World Tourism Day is an annual commemorative occasion designed to cultivate recognition of the social, cultural, political, and economic significance of tourism and its potential to advance the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals.

On 27 September, World Tourism Day highlights Pakistan’s natural beauty and cultural diversity.

Over the past decade, Pakistan’s tourism industry has flourished, earning recognition as an adventure travel destination.

Geographically diverse, it offers landscapes from the Himalayas to scenic coastlines. Historical sites like Mohenjo-Daro and Taxila showcase its rich heritage. Gilgit-Baltistan stands out for its natural wonders and cultural diversity.

Skardu, in the Karakoram Mountains, attracts adventurers and families alike. Hunza, nestled in the Himalayas, offers breathtaking landscapes and trekking routes. Rakaposhi Viewpoint provides a close-up view of the 27th-highest peak.

Upper Kachura lake at night, Skardu

At 2,409 meters, Naran and Kaghan form a popular domestic destination with attractions like Lake Saif ul Malook and Siri Paye Meadows.

Babusar and Babusar Pass offer impressive vistas. These areas promote tourism in Pakistan, exemplifying its natural beauty.

Chitral, known for its rugged terrain and the Kalash tribe, is a gateway to high peaks. Murree is a hill station near Islamabad, attracting weekend retreaters. Kalam Valley, in the Swat District, offers picturesque landscapes and waterfalls.

Swat Valley

Neelum Valley, in Azad Kashmir, boasts lush forests and gushing rivers. Swat Valley, the “Switzerland of Pakistan,” features alpine scenery and historical sites.

Kumrat Valley in the Upper Dir District is known for dense forests and clear rivers. Naltar Valley showcases emerald-green lakes, ideal for hiking and skiing. Malam Jabba is a skiing resort in the Swat Valley with stunning mountain views.

Balochistan, Pakistan’s largest province by geographical area, boasts diverse landscapes, including mountains, deserts, and stunning beaches like Kund Malir.

Balochistan’s geography includes mountains like Ziarat and Toba Kakar ranges, while its culture is enriched by various ethnic groups known for their hospitality and craftsmanship.

Gadani Beach

The province’s historical significance is evident through sites like the Makli Necropolis and Gwadar’s ancient city.

Balochistan’s abundant natural resources and economic prospects are boosted by Gwadar Port and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Despite its tourism potential, Balochistan remains relatively unexplored, offering opportunities for adventure and nature enthusiasts, such as Hingol National Park and picturesque beaches like Ormara and Kund Malir.

Driving along the Makran Coastal Highway.

Balochistan’s breathtaking landscapes, rich culture, and untapped potential make it a compelling destination for travelers. Efforts to promote tourism and infrastructure development are gradually revealing its hidden treasures.

Punjab, the largest province in Pakistan, known as the “Land of Five Rivers,” has a rich culture deeply intertwined with its history and traditions.

With over half of Pakistan’s population residing here, Punjab plays a vital role in the nation’s economy, contributing significantly to its economic output.

Punjabi culture is a tapestry of diverse elements, encompassing cuisine, philosophy, poetry, art, music, architecture, traditions, values, and history.

Badshahi Masjid, Lahore, Punjab

Notably, it shares many cultural traditions with Indian culture and holds special significance for the Sikh community, as the founder of Sikhism was born in Nankana Sahib, Punjab.

Lahore, a major city in Punjab, boasts historical treasures like the Jahangir Tomb and the Badshahi Mosque, while Data Darbar remains a revered shrine attracting numerous visitors. This cultural richness appeals to people from various backgrounds and beliefs.

Punjab, Pakistan, presents a captivating array of tourist destinations. Among these are the ancient Satgraha Temples, with their deep Hindu roots dating back to the 6th century A.D., nestled near Kallar Kahar.

The Badshahi Mosque, a grand architectural marvel, stands as Pakistan’s second-largest mosque, constructed by Emperor Aurangzeb in 1673 A.D.

Not far from it lies the Minar-e-Pakistan, a monument paying homage to the Lahore Resolution, a pivotal moment in the nation’s history.

In the Cholistan Desert, the imposing Derawar Fort, with its impressive dimensions, stands as a testament to the region’s rich heritage.

A different kind of splendor can be found in Bahawalpur’s Noor Mahal, a 150-year-old palace that exudes royal elegance.

The Tomb of Jahangir, located near Lahore, serves as a historical landmark, while the Khewra Salt Mine, the world’s second-largest, invites visitors to explore its unique underground world.

Rohtas Fort, constructed in the 16th century by Afghan king Sher Shah Suri, showcases architectural brilliance and strategic design, nestled near the Grand Trunk Road.

In Lahore, the intricately designed Wazir Khan Mosque stands as a testament to the rich Islamic heritage of the subcontinent. Lastly, the serene Shalimar Gardens, part of Lahore’s Mughal-era architectural heritage, offer a tranquil escape in the heart of the city.

Sindh, located in the southeast of Pakistan, is celebrated as one of the cradles of human civilization due to its historical association with the ancient Indus Valley Civilization.

The province is also known as “Bab-ul-Islam,” signifying its role as the “gateway of Islam” to the Indian Subcontinent when Muslim general Muhammad bin Qasim arrived in 712 A.D.

The fertile lands along the Indus River have been inhabited for millennia, with archaeological remnants dating back five thousand years, showcasing the region’s rich historical heritage.

Sindh’s culture is a vibrant tapestry woven over the ages, influenced by both Hindu and Muslim traditions.

It is characterized by colorful traditions and the warm hospitality of its people. Sindh offers a glimpse into its rich history and natural beauty. Some notable attractions include:

Gorakh Hill referred to as the ‘Murree of Sindh,’ Gorakh Hill stands at an altitude of 5,688 ft. and offers breathtaking natural views, stargazing opportunities, and amenities like a campsite, restaurant, and motel.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site dating back to the 26th century BC, Mohenjo Daro was part of the ancient Indus Valley Civilization and remained undiscovered for over 3,700 years until excavations in the 1920s.

Mohenjo Daro

Keenjhar Lake (Kalri Lake)The second-largest freshwater lake in Pakistan, Keenjhar Lake is a paradise for birdwatchers and is located about 100 km from Karachi.

Shah Jahan Mosque, Located in Thatta, built in 1644, showcases architectural influences from Mughal, Sindhi, Timurid, Persian, and Indian styles, boasting numerous domes and intricate tile work.

Bhanbhore, situated east of Karachi, Bhanbhore holds historical significance dating back to the 1st century BC and played a pivotal role in Islamic history during Muhammad bin Qasim’s conquest.

Khair pur, this historical city features attractions like Faiz Mahal, a well-preserved palace constructed in 1798, and Kot Diji Fort, built between 1785 and 1795.

Ranikot Fort, Known as ‘The Great Wall of Sindh,’ is believed to be the world’s largest fort, dating back to the 19th century. Sukkur Barrage, constructed during the British Raj, the Sukkur Barrage plays a pivotal role in distributing water.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) is a culturally rich province in Pakistan, influenced by neighboring Afghanistan in language, attire, and cuisine.

It boasts breathtaking natural beauty, including crystal-clear lakes, pristine valleys, and historical sites from the Gandhara civilization. Efforts are underway to develop dams into tourist spots.

Abbottabad, a transit city to northern destinations, offers attractions like Harnoi and Thandiani. History buffs can explore St. Luke’s Church and the historic Lady Garden Public Park.

Umbrella Waterfall Trek, Abbottabad

The Galiyat region, including Ghora Gali and Nathiagali, features lush meadows and has seen a surge in tourism.

Peshawar, is one of Pakistan’s oldest cities, with a rich Mughal-era history. Tourist spots include Qissa Khwani Bazaar, Bala Hisaar Fort, Mahabat Khan Mosque, and Peshawar Museum. Ghanta Ghar and its Buddhist sculptures are also notable attractions.

In and around Peshawar, a treasure trove of historical sites awaits exploration. The Mahabat Khan Mosque, a splendid relic from the Mughal era, stands proudly in the heart of the old city’s bustling Andar Shehr Bazaar.

Nearby, the Takht-e-Bai, an ancient Buddhist monastic complex, captivates visitors with its profound historical significance. Crossing the Chitral River’s western banks, one encounters the Chitral Fort, an architectural gem reminiscent of Mughal craftsmanship.

In the heart of Peshawar lies Gor Khatri, a public park nestled within a Mughal-era caravanserai, once a vital resting place for traders and soldiers.

In conclusion, Pakistan is a country with immense untapped potential in the realm of tourism. Its diverse landscapes, rich historical heritage, and warm hospitality make it a destination waiting to be explored.