SKARDU, July 18: Over one lakh domestic tourists have entered Gilgit-Baltistan during the last one month, an official said.
“Gilgit-Baltistan is the safest and ideal tourist destination in the country,” Asim Ayub, Commissioner Baltistan Division said this at a press briefing here on Monday.
Tourism is picking up as 122,000 domestic tourists entered the Gilgit-Baltistan during the last one month, he said. “Out of which 75,000 tourists visited only Baltistan,” he added.
Giving details about most popular tourist spots and routes, he said, 9,000 tourists visited Baltistan via the famous Deosai plateau, 22,000 entered from Staq check-post via Anchan Highway (Gilgit-Skardu road) and the rest visited via flights.
The commissioner further said that 478 foreign tourist and mountaineers are currently enjoying the beautiful tourist spots and mountains in Baltistan, out of which 334 are only in Baltoro region Shigar valley for climbing peaks or trekking.
He said, tourism is the mainstay of the GB’s economy and a major source of livelihood for the people of Baltistan.
“That was the reason that the administration is making all out efforts to facilitate tourists and provide security to them in Baltistan division,” he said adding that a tourist facilitation/information centre has been set up at Staque police check-post.
The project for the construction of a building for proper tourist information centre at Staque village on way to Skardu has been approved. He further said that another tourist information centre has been established at the main entrance apartment at Skardu airport which was used to be outside of the building previously.
He said the divisional administration was giving security of the tourists top priority that’s why the record of each tourist is being maintained properly.
Mr Ayub further said that foolproof security arrangements have been made for Asad Ashura procession which is being observed in Skardu on August 3. For this purpose, the district administration for the first time is availing the help of sniffer dogs on the day of Ashura and will also use mobile phone jammers.
Police and other security personnel are being deployed on the routes of the procession while a bomb disposal squad van will also be put on alert.
In addition, a flag march of police and other paramilitary forces personnel will be held two days before the Ashura to show their power.