Zulfi Bukhari, the PM Imran was of the view that more and more private sector participation was needed and that conducive policies of his government were paving way for the tourism sector to develop.

Chief Minister KP Mahmood Khan, while thanking the premier said, “We are opening up new destinations for domestic and international tourists and ensuring the provision of tourist facilities by inviting the private sector to further develop this important sector of the provincial economy.

According to the CM, the collaboration with World Bank, Nestlé and other stakeholders will strengthen the efforts to create livelihood opportunities, better manage the destinations and effectively address the issues of waste management.

TREK aims to promote responsible tourism, provide employment opportunities, develop infrastructure, preserve heritage sites and provide better waste management for tourists and locals in the region.

Samer Chedid, CEO Nestlé Pakistan highlighted that Nestlé wasaccelerating its actions to tackle plastic waste as part of its vision for a waste-free future.

“Through this partnership with WBG and KP government, we will be driving new behavior and understanding through various community engagement activities such as cleanup drills, trainings, and connecting waste recycling companies with the local administration,”Chedid added.

Talking about WB’s contribution, Najy Benhassine, Country Director World Bank, Pakistan said, “The World Bank Group is keen to continue supporting Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab in their efforts to provide employment opportunities to the youth in the tourism sector.”

He said that the initiative marked the beginning of an important partnership and that they expected to see more contributions towards responsible tourism across the country.

“The growth and job creation potential of this sector is massive,”Benhassine added.

All stakeholders stressed the need to focus on the protection of ecosystem across the province through waste management and plastic recycling for promoting tourism in the region.

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