Updated on November 6, 2023 by Axel Hernborg

Axel Hernborg

Tourism is a rising sector in Pakistan. The country is diverse in terms of geography and ethnicity, and it is home to several historical and cultural heritage sites. The government of Pakistan’s recent decision to abolish required No Objection Certificates for foreign visitors intending to visit certain sections of the country has benefited the increase in tourism in recent years. The Guardian published a list of “the top five tourist destinations in Pakistan” in October 2006, one year after the 2005 Kashmir earthquake, to aid the country’s tourism economy.

Lahore, the Karakoram Highway, Karimabad, and Lake Saiful Muluk were among the locations visited. In 2007, Pakistan started the “Visit Pakistan” marketing campaign, which included fairs, religious festivals, regional athletic events, arts and craft displays, folk festivals, and the establishment of historical institutions to showcase the country’s cultural history. The region has seen an inflow of travel vloggers who have documented the country’s beauty, particularly in the northern highlands of Hunza and Skardu. The ruins of Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa, as well as the Himalayan hill stations, are popular tourist destinations in Pakistan. Several mountain peaks exceeding 7,000 meters (23,000 feet) in Pakistan, notably K2, attract explorers and mountain climbers from all over the world. The Hunza and Chitral valleys, which are home to small Kalash villages and Fairy Meadows, and the Diamer District of Gilgit Baltistan, are all located in the north of Pakistan. The historic city of Lahore, Pakistan’s cultural center, is home to many specimens of Mughal architecture, including the Badshahi Masjid, Shalimar Gardens, Jahangir Tomb, and Lahore Fort. Rich agricultural fields, a wide network of rivers and channels, shrines, old forts, and Mughal gardens make up the Punjab province. The world-famous Gandhara Buddhist culture flourished in northern Pakistan about 2,000 years ago, with Taxila serving as the major seat of Buddhist learning. The top foreign tourist attractions are

  • One of the most spectacular treks in the world is the NANGA PARBAT base camp trek.
  • Each year in July, the SHANDUR POLO FESTIVAL is one of Pakistan’s biggest festivals.
  • K2, Pakistan’s highest peak, receives climbers from all over the world.
  • In Pakistan’s Arabian Sea, the unhabituated ASTOLA Island is found.

Pakistan remains on the World Health Organization’s (WHO) prolonged foreign travel limitations recommendation, along with Afghanistan, due to a lack of acceptable polio immunization and fears of the disease spreading internationally once more. Pakistan released travel advisories to inbound tourists during the COVID outbreak.

Pakistan Tourism Statistics

  1. Pakistan was named the world’s number 1 adventure travel destination by the British Backpacker Society in 2018, characterizing it as one of the nicest travel destinations on earth, with mountain scenery that is beyond anyone’s wildest fantasy.
  2. Pakistan was named one of the tenth coolest destinations to visit in 2019 by Forbes.
  3. In 2012, Pakistan was ranked seventh in South Asia in tourism aspects.
  4. According to the World Economic Forum’s Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report, Pakistan’s World Heritage sites, which range from the mangroves of the Indus delta to the Indus Valley Civilization ruins of Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa, are among the top 25% of worldwide destinations.
  5. Pakistan has been named The Best Holiday Destination for 2020, as well as the world’s third-highest potential adventure destination.
  6. Tourism grows as the country’s security improves; in just two years, it has climbed by more than 300 percent in 2017.
  7. The Pakistani government has made it easier for foreign tourists to enter Pakistan by launching online visa services for 175 countries and offering visas on arrival to 50 others.
  8. The direct contribution of travel and tourism to Pakistan’s GDP in 2015 was US$328.3 million.
  9. The direct contribution of travel and tourism to Pakistan’s GDP in 2016 was US$7.6 billion (PKR 793.0 billion), accounting for 2.7 percent of the country’s total GDP, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council.
  10. Tourism contributed $15 billion to Pakistan’s GDP in 2019, accounting for 5.7 percent of the country’s total GDP.
  11. In 2017, travel and tourism generated $8.8 billion, or 2.9 percent of Pakistan’s overall GDP, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council’s 2021 report.
  12. In 2013, 565,212 tourists spent $298 million in Pakistan; this number has later climbed to almost 6.6 million tourists in 2018.
  13. In comparison, Pakistan’s national traveling industry is estimated to be worth $50 billion, with 50 million tourists visiting the nation on short excursions from May to August.
  14. The United Kingdom brings the most visitors, followed by the United States, India, and China.
  15. In 2012, Pakistan received 966,000 tourists, placing it 99th in the world in terms of total visitors.
  16. The outcome is a far more comparable image in contrast to the country’s population as it was rated 195th in the world with 0.0044 tourists per citizen.
  17. The tourism industry alone brought in roughly 765.00 million dollars to Pakistan every year.
  18. This amounts to 0.29 percent of the country’s gross domestic product and almost 4% of all international tourism receipts in the region.
  19. As per the international tourism survey, about 966,000 tourist visits Pakistan spending 1.01 bn $ with 1,050 $ per tourist.
  20. Though Pakistan’s tourism receipts have fluctuated significantly in recent years, they have tended to rise from 2001 to 2020, reaching 765 million US dollars by the end of 2020.
  21. In 2019, the world tourism monitoring organizations recorded over two million foreign tourist arrivals, up from fewer than half a million in 2015.
  22. Last year, domestic tourism surpassed the 40 million mark.
  23. In 2019, Pakistan’s tourism revenue totaled 948,000,000.00, up 12.19 percent over 2018.
  24. According to the World Bank’s collection of development indicators derived from officially recognized sources, international tourism receipts (current US$) in Pakistan were reported as 765000000 USD in 2020.
  25. Pakistan’s average worth throughout that time was 796 million dollars, with a low of 492 million dollars in 1999 and a high of 1127 million dollars in 2011.
  26. The most recent estimate for 2020 is USD 765 million.
  27. In 2020, the world average based on 125 nations was estimated to be 3859 million USD.
  28. The number of Pakistani tourists that visited the ASEAN region in 2019 was estimated to be around 233.29 thousand.
  29. This was an increase over 2010 when the number of Pakistani tourists visiting the ASEAN region totaled 92.3 thousand.
  30. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this growth is roughly observed to 25% lower in 2020, decreasing to $11.6 billion, or 4.4 percent of GDP.
  31. In March 2020, Pakistan’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) projected losses of roughly $18 million, and an initial assessment predicted that KP’s tourism sector declared loss of $20 million in revenue and 260,000 formal jobs.
  32. Tourism-related jobs declined by 11.1% from 3.45 million in 2019 to 3.63 million in 2020.
  33. According to published reports of the World Travel and Tourism Council in March 2021, figures show a fall in GDP of 5.5% with 4,671 BN observed in tourism from 10.4% in 2019.
  34. The jobs produced by the travel and tourism sector is 272 MN in all 1 in 11 jobs from 334 MN in 2019.
  35. It put a fall in the employment sector by increasing 3,063.2 jobs (000s) with 4.8% of total employment.
  36. The impact of foreign tourists decreased by PKR 118.0 BN (USD 729.2 MN) for each visitor spent.
  37. The impact of domestic tourists decreased by PKR 1162.5 BN (USD 7182.0 MN) for each visitor spent.
  38. The domestic spending on tourism by the tourists is USD 7,182.0 MN in 2020, which is a downfall from the figures observed in 2019 of USD 10,177.3 MN (91%).
  39. The international tourist spending on tourism in Pakistan in 2020 is observed to be USD 729.2 MN 2020, which is a downfall from the figures observed in 2019 of USD 950.0 MN (9%).
  40. The leisure travel spending by the tourists is USD 9,997.7 MN (90%) in 2019, which is decreased in 2020 by USD 7,340.4 MN (93%).
  41. The Business travel spending observed in-country is USD 1,129.6 MN (10%) in 2019, which is decreased in 2020 by USD 570.8 MN (7%).
  42. The inbound arrivals are observed in 2020, from the United Kingdom (26%), India (17%), United States (11%), China (10%), Canada (4%), and 32% from the rest of the world.
  43. The outbound departures are observed in 2020, to the United Kingdom (3%), Iran (9%), United Arab Emirates (18%), Saudi Arabia (43%), Turkey (3%), and 25% from the rest of the world.
  44. Tourism is expected to contribute Rs.1 trillion ($6.2 billion) to Pakistan’s economy by 2025, according to the government.