In the year 1998,
Pakistan attracted around 3, 81,000 tourist from overseas and earned
US$111 million as foreign exchange receipts. The number of foreign
tourist arrivals in the south Asia region was 5 million. In 1998, the
share of Pakistan in tourist arrivals in this region was 7.6%. More than
half of foreign tourist arrivals in 1998 were for visiting friends and
relatives followed by business travelers 18.3%, holidays and
recreational travelers 13.4% and religious tourists to the tune of 2.5%.
Most of the tourists from overseas had visited main cities like Karachi,
Lahore and Islamabad, mainly due to the nature of foreign tourism which
is dominated by visiting friends and relatives.
HOW TO COME TO PAKISTAN:
More than 25
airlines fly to Pakistan from over 40 countries. Most of the flights
arrive at Karachi, but
PIA, British Airways, Emirates, Saudia and China Xinjiang Airlines fly
direct to the twin cities of
Rawalpindi/Islamabad. PIA, Indian airlines, Saudia and Thai Airways fly
direct to Lahore. Pakistan International (PIA) has direct flights from
the main Mediterranean and European cities, as well as from New York,
Toronto and Nairobi. It also runs a Far East Network from Tokyo, Beijing,
Jakarta, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok. PIA has also flights to
Tashkent from Islamabad, Lahore, Peshawar and Karachi while another
Pakistani Airline, Aero Asia has a weekly flight between Karachi,
Bishkek and Dubai.
From China, the Khunjerab Pass
is open from 1st May to 31st October for groups and to 15th November for
individual tourists. Customs, immigration post shall remain open daily
from 08:30 to 11:00 for outgoing travelers and upto 16:00 for incoming
tourists. Travel time from Sost to Taxkurgan is 05hrs (220 kms). The
Chinese border post, Taxkurgan is open 12:00 noon to 14:00 for outgoing
tourists and upto 19:00 for incoming travelers.
Wagha is the only
Land border open between Pakistan and India. The Wagha border post open
daily for foreigners; summer (18 April to 15 October) 08:30 to 14:30 hrs
and winter (16th October to 15th April)
09:00 to 15:00
hrs. Minibus No. 12 leaves from outside Lahore Railway Station for Wagha
every fifteen minutes, cost approximately US $ 0.20 per person. Taxi
shall charge around US $ 8 for this half an hour journey.
No passenger boats or ships for
the general public sail to or from Pakistan at present. A few pilgrim
ships/boats, do ply between Pakistan and the Gulf states. There are some
plans of starting a ferry Service between Karachi
and Dubai in near future.
PIA serves 38 domestic
airports with scheduled connections, including multiple daily flights
between major cities of Karachi, Quetta, Multan, Lahore, Islamabad and
Peshawar. Three private airlines, Aero Asia, Shaheen Airlines and Air
Blue also serve Karachi, Lahore, Faisalabad and Islamabad. PIA has daily
flights linking the Northern tourist towns of Gilgit, Skardu and Saidu
Sharif with Islamabad, and Chitral with Peshawar. All flights to the
northern region are subject to good weather.
Pakistan has an extensive network of roads and highways, linking every
big and small town. There are several highways like Grand Trunk Road
between Lahore and Peshawar, Super Highway and National Highway linking
Karachi with interior of Sindh and Punjab, Indus Highway linking
Peshawar with the Southern Punjab, RCD Highway linking Karachi with
Quetta and on to Taftan (Pak-Iran border) and the Karakoram Highway
joining Islamabad with Kashgar (China) through Abbottabad, Gilgit Hunza
and Khunjerab Pass. A land mark has been achieved with the completion of
Lahore-Islamabad motorway (M2) and Faisalabad-Pindi Bhatian Motorway
(M3), which have opened some of the remote areas of Pakistan
for visitors. Another project of Motorway i.e. Islamabad-Peshawar (M1)
will be completed in near future.
You will find all types of public transport in Pakistan. Taxis, auto
rickshaws, vans, tongas (horse & carriage) and mini-buses are used for
traveling within the city/town/village limits, whereas air-conditioned,
non air-conditioned and deluxe type of buses, vans and coaches regularly
ply between major cities and tourists destinations.
Pakistan has over
12,700 kms of railways, including 8,500 kms inherited from the British.
Main line runs from Karachi to Peshawar connecting important tourist
places like Moenjodaro, Sukkur, Bahawalpur, Multan, Lahore, Rawalpindi /
Islamabad, Taxila and Peshawar. Another main line link Quetta with the
rest of the country, There are several daily trains running on these
lines, however, the faster trains like Shalimar Express and Railcar have
more comfortable air-conditioned compartments for travelers.
Pakistan Railways allow a 25% concession in all classes, to foreign
tourists and 50% discount for foreign students. This concession is
allowed on production of a recommendation certificate issued by any PTDC
Tourist Information Centre and original passport, to the Divisional
Superintendent of Pakistan Railways.
LOCATION & GEOGRAPHY
POPULATION (1998 Census)
FESTIVALS AND HOLIDAYS OF PAKISTAN
HOW TO COME TO PAKISTAN
WHAT TO BUY?