An unformed tourism industry and disasters — a cosmic view

'The revenue generated by tourism can boost the economic situation in Pakistan, but the same should carry relief and happiness on the faces of tourists and locals.'

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The underdeveloped tourism industry has given rise to destructive events, where people go to enjoy and adore the natural beauty, but end up confronting such drastic incidents, which cannot be not overlooked.

However, the tourism industry shares a huge role in the wider economy of every state like Pakistan due to its geo-strategic location, which consists of beautiful areas that many foreigners are attracted to in the North of Pakistan. Despite being blessed with these places, Pakistan is encountering some outrageous happenings because of development oversight.

The underdeveloped tourism industry is examined by Prime Minister Imran Khan who directed the people towards the growth of the same but broadly is neglected by administrators and policymakers. Thus the unformed tourism industry undoubtedly exists and discovers these futile incidents; however, all these downcast episodes submit a bleak view of governance and altogether economic structure. Talking about the governance and administration in this regard, a significant part of the tourism industry is supposed to straighten up for the entertainment of the national and international tourists.

Excursion areas are invariably attractive to the people but security and protection while visiting is considered equally significant and vital for the up-gradation of the state’s impression. However, the bulk of people have labeled these disasters as man-made and some are opposed to the same. All these claims somehow have denounced the government’s intention regarding the tourism sector.

Some chronology of the world and Pakistan in this regard is substantial to be contemplated upon. Here are some experiences that stunned tourists at large.

A recent incident on January 9 this year saw a massive rock fall from one of the canyons of Capitolio in Minas Gerais, knocking over two speed boats carrying several tourists in Furnas lake. According to the officials, the accident resulted in 10 deaths and 32 injuries. The lake was artificial and entertained by tourists; built in 1958 for the installation of the hydroelectric power plant.

Similarly, in January 2010, a catastrophic landslide with the volume of 45mm3 flowed down the hill, which blocked the Hunza river at the point of Attabad– a village in Hunza valley. The landslide caused the blockage of the Hunza River and formed an artificial lake upstream within a few months. Later on, the debris barrier was breached for the flow of water from the lake, resulting in an artificial lake known as Attabad Lake being formed. Thousands of tourists visit that lake every season.

The interest of visitors in Attabad Lake has also lured people from the hotel industry and leisure clubs as seen in the several quality hotels at the bank of Attabad Lake. Moreover, the Hashoo Group has also announced the construction of a five-star Pearl Continental at the same.

The PM has a strong will to promote tourism in Pakistan but the vision is coming at the cost of human lives as slow-moving landslides are common in Northern areas of Pakistan.

Adding to the above neglected facts by the decision-makers is that the Attabad landslide was also a slow-moving landslide that plunged into the Hunza River at high speed and formed the lake. If what happened at Furnas lake happened in Attabad with a large scale or slow-moving landslide plunging into the lake at high speed, it would certainly erupt as a catastrophic incident.

There have been many events like this in history with a notable one being the Vajont dam disaster in 1963 in Italy.

In Italy’s misfortune, a massive rock fell into the dam’s reservoir and generated water waves as high as 100 meters. The Vajont dam disaster killed 2,600 people and damaged several shoreline structures.

The loss of tourist lives by such events can be a setback to the PM’s tourism initiative as in the case of the recent Murree disaster, where unplanned construction caused a bottleneck in several places, thus causing a traffic jam, which halted snow removing operations. Consequently, people were forced to stay in their cars.

It is acknowledged by everyone that Pakistan is blessed with some of the most marvellous areas that may attract tourists worldwide. The revenue generated by tourism can boost the economic situation in Pakistan, but the same should carry relief and happiness on the faces of tourists and locals. It may flourish by proper planning of construction and reformation in the tourism industry.

Similarly, other countries of the world are equally significant in managing these disasters to protect the lives of the tourists. By securing people through building of excursion areas, every state may develop enough revenue to compete with other states.



  1. Yes, you have put the light on an upcoming disaster, recently there was a slide in Shishkat village few KM away from Attabad landslide.

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