By: Suraya Raiszada
KABUL: Acting Minister of Information and Culture, Mohammad Tahir Zuhair, chairing the first meeting of the National Tourism Board here in Kabul said security was the most important factor to draw more tourists to the country.
In the meeting attended by some deputy ministers of different ministries, the acting minister said Afghanistan has high tourism capacity, if peace and security restored. “Tourists don’t come to Afghanistan due to security problems.”
“Currently, tourism revenues come through domestic tourists,” said the acting minister.
He said sharing viewpoints and suggestions by the ministers could help have good opportunity for more proliferation of tourism industry in the country. “Afghanistan has had high tourism capacity in the past long years and that people from various world countries visited Afghanistan through which the country had good revenues.” “The idea of life has changed. The world countries are interested in more commutation among each other so the industry should be more focused by the country,” he said.
Addressing the participants, minister Zuhair added: “Afghanistan used the past more and successful experiences for rehabilitation and more development of tourist industry in the country.” He said each of the provinces of the country has more tourist attractions and scenic sites for tourists.
“We can make a five-year plan for any of the country’s provinces, as in the contemporary world, tourist attractions make the most important source of revenues and economy of the countries.”
Meanwhile, the national tourism board procedure containing 12 articles mostly focusing on issues including amendment in the tourism law and development of tourism industry in the country, material and spiritual support to the tourism programs etc, which was prepared by the Ministry of Information and Culture, was discussed by the meeting participants.
A number of ministries with share in the National Tourism Board welcomed the board’s program and said that the government should work more on the tourism attraction.
Head of National Olympic Committee and Physical Education also spoke in the meeting and said sport should also be paid attention like tourism industry. “Ten percent of the country’s gross income comes from sport, so sport should also be paid attention as it plays key role in development of tourism industry.
Other participants shared their suggestions and viewpoints with the Ministry of Information and Culture on the issue. Suggested by the Ministry of Information and Culture and approved by President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, the National Tourism Board, which is established for the first time, is expected to hold meetings on quarterly basis for doing more on issues relating to tourism.