“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only a page.” ~Saint Augustine
Pakistan is one of the few blessed countries in the world gifted with diverse cultures and immense natural beauty, it is a heaven for any thrill-seeking and nature-loving travel enthusiast. So much so that Traveler by Conde Nast ranked Pakistan #1 as the ‘best holiday destination’ for 2021.
Pakistan earns around 2.3 percent of its GDP from tourism, which goes to show that Pakistan’s untapped potential is promising. As a result of this, the once-neglected tourism industry is now experiencing a boom. On average, it is estimated that around 40 million Pakistanis travel to the North each summer, mostly for recreation which has greatly helped support and upgrade the domestic economy and infrastructure
Since its inception in 2016, FindMyAdventure (FMA) has been at the forefront of tourism in Pakistan working tirelessly to connect travelers with different travel operators in Pakistan by providing an online platform enabling users to book and customize travel experiences from any part of the country. FindMyAdventure now boasts over 300 online-offline travel operators on its platform and claims to serve over 30,000 customers which have helped them raise $600,000 in funding recently.
eading this revival is Komail Abbas, CEO of FMA, who joined us for our latest episode of daftarkhwan insights hosted by Hammad Anwar of Sukhan. Komail talked about how he and friends of his friends left their jobs to pursue their passion for traveling and they realized early on the gap between tourism and travelers and the lack of information available so they decided to build a platform to bridge this gap.
“We want to explore and expand into different markets in different regions eventually with our localised model.” — Komail added
A limited number of mature startups & serious players in the tourism industry have led to reduced trust among both local and foreign investors which is hindering the growth of the tourism sector due to lack of investment.
Komail added that covid-19 has completely changed the dynamics and pushed domestic tourism to its limit with demand exceeding by almost double. This can be thought of as a blessing in disguise for the industry and has helped establish basic structure and standards of tourism in Pakistan which never existed.
Komail agreed that tourism development is still in an infancy stage but the government is now inclined to develop and promote the tourism sector with multiple initiatives launched by Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) seeking help from internationally renowned travel bloggers such as Eva Zu Beck, Alex — Lost with Purpose, Mark Weins and our own local heroes such as Anam Hakeem and Bilal Hassan are doing a brilliant job at portraying a positive image of Pakistan with all its rich heritage, beautiful landscapes, and picturesque valleys.
Even though tourism in Pakistan is on the rise, there are several remaining concerns for travelers that need to be addressed by the government and it’s equally important for both startups and investors to play their part in the revival of this promising industry.
Listen to this entire conversation on daftarkhwans Youtube channel and stay tuned for more content like this.