Preparations are in full swing to welcome tourists in March to a new destination station Eco-tourism village, located in the daunting mountains of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Kaghan Valley and a few kilometers off the Monroe Trail.
The village, the government’s first initiative in tourism industry to implement the zero-waste roadmap, is a two-hour scenic jeep drive from the Monroe Trail and a six-day adventurous trek for the hikers.
For parking facilities, the spot has been added with the horse stables set up at the beginning of Monroe Trek near Shankiari in Saran Valley. The tourists’ accommodations are almost ready to welcome them to spend their memorable days and nights in the breathtaking scenes of the nature, not disturbed as yet by the human encroachers.
Information and awareness desks are also ready to guide visitors about different locations and how to ensure and keep the environment clean.
To prevent people from rain and snowy weather, sheds/shelters are also ready, an official privy to the development told APP. He said cooking areas, washrooms and cozy rooms built with the natural wood were operational to receive tourists in March after its formal inauguration.
Syed Ali, a frequent tourist with family from Islamabad to Northern Areas, said, ” it’s good news that the tourists are being attracted to new destination but relevant authorities need to give special attention to the Mansehra-Naran-Jalkhad Road which links KP with Gilgit-Baltistan as it has blacktopping and potholes,”. He stressed to ensure missing facilities in the area and complete rehabilitation of MNJ Road and arteries leading to other exotic places to make the government’s tourism vision a complete success.
Minister for Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam in a recent event expressing his resolve to establish three more eco-friendly spots said, “The eco-tourism project is a unique and practical way to reduce the environmental footprint of the tourism industry in Pakistan”.
The Eco-tourism village is hoped to become a centre of attraction as Kaghan Valley is one of the most breath-taking valleys that attracts millions of visitors from within country and abroad annually. The valley has popular spots like Babusar Top, River Kunhar, Saiful Muluk National Park along with Saiful Muluk and Ansoo Lake, Kiwai, Shogran, Siri-Paye, Makra Peak, Naran, Noori Top, Pyala Lake.
By the establishment of Eco-tourism village, the number of tourists are expected to increase many folds, especially in the summer season.