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     July 11,  2015



15 govt rest houses in Galiyat transferred to KP Tourism Department

Chitral Times Report

Following a landmark decision, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government transferred 15 rest houses in Galiyat to the Tourism Department, which will boost tourism and facilitate tourists and ordinary citizens to enjoy stay in resthouses of their choice in the scenic Galiyat region.

Giving details, Managing Director Tourism Corporation Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (TCKP) Mushtaq Ahmed Khan said that the corporation has prepared a comprehensive operational plan, under which the resthouses can be booked by anybody on market rental rates from Eid-ul-Fitr onwards.

“We have devised a booking guideline, details of which will be available soon on the TCKP website (www.kptourism.com). Besides the booking policy, the operational plan covers categorisation of resthouses based on their quality, room rental or full resthouse reservation, and booking facility for government servants during their official duty and private visits,” he said.

It may be mentioned that when the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) came into power in KP, PTI Chairman Imran Khan had vowed that the new government will privatise the state-owned resthouses. Implementing his directives, 15 resthouses have been transferred to the Tourism Department in Galiyat region for a period of one year lease on trial basis to enable revenue generation. These resthouses will be further leased out to the private sector under a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) programme.

Under the proposed plan, the existing staff members will continue their duties but they would be imparted training in hotel management, hospitality and services.

After meeting the recurring expenditure on conservation of some of these architectural marvels, utilities and salaries, the revenue generated from the rent of resthouses will be divided according to a net profit sharing formula ie 75 percent of Galiyat Development Authority (GDA) and 25 percent of TCKP. The larger share (75%) will go to the cash-starved GDA under a special plan for carrying out “Model Social Welfare Activities/ Programme” in the vicinity of these resthouses and also for accomplishing development work for the local community.

TCKP GM Properties & Admin Sajjad Hamid disclosed that a special “Properties Wing” shall also be established to manage affairs of the resthouses whilst serving as a setup for centralised bookings.

“The resthouses along with the Tourist Information Centres (TICs) at Peshawar, Islamabad, Abbottabad, Dongagali will offer on-the-spot booking whereas an online booking mechanism is also being developed on the TCKP tourism portal which will be connected with international online booking services. At the same time, mega publicity of the resthouses will be carried out through electronic and print media to attract national and foreign tourists,” he stated.

“Special concessional rates will be offered to government servants who wish to avail the facilities.” he added.
It merits a mention here that Galiyat is a region of outstanding scenic beauty with natural reserve forests. The Galiyat tract, stretching between Abbottabad and Murree is dotted by a number of British-era hill resorts. Many resthouses located in prime spots date back from the last century and are in need of conservation to restore them back to their original historic charm. Once fully privatised, these properties are expected to earn billions of rupees for the province.

Out of the15 resthouses recently transferred to the TCKP, 11 were owned by the Construction &Works Department and four of Environment Department. They include Retreat House Nathiagali, Karnak House Nathiagali, Inspection Bungalow Chand View - Murree Hills, Forest Resthouse and TCKP Resthouse Thandiani, Additional Cottage Nathiagali, Vendia House Nathiagali, Pines Resthouse Nathiagali, Forest Cottage Nathiagali, Forest Resthouse Dungagali, Forest Resthouse Barian, European Cottages 29 & 30 Nathiagali, Secretariat Cottage Nathiagali, Raees Khana Nathiagali.



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