Tourism and Poverty Alleviation

As a fastest growing sector in the world, the tourism industry has important impacts on the development of economic, social cultural and environmental aspects of a country. According to World Tourism Organization (WTO), tourism accounts for up to 10% of global gross domestic product making it one of the world’s largest industries.   For one third of developing countries, tourism is already a major source of income and foreign exchange.   Also in more than 50 of world’s poorest countries, tourism ranks among top three of largest economic sector. Its progress is more pronounced in developing countries than in developed countries. To completely understand the importance of tourism in economic development of a country a few statistics about tourism and tourists are discussed below:
Tourism plays a major role in the economy of poor and developing countries across the globe.   It is a major source of foreign exchange in 46 of 49 least developed countries. It is the only service industry that shows a positive flow of trade from first world countries to developing countries.
Tourism in Asia has expanded exponentially in the past ten years than in any other region of the world primarily due to improved air linkages and transportation networks, simplified visa procedures, more economical travelling and hotel stay packages and new emerging industrial markets like China, Russia etc.  
Pakistan being a developing country possesses immense potential in terms of tourism due to its diversified geography, history and culture. With a wide range of tourists attractions/resorts including mountains, meadows, rivers, lakes, coastal areas and beaches, caves, mines, forts, mosques and multicultural live-hood it has bright prospects for becoming one of the most popular Asian tourist’s destination. However, the annual tourist arrival to Pakistan is just limited to less than half a million.
According to United Nations millennium development goals, poverty and extreme...