ISLAMABAD, March 13: The Ministry of Tourism has decided to seek assistance from the Austrian government for the rehabilitation of the Pakistan-Austrian Institute for Tourism and Hotel Management (Paithom) at Gulibagh (Swat).
Official sources told Dawn that the Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) had submitted a report to the Ministry of Tourism on the rehabilitation of Paithom. The last courses organised by the institute were in 2007. However, PTDC shifted some of the courses to its tourist facilitation centre at Abbottabad.
Though PTDC has submitted its report on the Institute to the Ministry, the government has not yet given its clearance to the tourism body to initiate any work.
The Federal Minister for Tourism, Maulana Ataur Rahman, who is leading the official delegation to the International Exhibition ?ITB Berlin 2010? discussed the opening of Paithom with officials of Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management of Austria.
Prof Leonhard Wornhard and Ms Gabriel, dean of the institute assured Maulana Rahman of their cooperation for the reactivation of the institute. In this regard, they promised to take up the issue with the Austrian embassy in Islamabad.
Meanwhile, thousands of visitors were visiting the Pakistani Pavilion at the Berlin Exhibition which will come to close on Sunday. Gifts of ?hina? and bangles attracted mainly the womenfolk while rests were given gifts of collar flag pin and dry fruits from Pakistan.
Pakistan?s tourism industry jointly set up Pakistan Pavilion at the exhibition. Besides the Federal Minister, Pakistani delegation included representatives of PTDC, STC, STDC and 15 leading Pakistani tour operators. Pakistani tour operators exchanged contacts with their counterparts and marketed their newly designed tour packages.
The Pakistan embassy in Berlin organised bilateral meeting between the Pakistani delegation with the Turkish Minister for Tourism and Culture Mr Ozgar Ozaslan and German Parliamentary State Secretary and Federal Commission for SMEs and Tourism.
Federal Minister Mr. Attaur Rehman briefed them about the potential of bilateral arrangements for the promotion of tourism through learning of the experiences on either side with Turkey and Germany Both Turkish and Pakistani Minister for tourism agreed for the continuation of dialogue through their missions in their respective countries towards achieving the common objectives of tourism promotion