The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.

Tourism industry; a pillar of a country’s economy

With the Islamic Emirate takeover and the improvement of the security situation across Afghanistan, the number of foreign tourists to the country has considerably increased as good facilities have been provided for the recovery of tourism in the country. According to the state-run Afghan Tour organization, over 69,280,907 AFG revenue has been collected in the first three quarters of the current solar year. In an exclusive interview with The Kabul Times correspondent, the head of the state-run organization Mohammad Nabi Baha said around 1,850 tourist companies have been reviewed and monitored in Herat, Balkh, Kandahar, Ghazni, Logar, Paktia, Khost and Nangarhar provinces, where 1,550 companies have started to operate based on the Afghan-Tour procedures and regulations. “With this, 603 touristic companies have been provided with licenses,” Baha said, adding that 215 touristic companies have extended their licenses. He further said that 155 online touristic services offices have been also provided with work permission, and besides providing licenses to the touristic companies, they have also issued licenses to 27 hotels and restaurants in the country. Pointing to the increasing number of foreign tourists to Afghanistan, the head of the Afghan Tour organization said that during the current solar year, the issue of extension and exit visas to 350 foreign citizens has been processed, and besides that, letters have been issued to 1,800 foreign tourists who have been then introduced to relevant local authorities to provide them with all necessary facilities to tour around. According to the head of the Afghan Tour, a quarterly magazine ‘The Afghan Tour’ has been printed and distributed with brochures, banners, historical monuments and natural landscapes to attract more foreign tourists to visit Afghanistan and its provinces. Pointing to the Afghan Tour plans, Mohammad Nabi Baha said that his organization has shared several development plans with the Islamic Emirate high-ranking officials to approve, adding that the organization was determined to provide more facilities for foreign tourists as 12 boats have been provided to Sultan and Sardi dams of Ghazni province, and some others have been also provided to Nuristan, where tourists were making use of them. According to Baha, the Afghan Tour is aimed to provide further facilities to foreign and domestic tourists besides, the organization is working to further work for the recovery and development of the tourism industry in the country and collect revenue to strengthen the organization’s financial base. It is worth mentioning that tourism is considered as a pillar of a country’s economy. It plays a central role in society and individual lives. It offers great opportunities for emerging economies and developing countries. It creates jobs, strengthens the local economy, contributes to local infrastructure development and can help to conserve the natural environment and cultural assets and traditions, and to reduce poverty and inequality. Samiullah Momanda

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The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.