Pakistan is the custodian of Gandhara Buddhist Civilizations and there are numerous holy places in Pakistan of the great value for Thai Buddhist people. This was stated by Ch. Abdul Ghafoor Khan, Managing Director PTDC during a meeting with H.E Mr. Suchart Liengsaengthong, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Thailand. After restoration of peace and betterment of law & order situation in the country, the Thai tourist flow is once again showing a remarkable increase over the previous two years. The significance of Buddhist civilization remains in Pakistan for Thai people can boost up tourist flow to Pakistan as a result of proper publicity.
He added we are ready to learn from their experience by adopting the strategies of Thailand tourism industry. Thailand Government will provide assistance for restoration / maintenance of Ghandhara Archeological Sites in Taxila and Swat.
MD urged that it would be highly appreciated to arrange a visit to Thailand to have experience of Tourism industry in Thailand. The MD also inform the Ambassador that during his visit to Thailand he would like to meet with the Chairman of Tourism Authority and chief of the tourist Police of Thailand and also meet with the tour operators and travel agents. The Ambassador assured the Managing Director PTDC for his support for promotion of tourism in Pakistan especially in religious tourism. The Ambassador of Thailand offer the MD he will join in Thailand during this trip The Ambassador of Thailand to hold food festival on reciprocal bases and training in the field of tourism and Hotel management may also be revived. MD PTDC also emphasized to introduce tour packages of both the countries and promote tourism mutually by public and private organizations / companies. MD PTDC informed Thai Ambassador that Publicity material on Ghandhara will be published in Thai language soon. We will also provide links to Thailand Embassy in Pakistan and Embassy of Pakistan in Thailand on our website. PTDC will invites travel writers to project Ghandhara Heritage and highlight tourist attractions of Pakistan to enhance the soft image of Pakistan in Thailand.
At the end of the meeting the Managing Director PTDC, Ch. Ghafoor Khan presented the souvenir as a good will gesture to the Ambassador of Thailand. The Ambassador of Thailand thanked the Managing Director for his visit to the embassy of Kingdom of Thailand and appreciated his effort for promotion of tourism in the country.
The Managing Director said that bilateral cooperation in the field of tourism as per vision of the Prime Minister of Islamic Republic of Pakistan regarding promotion of tourism in the country is essential. PTDC intends to sign MoU with Thai Air for promotion of tourism in Pakistan. The Ambassador of Thailand appreciated the idea given by the MD PTDC for promotion of tourism on the following points:
i. Monks will be invited from Thailand. Familiarization trips of tour operators and travel agents will be arranged. The Ambassador of Thailand told the MD PTDC that the Thailand embassy will invite four chief monks as guests. PTDC will extend the local hospitality in Pakistan. The Ambassador has also emphasized to market the famous tourist destinations among the Thai tourists. He also pointed out that the tourism department, come up with the slogan like Amazing Thailand, Malaysia truly Asia. The MD PTDC said that I have already chosen of Slogan: Truly Paradise Pakistan.
ii. The Ambassador shown keen interest in organizing a Buddha Heritage exhibition in Thailand to attract the Buddhist tourists to visit Pakistan to see their religious sites at Taxila, ThaktBhai and Swat.
The Ambassador requested the Managing Director PTDC to arrange display of the Buddha relics in temples / monasteries to attract thousands of Thai Buddhists to the Gandhara Civilization lies in Taxila. The MD PTDC said that the Buddhists conference will be arranged to invite the Buddhist Scholars and tour operators to attend the conference.
The MD informed the Ambassador that we are already working to promote religious tourism, Eco tourism, Sport tourism and health tourism in Pakistan. The MD invited the Ambassador to visit PTDC Head Office to discuss further promotion of tourism in both the countries. The Ambassador accepted the invitation and said that he will visit PTDC very soon. Further MD PTDC will arrange the trip to Khewra Salt Mines in the 3rd week of January 2017.
Pakistan and Thailand have very cordial relations, which can be further strengthened through our continuous cooperation with each other. In this regard, we may have continuous meetings to discuss different issues and explore new venues for promotion of tourism.