KARACHI: Minister for Culture, Tourism and Antiques Syed Sardar Ali Shah has said that tourism is a provincial subject and the federal task force is attacking provincial sovereignty. The Federal Tourism Task Force is unconstitutional and therefore did not attend any of its meetings. He said that the 18th Amendment is a matter of sovereignty of the provinces. On which no one will compromise.
On the occasion of Inaugural Ceremony of Sindh Tourism Development Corporation’s Online Portal addressing the representatives of private organizations, travel associations, hotel industry and other relevant departments present at the event, Sardar Shah said that you too should speak to the federal government to ask your federal agencies to promote tourism on all the islands of Sindh. I support you. He said that nowadays in the era of smart phones, everyone has pockets with 15-20 megapixels and therefore banning cameras will discourage tourists. And so I would urge Prime Minister Khan that all organizations cooperate to encourage tourists. He invited the private sector to participate in the tourism of the province; Sardar Shah said that the private sector would come forward and invest in tourism from Gorkha Hill Station to Nangar parkar wherever the department would cooperate with you. Minister for Culture & Tourism Syed Sardar Shah inaugurated the STDC portal.
Mr. Aijaz Ahmed Shaikh, Chief Executive of STDC being host of the event presented welcome address to the participants. Believe that today is a very important day in the history of the tourism department of Sindh that today we are taking the historic step of connecting the tourist places of our province with the world. He expressed his great concern to accomplish the targets and goals regarding development and promotion of tourism in Sindh.
He said that STDC is a public body and is functional for the cause of tourism particular in Sindh. MD STDC expressed that this is not just a website, but a glimpse of the efforts made by STDC’s day-to-day hard work and dedication, which is always trying to promote Sindh tourism. The STDC has recently taken unprecedented measures for the development of tourism in Sindh and today this web portal is a link to the same. And all the success goes to our dear Minister Syed Sardar Ali Shah Sahib whose leadership and above all, in whose love we all follow the directions of them, we are moving our institution forward.
About the web portal, the consultant of the STDC Mr. Amar Fayyaz Buriro presented briefing. He said that 24 hour online booking web portal has been created by digitizing all tourist destinations in Sindh, the first web portal of any province of Pakistan, where 24 hours. Online booking of tourist resorts is available. The resorts offer various payment gateways for online booking and the web portal can be accessed from a computer as well as a smart phone. STDC web portal has been given complete information including maps, weather conditions, as well as the local manager of each tourist site, including 3D virtual tours of all tourist destinations in Sindh, So that the tourists get full facilities. STDC web portal has been linked with the global online agency “Bookings.com” and “TripAdvisor”. And as soon as the online booking is confirmed, the guest will be sent an automatic e-mail to the tourist, admin officer and local manager so that they can be informed about the booking tourist. In addition to email, all updates will be sent via SMS notification. Guidebooks, information flyers and brochures can also be downloaded for tourist information on the web portal. And guest tourists can also create their own personal account on the STDC web portal so that they can view all of their travel history going forward. In addition, the web portal is linked to the international currency market, allowing foreign tourists to view updated information along with their country’s currency.
It is pertinent to mention that Sindh Department of Culture, Tourism and Antiquities have Geo-tagged 760 sites across the province on Google. About 20,000 images of the department’s sites have been published on Google Maps, which has been viewed by some 17 million people worldwide. Google Street View has published 716 virtual tours of the Department of Culture, Tourism and Antiques sites, which have been viewed by 18 million visitors.
Inaugural ceremony was attended by MPA Qasim Soomro, Secretary Culture Pervaiz Ahmed Sehar, MD STDC Aijaz Ahmed Sheikh, DG Culture Manzoor Kanasro, Amar Fayyaz Buriro, Madad Ali Sindhi, GM STDC Ghulam Murtaza Daudpota, Deputy Director STDC Mohammad Azam, Pakistan Hotel Association and Travel Association of Pakistan, Representatives of the event relevant officials and media representatives were present.