ISLAMABAD: Forbes has joined the league of international publications that have added Pakistan to their list of must-visit places in 2020. The magazine has published a catalog, “The Not Hot List,” which mentions countries that skew away from popular and typical vacation spots and aims to seek out those “off the beaten path.”
In its “10 Best-Under-The-Radar Trips” for 2020 list, Pakistan’s northern areas are included for being the “ultimate” location for adventure seekers.
Forbes lists the recent visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Kate Middleton, as a significant feather in Pakistan’s tourism cap. It also mentions an adventure travel group, Wild Frontiers, which gives a curated 16-day group tour through the mountainous northwest frontier and introduces tourists to places like Kalash Valley, Hunza, and Chitral.
The founder of Wild Frontiers told Forbes: “Pakistan is perhaps the ultimate adventure travel destination. It offers ancient Indus civilizations stretching back 4,000 years, and exciting cities like Lahore with its forts, mosques, and palaces. But most of all, it offers incredible scenery, particularly in the north where the three greatest mountain ranges collide. Pakistan is great for trekking, mountain biking, rafting or just cultural tourism. The infrastructure has also improved, with resurfaced roads and new tunnels cutting down travel time, new luxury hotels are opening up in the region.”
Forbes joins Conde Nast Traveler and the British Backpacker Society in naming Pakistan a top holiday destination for 2020.
Since the sitting prime minister, Imran Khan, assumed the country’s top political office, there has been an effort to project Pakistan’s soft image to revive tourism in the country. The government has had a number of royal visits, including the aforementioned British Royals as well as Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and has announced plans to refurbish and preserve a number of religious sites.
Pakistan most recently opened the Kartarpur Corridor with India, allowing Sikh pilgrims from the neighboring country to visit their most important religious shrine with limited restriction. Pakistan also announced late last year that Hindu temples in Peshawar would be renovated next. It also said that Buddhist sites of worship would be tended to as the country intends to host a Buddhist summit in April.