The next ‘big’ thing: Pakistan’s tourist traffic witnesses 317% increase in past 5 years

From 2016 to 2018, the most visited museums were the Pakistan Monument Museum in Islamabad, Khewra Mines Museum, and Lok Virsa Heritage Museum.


According to a report, the tourist traffic in Pakistan has increased by 317% in the past five years. In this progress, Punjab’s contribution has been the biggest, nearing 95pc.

The increase in tourism can have a big impact on the economy of the country, as per the information in the report ‘Cultural Heritage and Museum Visits in Pakistan’ by Gallup Pakistan, a research organization, associated with Gallup International Association.

Since 2014, tourism, especially at cultural sites, has increased. From 1.6 million visits in 2014, the traffic rose to 6.6 million in 2018. Punjab, the largest and most densely populated province, contributed 95pc, but the tourist visits in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh varied over the time under observation.

The tourist traffic at museums increased 50pc, having the visits increasing from 1.7m in 2014 to 2.7m in 2018. The tourist visits in Balochistan and KP saw the same increase, in Punjab and Sindh, however, the visits kept changing.

Museums remained more popular among visitors:

Museums remained more popular amongst the visitors, receiving 50pc more visits as compared to cultural sites.

From 2016 to 2018, the most visited museums were the Pakistan Monument Museum in Islamabad, Khewra Mines Museum in Chakwal and Lok Virsa Heritage Museum located in Islamabad, along with museums in Lahore and Taxila.

“We have observed 15 to 20pc increase in local and foreign visitors. Interest in museums is continuously increasing,” – said Bilal Ghani from Gallup Pakistan, while talking to Dawn News.
He also said that the number of visits by local as well as foreign visitors to the museum and cultural sites was balanced by the federal and provincial government.

In Lahore, the Shahi Qila was the most popular site. Other than that, Shalimar Garden and Hiran Minar in Sheikhupura were also highly visited. Jehangir’s tomb and Takht-i-Bahi in Mardan were very popular among the years.

From 2016 to 2018, Taxila was the most liked cultural site by tourists, along with others like Shahi Qila, Moenjodaro, Larkana, Shalimar Garden, and Jehangir’s Tomb.

“There is room for further improvements. With some more efforts both local and foreigner visitors can be increased substantially,”– said Mr. Ghani.

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