PM Launches TREK – A Responsible Tourism Initiative Between KP, World Bank and Nestlé
The tourism sector is all set to see a boom as new destinations open up for domestic and international tourists in the northern areas. Prime Minister Imran Khan announced this while unveiling the logo of TREK – ‘Travel Responsibly for Experiencing Ecotourism in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’ – an initiative under the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Integrated Tourism Development (KITE) project, at a ceremony in the capital.
TREK is a collaboration between World Bank, Nestlé Pakistan, and the provincial government to promote responsible tourism, provide employment opportunities, develop infrastructure, preserve heritage sites and provide better waste management for tourists and locals in the region.
During the unveiling, PM Imran emphasized the efforts of the provincial government to create livelihood opportunities in this sector. “This project I believe was necessary for a really long time and I extend my heartfelt congratulations to KP government, World Bank and Nestlé for coming together,” PM Imran said.
“We are opening up new destinations and ensuring the provision of tourist facilities by inviting the private sector to further develop this important sector of the provincial economy, this project I believe was necessary for a really long time,” CM Mahmood Khan said, adding that the collaboration with World Bank, Nestlé and other stakeholders were strengthening the efforts to better manage the destinations and effectively address the issues of waste management.
Talking to ProPakistani Samer Chedid, CEO Nestlé Pakistan said, “As part of our vision for a waste-free future, we are accelerating our actions to tackle plastic waste and our partnership with WBG & KP government is a step in that direction.
“We will be driving new behavior and understanding through community engagement, cleanup activities, training, and connecting waste recycling companies with the local administration,” Chedid added, highlighting Nestlé’s role in the initiative.
Earlier, Nestlé Pakistan took part in the Clean Hunza project, that though delayed due to COVID-19, is set to be on track soon, aiming waste management of 150,000 kgs of plastics annually in Phase I, followed by a collection of 50,000 kgs paper packaging (used beverage cartons) in Phase II in the area with an increase of 10% annually.
Najy Benhassine, Country Director for World Bank Group (WBG), Pakistan while addressing the participants at the event said, “The World Bank Group is keen to continue supporting Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab in their efforts to provide employment opportunities to the youth in the tourism sector.”
“Today marks the beginning of an important partnership with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the private sector and we expect to see more corporates stepping forward to contribute towards responsible tourism across the country. The growth and job creation potential of this sector is massive,” he added.
Meanwhile, Provincial Secretary Sports and Tourism, Abid Majeed stressed that the TREK under KITE focused on heritage preservation, tourism infrastructure provision, and destination development while adhering to the fundamentals of responsible tourism. He also highlighted the KP tourism department’s role in facilitating tourists by improving accessibility through roads, rescue services, and planning of tourism zones.
The partners have vowed to work together for the protection of the ecosystem across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa through solid waste management and plastics recycling. Activities will include the provision of essential infrastructure, training, and awareness campaigns for tourists, communities, and businesses.