Pakistan can earn billions of dollars by exploiting religious tourism: Harpreet S Sandu

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	ISLAMABAD, :Pakistan can earn billions of dollars foreign exchange by fully exploiting the unexplored important avenues of Sikh and Buddha religious tourism, said Executive Director American Sikh Caucus Committee Harpreet  S Sandu, who is leading a Sikh delegation to Pakistan.
	 During a call on meeting with Chairam UK Pakistan Business Council and Chief Executive Officer Pakistan Furniture Council, Mian Kashif Ashfaq, Sandu said Pakistan was uniquely placed to take advantage of religious tourism and luckily Punjab was home to five the most important pilgrimage sites for Sikh community.
	 He said a largely unexplored avenue of tourism in Pakistan was religious tourism especially Sikh and Bhuddhist which could an potentially generate over billions of dollars for Pakistan and to create new jobs. 
	 He said to get maximum benefits from this sector, he advised the government to immediately invest in developing and maintaining vital supporting infrastructure strictly in line with international standards set by UNESCO.
	 Deputy leader of the delegation Charanjit S Batth said in most of the countries tourism was the second highest source of foreign exchange. 
	 He said religious tourism was thriving yet mostly neglected Industry in Pakistan, a country packed with landmarks of various religious ethnicities. He said areas like Taxila, Haripur, Mardan and Swat that’s made up to ancient Gandhra region could be more attractive for foreign tourists.
	 Goja Singh another member of Sikh delegation said one of the surveys revealed that 58 million interested Buddhist visitors wanted to come to Pakistan. 
	 On the occasion, Mian Kashif assured the delegation that their valuable suggestions would be placed before Prime Minister Imran Khan for necessary directions.
	 He assured, “once the wheels are set in direction, the number of foreign tourists and their revenue will grow with a snowball effect”.