Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government has allocated Rs4.79 billion under Accelerated Implementation Program (AIP) for promotion of tourism sector in merged districts to ensure development and creating more job opportunities in the area especially for youth.

According to official documents, in order to tap full potential of tourism in merged districts, a number of steps have been taken after giving industry status to tourism sector that include establishing Tourism wing with a cost of Rs78 million, allocation of Rs2.6 billion for identification of new tourist spots, recreational areas, picnic spots and tourists facilitation centers in merged districts.

Besides, an amount of Rs15 million has been allocated under integrated tourism development program for merged districts including Rs3.4 billion for building roads and connectivity infrastructure to ensure easy access of tourists to Sheik Badin, a scenic mountainous station in the North West of Dl Khan and West of Lakki Marwat district at a height of 4,516 feet.

The K-P government also allocated Rs494 million for holding cultural festivals and sporting events in merged districts. Realizing the importance of tourism sector in the regional development and generating employment opportunities, the KP government has approved Rs 1.5 billion tourism project for setting up 10 camping villages at scenic locations in the merged districts. The provincial government has directed Tourism department to establish at least three Integrated Tourism Zones in merged districts to tap tourism potential of these areas and generates job opportunities for local people.

Chief Minister Mahmood Khan is personally taking keen interest in the uplift of tourism sector and said that merged districts have great potential of tourism and establishing tourism zones would give a boost to the provincial economy, besides providing various opportunities to local people. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is also supporting the Department of Tourism, sports, Culture, Architecture & Youth Affairs, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in setting up ‘camping villages’ in scenic locations across the province.