CHITRAL: With sweltering heat hitting the plains, tourists from all over Pakistan’s south are rushing to the mountains for respite. Special planes arrive with tourist loads in Gilgit and Skardu, and the roads to Muree and khagan are jam packed with traffic.
In Chitral however there is another story. Despite having the advantage of the Kalash cultural charm and being topographically a beautiful valley, Chitral remains underserved with it’s tourism share. The main reasons why Chitral has not attracted tourists compared to the other resorts are the following.
Poor condition of roads: Every other tourist destination has good (if not excellent) roads serving them. Chitral is one place where the condition of roads is far worse than any other place. Just yesterday, family arriving in Chitral town in their new Corolla car decided to go back the very next day without visiting any other tourist spot, and the reason they gave for it was “poor condition of road”.
Harassment at Lowari tunnel/checkposts : Another big turn off for tourists is when they arrive at the Lowari tunnel after a long and tiring drive, only to be told that they had to wait at the mouth of the tunnel as it was ‘tunnel close time’ or that the traffic was coming from the other side and tunnel was one way facility etc etc. Tourists also complain that there were too many unnecessary questions at the check posts around the tunnel, which are not asked any where in Pakistan.
Lack of essential facilities: It is like a bonus when all essential services are working together in Chitral town, because at any one time, any one service like electricity, water, internet etc has to be down as if by default.
Despite Chitral being a unique valley(s) surpassing other tourist areas of the north in it’s beauty, and tourist friendly culture, the man made impediments are having a big negative impact on the saleability of it’s tourism potential. .. CN report, 09 Jun 2021