Pakistan - Tourism, travel, and recreation



The government actively promotes tourism to boost its foreign-exchange earnings. Pakistan Tours, a government subsidiary, provides daily tours of Karachi, Rawalpindi, and other main cities. In Karāchi are the National Museum and the Mausoleum of the Quaid-e-Azam. In Lahore, the "city of gardens" and Pakistan's foremost cultural and educational center, remnants of the Mughal Empire are resplendently preserved. Islāmābād, the wholly planned capital, offers notable examples of architecture in the modern style. Popular recreations include mountain climbing in the Himalaya foothills, sailing, and deep-sea fishing off the Arabian Sea coast. Hockey and cricket are the leading sports, but golf is also popular, with courses in Lahore, Rawalpindi, Islāmābād and other cities.

Most visitors to Pakistan are required to have a visa and a valid passport. Tourists planning to stay more than 30 days must register with the government. Road permits are available for land crossings into India at Wagah (between Lahore and Amritsar in India). There are no health restrictions on visitors entering Pakistan except in regard to cholera and yellow fever immunizations for those who have been in infected areas.

In 2000, 556,805 tourists visited the country and receipts were valued at $84 million. That year there were 35,524 hotel rooms and 53,286 bed-places.

The US State Department estimated the cost of staying in Islāmābād in 2001 at about $212 per day. Estimated daily expenses in Karāchi were $108 per day.

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