While Prime Minister Imran Khan envisions Pakistan to be a hub of global tourism, a study released by the World Bank has warned that tourism in the country is placing increasing stress on the local environment. The study suggests that tourism in the mountainous regions is leading to increased pollution, natural habitat loss and pressure on endangered species.
According to the study, reliable estimates on the quantity and characteristics of waste are not readily available in mountain areas, as these vary significantly depending on tourism influx, regional characteristics, and seasonal factors.
Additionally, mountain areas present unique challenges such as sudden spikes in the quantity of waste generated during tourist season, widely varying waste characteristics including large volume of plastic and other special waste and constraints of land availability for waste treatment and disposal, it says.
Mountain tourism in Pakistan is gaining importance and has the potential to be an important part of the economy in these regions, but a polluted landscape will hinder that opportunity.