The Roadshow/Familiarisation (Fam) Trip that was planned took place on the targeted period between 6th June to 16th June 2022 as planned.
Overall, the organizers managed to keep up with most of the itinerary as planned. Pakistan was a sell-out, a runaway success. Its natural beauty captured the hearts and minds of all the Tour Operators that were in the group. We were all completely mesmerised even though most of us has already done Turkey Tours before this.
The Roadshow/Familiarisation Trip is a success because of the following:
a. The Inbound Operator – Harappa Tours and Travels
They worked relentlessly to offer the best within their means. They had always worked very closely with the Team Leader especially when addressing difficulties and hurdles along the way. They were also very flexible when addressing to the tourist needs
b. The beautiful and enchanting places that Pakistan has to offer in the Northern areas are simply too beautiful and natural. Its mesmerising and breath taking literally.
c. The local people – They were just simple and plain warm hospitable folks who were very welcoming. There were no untoward incidences throughout the trip. Naturally they were very warm people.
When we met the local people from different places, we were very enthralled to know their different looks and origins.
d. The road infra structure- this was another factor that helped us move smoothly. The roads are well laid and made travel possible although there would be some work in progress on some areas that are affected by natural calamities.
e. Local Offerings – there always were something special in the different places we went. These places had a lot to offer the tourists. This includes fresh fruits, dried fruits, stones, honey extracts, traditional head gears for men and women and gems.
f. Historic Places – we were impressed with the guided tours given by local tour guides. They spoke well and kept us interested in some of these historic places.
g. Safety – We all felt very safe in the outskirts, no doubt. We were impressed by our Tour Operator that it is completely safe to be in that part of the country.
h. Food – Much of the food we ate is different from our daily regular meals. Nevertheless, we got the opportunity to taste the many different foods of Pakistan whilst we were on the tour. However, when we started to get too much of the same cuisines, we requested changes to suit our tastes. This was accommodated. Some hotels even served us Chinese cuisines to suit to our tastebuds.
i. Shopping – The group always found something fascinating to buy locally during their tours. This contributes to the earnings of the local people. In the city areas, like Islamabad and Rawalpindi, the group members went berserk! completely busy jumping from street-to-street shopping. Something Malaysians are very fond off when they travel. Especially, when the prices are inexpensive and attractive.
j. Hospitality from the Malaysian General Consul office. Mr. Deddy Faisal took time off from his schedule to meet the Malaysian delegates. He took the opportunity to welcome the Tour Operators on their mission. He gave useful tips and advice in the development of bilateral tourism after the Covid era as Pakistan has much to offer. He spoke confidently of the potential in inbound tourism from Pakistan to Malaysia. He also touched on the setting up of a marketing office by MITA in the near future.
All in all, this was a very good effort by the MPBC, the Malaysian operator, Grain Holidays, Tourism Malaysia, and the Pakistan High Commission office to help in the organizing of this trip. Although there is a lot room for improvement in developing the tour industry in Pakistan, we are very confident that the good experience of this trip from the tour operators, will further help increasing the number of tourists from Malaysian to Pakistan and vice versa.