China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project offers unique opportunities to revitalise Pakistan’s hotel and hospitality industry.
Infrastructure investments for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) have given a helping hand to Pakistan’s hospitality industry as new hotels and guest houses are emerging in different parts of the country.
The role of the services industry is static or rather on the decline in third world countries and Pakistan is no exception. Pakistan is a country that has an unstable economy and just received its 6th bailout package from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), like CPEC in Pakistan, will surely lift the economy out of the shambles, but the prerequisite is the proper materialization of resources and investment. In Pakistan hotel management, tourism and the hospitality industry are unknown to the general public, whereas there are countries where the scope of hotel management and hospitality contributes immensely to the national GDP. The industries related to travel and hospitalist domain in Canada contribute nearly 11% to the GDP and in Italy, they contribute around 12%. The goal of hospitality and hotel management is to make sure that guests in general, and particularly foreign guests, have a pleasant stay in the host country.
In the modern globalized era, such services have got the spotlight on the country’s growing industries. The member countries of ASEAN (Association of South-East Asian Nations) have also initiated a common agenda to train the people in the tourism and hospitality industry. Unfortunately, the scope of hospitality and hotel management is very depressing in Pakistan. There are few short-term courses and higher educational institutes have yet to commence a comprehensive degree in hospitality and hotel management. Pakistan has a long road to cover until the outcome of such initiatives will become visible.
Moreover, security issues and a lack of hospitability and hotel services have exacerbated the concerns of foreign investors. In such a scenario, government intervention is crucial to provide leverage to the services sector related to hotel management and the tourism industry. But having such a fragile economy, public and private relationships are the need of the hour to avail the opportunities of CPEC. For meantime, the government can lease out land to private investors to develop properties and once the infrastructure is available, there will be an increase in the flow of foreign investment. Security issues have improved unprecedentedly since the National Action Plan (NAP) of 2015. The opening of the new International Airport in Islamabad can host the Boeing Airbus A380. British Airways has also started its direct flight from the airport, which will increase the flow of foreign investment and tourism. These developments will surely intensify the demand for services; which in Pakistan are still under development.