By Shams Abbasi
ISLAMABAD – Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved over US$150 million for different infrastructure projects including major roads to ensure connectivity among the scenic areas of Galiyat.
The Galiyat Development Authority (GDA) will execute different connectivity projects to enhance integrated tourism through road links including Nathiagali-Bakote road, Kalabagh-Havalian and Shaglagali-Monal Islamabad road to promote tourism in the region.
Director General, Galiyat Development Authority (GDA) Raza Ali Habib told APP here on Sunday that 24 km Nathiagali- Bakote road would require up to Rs 336 million, to be provided by ADB.
The feasibility report of this project has been prepared, he added.
He said the idea of Adventure Theme Parks in Ayubia and Food Street in Nathiagali was also in pipe line and would be started in coming years to provide facilities to the tourist according to the modern trends.
To create an enabling environment for local and international tourism, Raza said GDA would provide world-class facilities to commensurate with rich cultural heritage, rare archaeological treasures and exquisite environmental beauty in close partnership and coordination with the public and the private sector.
After the revival, automation and modernization of this project, GDA is expected to earn more revenue for enhanced infrastructure to facilitate tourists.
Through new master plan, GDA has also adopted a strategy to promote the concept of education and health tourism to give new concept for investment and create employment opportunities for local people according to the vision of the PTI government.
Regarding the upcoming mega projects under GDA he said, “We want to establish four-star hotels in Nathiagali to attract more tourists and create new job opportunities in the area.
GDA is committed to introduce the model of Integrated Tourism Zones (ITZs) in ‘Thandiani Galliyat’ with innovation to integrate all services at one place for attracting more tourism in the region, the Director General, GDA said.
Integrated Tourism Zones (ITZs) is a new concept of modern tourism, which has been followed by provincial government of Khber Pakyunkwa (KPK) for launching modern idea of one window operation and one stop shop to evolve and integrate all services under one place.
The Director General GDA said the KPK government had approved five major Integrated Tourism Zones (ITZs) including each one in Thandiani Galliyat, district Mansehra, District Chitral and also two more ITZs for Swat region to modernize the tourism infrastructure.
He said Thandiani Tourist Zone (TTZ) would seek huge attraction for international investors, where they can invest in tourism infrastructure, hospitality and other areas.