Travel & Culture Services
Serving since 1997
Survey of Ecotourism Potential in Pakistan's Biodiversity Project Area (Chitral and Northern Areas)
by John Mock and Kimberley O'Neil
A consultancy report for The World Conservation Union (IUCN) - Pakistan Islamabad, Pakistan, January 1996
This document has been divided into three parts. The first part is below.
In Pakistan, the National Tourism Policy and the National Conservation Strategy emphasize the crucial interdependence between tourism and the environment. Tourism has a significant impact upon the physical and social environment, while, at the same time, tourism's success depends on the continued well-being of the environment. Because the physical and social environment constitutes the resource base for tourism, tourism has a vested interest in conserving and strengthening this resource base. Hence, conserving and strengthening biodiversity can be said to hold the key to tourism's success.
The interdependence between tourism and the environment is recognized worldwide. A recent survey by the Industry and Environment Office of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP/IE) shows that the resource most essential for the growth of tourism is the environment (UNEP 1995:7). Tourism is an environmentally-sensitive industry whose growth is dependent upon the quality of the environment. Tourism growth will cease when negative environmental effects diminish the tourism experience.
By providing rural communities with the skills to manage the environment, the GEF/UNDP funded project "Maintaining Biodiversity in Pakistan with Rural Community Development" (Biodiversity Project), intends to involve local communities in tourism development. The Biodiversity Project also recognizes the potential need to involve private companies in the implementation of tourism plans (PC II:9). By making clear the direct linkage between the well- being of the environment and the success of tourism, both local communities and private business will realize their direct economic incentive to conserve biodiversity. It is biodiversity that attracts tourists in the first place.
2.0.0. Tourism in Chitral & the Northern Areas
Our survey of tourism in the high mountain regions of Pakistan (Chitral district of NWFP and the Northern Areas), indicates (with one major exception, the Baltoro Glacier) that tourism has not yet reached the level where its impact could bring a decline in tourism levels. In other words, there is plenty of room for growth. Tourism is relatively undeveloped in these regions. Ironically, as one tour operator notes, this very underdevelopment is, for tourists, one of the most attractive features of the mountain region.
The primary concern for tourism in this region, as we see it, is how to develop without damaging the environment, which would bring about a decline in tourism and a loss in biodiversity. Or, to put it another way, how best to manage tourism so as to conserve biodiversity and maximize the income generation from tourism (i.e., how to optimize the tourism carrying capacity).
This survey is based upon field visits to all valleys of Chitral and the Northern Areas. In towns, we collected data on hotels, food, and transportation. We met with community representatives in most areas and discussed economic and marketing considerations with stakeholders in all sectors. We met with most of the domestic tour operators/trekking companies and also representatives of the Tourism Division of the Ministry of Sports & Tourism, PTDC, and PIA. We interviewed many tourists and handed out questionnaires on ecotourism to foreign tourists. This survey is not intended to be statistically precise, but to present a general picture of tourism and the ecotourism potential within the Biodiversity Project area.
4.0.0. What Is Ecotourism?
Tourism that sustains the physical and social environment has come to be known as "ecotourism". The precise definition of this term remains ambiguous even within the tourism industry itself. However, ecotourism can be differentiated from traditional tourism in that ecotourism not only attempts to minimize the environmental impact of tourism, but also has as a goal that local communities and the physical environment will actually benefit from tourism. In its ideal form, ecotourism is a philosophy, an activity, a development policy and an environmental policy, all at the same time.
Because of the ambiguity of the term ecotourism, the usage of this term by the Biodiversity Project requires clarification. Ecotourism is a buzz-word: everyone knows that it is desirable, but it means different things to different people. Since ecotourism becomes operationalized in different ways by different stakeholders in tourism, rather than attempting to make one definition fit all, it is better for the stakeholders to develop their own definitions.
5.0.0. Environmental Codes of Conduct
The most widely accepted way for stakeholders to develop their own definition of ecotourism and to operationalize the definition is through developing environmental Codes of Conduct. The UNEP/IE, working from Agenda 21, the program of action agreed upon at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development held at Rio de Janiero in 1992, recommends the development of voluntary Codes of Conduct on the environment by all sectors involved in tourism. They conclude that self-regulation has advantages over direct government control, but caution that too many codes can be as dangerous as too few. The UNEP/IE concludes that codes function to preserve the environment on which tourism depends, preserve biodiversity, and reduce pollution.
The benefits of codes include:
-- improvement of the natural environment and of the sustainability of the tourism industry; -- ability to attract tourists who seek environmentally responsible forms of tourism; -- support for local economy and infrastructure which catalyses further tourism development; and -- improved quality of life for host communities.
In other words:
-- conservation of biodiversity through ecotourism; -- enhanced marketing of ecotourism; income generation at the local level through ecotourism; and -- rural community development through ecotourism.
These benefits are totally compatible with the goals of the Biodiversity Project. Hence, our initial recommendation is that voluntary environmental Codes of Conduct for tourism be developed in Pakistan.
These codes must be positive, specific, and action-oriented. The UNEP/IE study recommends that all codes have these common features:
-- an overall commitment to the physical and human environment, acceptance of responsibility for environmental damage and corrective action where necessary, and rewarding of outstanding environmental performance; and -- cooperation with other sectors and stakeholders in tourism and conservation.
Working with all sectors to develop codes, IUCN can assure that the codes do not have conflicting messages, and are developed as the result of partnerships between tourism stakeholders. Because environmental codes for tourism also require implementation and monitoring, IUCN can work with stakeholders developing codes to assist in:
-- publicity and dissemination campaigns; -- publications of all types; -- provision of expert services to code signatories; -- provision of networks to improve communication between stakeholders; -- organization of conferences and seminars for exchange of ideas; -- provision of awards for outstanding environmental behavior; -- organization of demonstration projects to set examples for others to follow; and -- incorporating the reactions of people directly affected by the codes into evaluation of code effectiveness.
UNEP/IE's most important conclusion is that an overall management strategy is needed to integrate all activities involved; code preparation, implementation, reporting, and evaluation. IUCN can play this central role.
In order to clarify how ecotourism applies specifically in each context and to frame further work on environmental code development, a summary of issues common to existing codes for each sector and a sample specialist activity code are in Appendix A.
6.0.0. The Stakeholders in Tourism
Both our survey and the UNEP/IE survey identify the following stakeholders in tourism: the tourists; the host communities; and the tourism industry, composed of private tour operators, hotel operators, airlines, and the governmental agencies that regulate their operation. For ecotourism implementation, all these sectors must be taken into consideration. Hence, we recommend that IUCN broaden its conception of tourism to include the full dynamic range of interaction involving all stakeholders.
The Terms of Reference (TOR) for this survey, under "Classification of Tourists/Target Groups", states; "according to tour operators, the current tourist traffic visiting the project area can essentially be divided into four main groups (ie, groups, individuals, specialists, and the ecotourist)." The TOR goes on to define these; "the group is a number of persons travelling together as a couple or as a larger group, the individual travels by him/herself, the specialist is the tourist who comes for a unique, specialized activity (e.g., mountaineering), and the ecotourist is the tourist who comes to enjoy a particular nature-related activity."
We find these classifications misleading and inappropriate for marketing and tourism development. For example, an "individual" may also be a "specialist", and a "group" may consist of "ecotourists". Ecotourism cannot be limited to just nature-related tourism. All tourists, foreign and domestic, can and should be ecotourists. Ecotourism packages (again, a problematic term) are simply another tourist activity and/or prearranged itinerary that can be marketed to certain segments of tourists (see Ecotourism Activities and Marketing & Promoting Ecotourism below for more on this topic).
A similar breakdown of tourists is found in "Survey Report on Ecotourism in Northern Areas" by M. Jaffar, IUCN Biodiversity Project, Gilgit. The categories in this report are: institutional tourists, who utilize the services of a tour operator; and non-institutional tourists; who include mountaineers; trekkers; backpackers; researchers, hikers; students, and professionals. Again, these classifications are misleading and inappropriate for tourism development and marketing, and are not discrete. For example, all mountaineers attempting summits over 6000 metres are required to hire the services of a licensed tour operator/trekking company. According to these categories, they are both institutional and non-institutional.
We find it most useful to place all tourists into two categories:
-- tourists who are travelling on fixed itineraries arranged through domestic tour operators/trekking companies; and -- tourists who are travelling independently.
These two categories can be further divided into foreign and domestic tourists.
A careful study of who tourists are would be appreciated. Such a study should indicate how many foreign tourists to the Northern Areas and Chitral are on prearranged itineraries booked with tour operators abroad who work with Pakistani tour operators. It should also indicate how many total foreign tourists visit Chitral, Gilgit, and Skardu each year; how many visit Hunza and Gojal; and how many pass through Sost immigration. Further it should indicate the gender, nationality, and length of stay for foreign tourists. Such a study should also provide the same information for domestic (Pakistani) tourists. We present the available information below.
The News, April 28, 1995 reported a total of 50,000 foreign tourists to Pakistan in 1994. The source of their figure was not indicated. This figure for all Pakistan is 10% lower than the figure given in the above mentioned "Survey Report on Ecotourism in Northern Areas". That report is self-contradictory and clearly overestimates the total number of tourists. It states that according to tour operators, over half of all tourists utilize the services of tour operators, both in Pakistan and abroad. Yet the report clearly indicates the vast majority of tourists to be independent tourists. The overall numbers appear so inaccurate as to be essentially useless. The methodology of the computation of tourist numbers is not specified, hence it is difficult to precisely identify methodological errors of the estimate. However, it is evident that the total numbers were obtained by adding the numbers of the several categories. This counts some tourists more than once and inflates the total number. For example, the 1994 total number of foreign tourists, 55,000, was arrived at by adding backpackers, researchers, hikers, students, and professionals, 41,640; trekkers, 8250; mountaineers, 850; and tourist flow to China 4260. Obviously, the same tourists were counted in several categories. For example, a `backpacker' who went trekking and then went to China would be counted three times. To balance these inflated figures, we present additional data below.
Of the six districts included in our survey (ie, Chitral, Ghizar, Gilgit, Diamir, Baltistan, and Ghanche), Gilgit receives by far the greatest number of tourists, both foreign and domestic. Baltistan and Ghanche districts are a distant second and Chitral third.
6.1.1.a. Chitral District Tourism
All foreigners must register at the Chitral FRO and receive a Temporary Registration Certificate. Hence, the following statistics are highly accurate. Any foreigners visiting the Kalash valleys for more than seven days must also request permission from the Deputy Commissioner (DC) in Chitral. Officials in Chitral agree that at least 75% of all tourists, both foreign and domestic, visiting Chitral also visit the Kalash valleys. Most tourists to the Kalash valleys visit Bumboret Valley, followed by Rumbur, with Birir Valley a distant third.
(Chart of Foreigners registered at SP's office in Chitral) (Chart of Foreigners registered in Chitral by Nationality and as % of total tourists in 1994)
6.1.1.b. Ghizar District Tourism
The police check post at Chumarkhan, east of the Shandur Pass, near the village of Barsat, estimates that in 1994 3500 foreign tourists went through the check post. On August 25, 1995, we counted 650 to 700 foreign tourist entries in their register book. Most of the domestic and foreign tourists passing this check post are going to and from the well-known Shandur polo tournament, usually held in July. Other tourists through this check post are travelling by jeep over the Shandur Pass between Gilgit and Chitral. We estimate that almost all tourists visiting Ghizar merely pass through en route to the Shandur Pass or Chitral. A rough estimate of tourist numbers is 1000 annually, visiting locations off the main Gilgit-Chitral road.
6.1.1.c. Gilgit District Tourism
Gilgit receives the bulk of tourist traffic, because of its key location on the KKH. The doubling of foreign tourist numbers in registered at Gilgit in 1986 is a result of the opening of the Khunjerab Pass on the KKH between China and Pakistan.
(Chart of Foreigners registered at SP's office in Gilgit. Published in "Kashgar to Islamabad: The Impact of the Karakoram Highway on Mountain Society and Habitat", Scottish Geographical Magazine by Nigel J.R. Allan) (Chart of Individuals registered at Sost Immigration)
These immigration figures show a steady flow of tourists, including both independent tourists and those on prearranged tours. Two thirds of all foreign tourists to and from China cross in July, August, and September, with August the peak month. About 50% of all Pakistani tourists to and from China cross in July, August, and September, with August the peak month. It is interesting to note the number of Pakistanis travelling to and from China. These individuals are almost exclusively males, and most are travelling on trade, to purchase Chinese goods for resale in Pakistan. By sheer number, they contribute significantly to the local hotel economy (see Economics below).
The 1986 Gilgit registration figures and the 1986 Sost immigration figures show that approximately 37% of tourists reaching Gilgit in 1986 traveled to or from China. Presuming the same ratio continues, this would indicate 11,500 foreign tourists in Gilgit in 1994. In general, at least , but less than ę of all foreign tourists visiting Gilgit travel to or from China. Although we do not have figures, we estimate that almost all tourists visiting Gilgit also visit Hunza. In 1989, the only year for which records are available, 136 foreign independent trekkers arrived in the remote village of Shimshal, in Gojal.
6.1.1.d. Diamir District Tourism
Diamir District researchers with the Pakistan-German Culture Area Karakoram (CAK) project estimate 200 to 250 foreign trekkers to Fairy Meadows and 100 to 150 foreign trekkers to the Rupal Valley in 1994. Both areas are next to Nanga Parbat, the only significant tourist destination in Diamir district. All tourists travelling on the KKH between Gilgit and Islamabad pass through Diamir, but few spend the night. A small percentage stop for tea or a meal at one of the several hotels in Chilas.
6.1.1.e. Baltistan and Ghanche District Tourism
Baltistan tourism focuses on trekking and mountaineering. In 1994, 766 foreigners, including trekkers and mountaineers, visited the Baltoro Glacier. This area receives 70% to 75% (ie, 71% in 1994) of the regulated foreign tourism in Pakistan. Regulated foreign tourists means tourists who are required to obtain a permit from the Tourism Division of the Ministry of Sports & Tourism. All such tourists are also required to utilize the services of a licensed domestic tour operator/trekking company. However, other non-permit areas of Baltistan are equally popular with foreigners. The Biafo Glacier received about 200 trekkers in 1994. Villagers in Hushe, in the Hushe Valley of Ghanche District, estimate 1000 trekkers each summer visit Hushe.
These three areas (ie, the Baltoro Glacier, the Biafo Glacier, and the Hushe Valley) receive almost all the trekking and mountaineering tourism in Baltistan. All of the Baltoro tourists, whether trekkers or mountaineers, are non-independent, since they are required to use the services of a licensed domestic tour operator/trekking company. Tourists to the Hushe Valley and the Biafo Glacier are not required to use the service of a licensed domestic tour operator/trekking company, although some do. We estimate that approximately Ĺ, or 1500, tourists visiting these three main areas in Baltistan are independent. Another 1500 are on pre-arranged tours, of whom Ĺ visit the Baltoro Glacier.
Additionally, some tourists don't trek or climb. They mostly stay in Skardu and visit nearby Shigar and Satpara. The tourists on pre-arranged itineraries stay in either the Shangrila resort at Kachura, outside Skardu, or at the PTDC-run K2 Motel. Independent tourists stay in budget hotels in Skardu. We estimate perhaps another 2000 tourists who do not trek or climb visit Baltistan. Hence, our total estimate of foreign tourists visiting Baltistan is about 5000. Because Baltistan is a sensitive area, police at check posts question all Pakistani citizens coming to Skardu. Hence, the number of domestic tourists visiting Baltistan is low.
6.1.2. Summary of Demographics
From all these available figures, a more balanced picture of tourist numbers emerges. We estimate the total number of foreign tourists visiting the Northern Areas and Chitral annually to be no more than 50% of the figures given in the above-mentioned "Survey Report on Ecotourism in the Northern Areas" (i.e., roughly 20,000 to 25,000 per year). Of course, some tourists visit all three main towns: Chitral, Gilgit, and Skardu, so the total number may be even lower. However, for the purpose of ecotourism potential, it is appropriate to consider tourists arrivals in each area.
Of these 20,000 to 25,000 tourists each year, we estimate 25% to 30% (i.e., 4000 to 8000) are travelling on fixed itineraries arranged through tour operators. The remainder are independent.
Of the 27,000 domestic tourists reported in the above mentioned survey, most are small businessmen travelling through Gilgit to Kashgar for trade. Their impact is concentrated along the KKH. However, the Kalash valleys in Chitral receive significant domestic tourism probably equal (but no more than) the number of foreign tourists (ie, 3000 per year). Skardu receives fewer domestic tourists than foreign tourists, perhaps 1000 to 1500 per year.
6.2.0. Host Communities
This group of stakeholders in tourism comprises the local residents who interact directly with tourists. They are the logical recipients of tourism's benefits as well its negative impact. As with all types of development, the local population must perceive tourism as positive if tourism is to succeed and grow. The potential for direct economic benefit to host communities is great.
Host communities also carry an obligation to enhance the tourist's experience. The relationship between tourist and host is one of dynamic interaction, which must include open communication, and a clear statement of needs and expectations. Recognition of the dynamic quality of host-guest relationships, based upon Islamic principles of hospitality, is essential for positive growth and ecotourism. A number of community meetings have already been held, and useful generalizations can be drawn from them. From these generalizations, specific actions can be formulated. Grassroots NGOs, focusing on environmental concerns. also add useful input. See Appendix I for a listing of these grassroots organizations.
In Baltistan, villagers from Hushe and Askole presented their concerns about tourism to the IUCN-sponsored workshop on the Central Karakoram National Park. People from seven villages adjacent to the Khunjerab National Park have formed the Khunjerab Village Organization to represent their views. Kalash village representatives expressed their views at the Third International Hindukush Cultural Conference. In both Hunza and Skardu, signs posted in the bazaar urge tourists to respect local behavioral norms and to dress in an inoffensive fashion. Key issues concerning tourism common to all are:
retention of grazing rights; preservation of fuelwood resources; water pollution and garbage accumulation from tourism; community participation in tourism development; direct economic benefit to communities from tourism; and respect for local cultural expression and values.
Any area selected for inclusion in the biodiversity project should be assisted by IUCN and cooperating partner NGOs to develop Codes of Conduct for host communities.
6.3.0. Tourism Industry
The tourism industry consists of both the private and public sectors. Within these sectors, each stakeholder has its own role. IUCN falls into this grouping as part of the private sector. As a lead organization in biodiversity conservation, IUCN can lobby with public sector agencies of the Government of Pakistan (GoP) to promote ecotourism.
6.3.1. Private Sector The private sector groups involved in tourism are:
6.3.1.a. Tour Operators
The role of tour operators should be emphasized, because they mediate between the local level and the foreign/domestic tourist level. Tour operators are an economically sensitive sector that responds quickly to maximize business earning potentials, and to promote growth in tourism and avoid negative impressions that decrease tourism.
-- Domestic Tour Operators/Trekking Companies (See Appendix B) -- Tour Operators Abroad (See Appendix C) -- Hotel Operators (See Appendix D) -- Transport Operators (See Appendix E) -- Larger NGOs, that work with host communities on the environment and tourism. These larger NGOs, as non-profit, policy-oriented organizations, can help organize ecotourism training and information for the three for-profit groups within the private sector. NGOs active in Chitral and the Northern Areas include: AKRSP; IUCN-Pakistan; WWF-Pakistan; The Alpine Club of Pakistan (tel (051) 62918), Lt Gen G S Butt, 288 Peshawar Rd, Rawalpindi, operates a Mountaineering Centre in Naltar, where they train and certify mountain guides; and Adventure Foundation of Pakistan (tel (05921) 5526), No 1 Gulistan Colony, College Rd, Abbottabad, founded by retired Brigadier Jan Nadir Khan, promotes special-skills training and Outward-Bound style adventures for young Pakistanis. They also train mountain guides, and operate the annual Baltoro Glacier clean-up expedition, using funds released from the Tourism Division of the Ministry of Sports & Tourism.
6.3.2. Public Sector
Public sector agencies (GoP) that regulate tourism affect the private sector of the tourism industry, as well as tourists and host communities. These are:
6.3.2.a. Tourism Division of Ministry of Sports & Tourism, Deputy Chief of Operations, Tourism Division (tel 820856 and 827015), F-7/2, 13-T/U Commercial Area, Room 8, Islamabad, at the south-west end of Jinnah Market. They are open from Sunday to Thursday from 9 am to 1 pm and 2 to 5 pm. They publish two brochures Trekking Rules and Regulations and Mountaineering Rules and Regulations. All tourists with a restricted area destination must obtain a permit from this office and attend briefing and debriefing meetings here. Tourism Division determines which areas are in open, restricted, or closed zones, and sets maximum wages for porters in all areas. Because all tourists visiting restricted areas must also utilize the services of a licensed domestic tour operator/trekking company, Tourism Division is directly involved not only with tourists, but with domestic tour operators.
6.3.2.b. Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) is the only public sector hotel and tour operator. PTDC is the promotional arm of the Tourism Division of the Ministry of Sports & Tourism. They run several top-end motels, maintain tourist information centres in several towns that offer brochures and advice, hold priority seats for tourists on Northern Areas flights, and book vehicles for hire. Pakistan Tours Ltd. (PTL) is a subsidiary of PTDC and makes bookings for domestic flights, jeeps, hotels, and tours. PTDC owns and operates several hotels in Chitral and the Northern Areas. Their offices are:
-- PTDC Head Office, P.O. Box 1465, Islamabad 44000; F-7/4, Street 61, House 2 (tel (051) 811001-4; fax 824173; telex 54356 PTDC PK)
-- PTDC Motels Booking Office, F-7 Markaz (south-east side of Jinnah Market), Bhitai Rd, Block 4-B, Islamabad (tel (051) 218232, 812957, and 819384; fax 218233; telex 54356 PTDC PK); open from 9 am to 1 pm and 2 to 4 pm and closed Friday; except open seven days per week June 1 to August 14.
-- PTL Head Office, Flashman's Hotel, Room 24, The Mall, Rawalpindi (tel (051) 581480-5 and 563038; fax 565449; telex 5620 FH PK) and Metropole Hotel, Club Road, Room 266, Karachi (tel (021) 511776; telex 23823 PTDC PK)
6.3.2.c. Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) is the only airlines serving Chitral and the Northern Areas.
6.3.2.d. Northern Areas Transport Corporation (NATCO) operates buses between Rawalpindi-Gilgit, Gilgit-Skardu, Gilgit-Sost, Gilgit-Gakuch-Gupis, and Sost-Tashkurgan.
6.3.2.e. Regional Finance Development Corporation (RFDC) finances hotel construction.
6.3.2.f. Northern Area Public Works Department (NAPWD) operates resthouses in most Northern Areas towns and larger villages where tourists can stay.
6.3.2.g. The Ministry of NWFP operators Construction and Works (C&W) Resthouses in most NWFP towns and larger villagers where tourists can stay.
7.0.0. Resource Base for Tourism
The resource base for tourism is the physical and social environment. The resource base in Chitral and the Northern Areas is great, but not well-known. even to domestic tour operators/trekking companies. Wise use of this resource base holds the key to future income generation. If the resource base is lost, tourism is lost. Our survey of tourists shows that the quality of both the physical and social environment is the single most important factor in whether or not tourists have a positive experience. In order to better understand the variety and richness of this resource base, a valley-by-valley analysis of the resource base for tourism in Chitral and the Northern Areas is presented in Appendix F. This analysis is based on our field visits to each valley. The criteria we include in the analysis are:
-- outstanding natural features;
-- outstanding cultural features;
-- outstanding biological features (including botanical features);
-- activities for tourists; and
This analysis can be used to help select areas for immediate attention. Areas with outstanding features (e.g., Karambar Lakes), but difficult access, are less in need of immediate attention by the Biodiversity project than areas presently receiving significant tourist impact due to ease of access. Some areas with outstanding features and easy access (e.g., Chitral Gol National Park and Tooshi Gol in Chitral) are rarely visited by tourists and could be considered by the Biodiversity Project.
Tourism is the ninth largest earner of foreign exchange in Pakistan, according to the Tourism Division of the Ministry of Sports and Tourism. In Chitral and the Northern Areas, which are the major destinations for most foreign tourists, it is probably the largest earner of foreign exchange and one of the largest components of the economy. Villagers are quick to point out that they have no industry besides tourism, which provides widespread, though largely seasonal employment opportunities. In some areas, such as Gojal in the upper Hunza River valley, at least one male member of each household finds seasonal work in tourism. In the Hushe Valley of Baltistan's Ghanche district, tourism has become so important that villagers have altered their grazing practices to better accommodate tourism.
The economic benefits of tourism in Chitral and the Northern Areas are at present overwhelmingly positive. We never encountered any persons who were opposed to tourism. Some people wanted to modify tourist behavior, but no one wanted to stop tourism. Villages that once had a more antagonistic attitude toward tourism are now looking to make changes to attract tourists. Nagyr is a good example of this, where the roads are recently paved, new hotels are under construction, and villagers are cooperating to make tourists more welcome. In villages with different religious communities, such as Naltar in the lower Hunza Valley, the communities have established systems of cooperation to ensure the equal distribution of earnings from tourism. Economic benefits are powerful motivators for change and development throughout Chitral and the Northern Areas. Tangible economic benefits come from:
-- employment as porters, cooks, and guides; in hotels; and in transportation;
-- small business ownership of transport, hotels, shops, and tour operators and travel agencies; and
-- increased business activity due to economic input into local economy by tourism.
Tourism carries costs as well. Although everyone is happy to see more tourists, everyone is not glad to see piles of trash at camp sites, trees cut down, toilet paper strewn along trails, heaps of plastic bottles behind hotels, villagers angry with tourists for wearing indiscreet clothing, and trekkers arguing with guides and porters over wages. Tourists, local people, and tour operators/trekking companies need to be aware of these problems and learn how to deal with them.
Presently tour operators and host communities meet annually to set wages for labor. Tour operators also meet with hotel operators and transport operators to set costs for each season. These existing dialogues could be widened, under prompting from NGOs, such as AKRSP, to include development of sector based Codes of Conduct and a mechanism for sharing equitably the cost of minimizing the negative impacts of tourism. This should be viewed as an investment to preserve and sustain the essential resource base for tourism.
Below we present data to help quantify the economic inputs of tourism. These are organized to show how much the different categories of tourists spend, with a breakdown of their spending.
8.1.0. Cost of Touring
(Chart of Cost of Touring (Self-arranged) - Daily cost per person in US$)
We estimate that most foreign tourists fall into the middle category, with approximately equal numbers on both the top end and bottom end (i.e., 50% in the middle and 25% each in the top and bottom). Hence, the middle figures provide an average per day expenditure for all foreign tourists on self-arranged, independent itineraries.
Tourists on pre-arranged itineraries booked through tour operators are mostly top end tourists. No matter what they paid to the tour operator, the same amount flows into the local economy. Although tour operators retain a significant percentage of the money paid by their clients, and overseas tour operators retain a larger percentage, pre-arranged itineraries support the top end hotel and transport sectors. Additionally, these tourists generally spend more in local shops that sell souvenirs to tourists. Hence, their economic input is perhaps underestimated, as it is difficult to quantify their shopping and the intangible benefit of the presence of high-end (ie, up-scale) tourism on Pakistan's image abroad.
As an example of the economics for the categories of tourists in one specific activity, we present below a detailed discussion of trekking. These figures provide a basis for generalizations about all tourists.
8.2.0. Cost of Trekking
Costs of trekking vary significantly with the style of trekking, which we categorize as self- arranged and pre-arranged trips. Rates and wages are valid as of October 1995. Expect an annual inflation rate of about 10%. However, the actual amount reaching the local economy shows less variance.
Self-arranged trips: Self-arranged trips are divided into two categories: backpacking; and open-zone treks with a locally hired trek crew.
Backpacking includes those who carry their own back pack or perhaps hire one porter, buy food locally, bring their own equipment, and use local transport to trail heads. Most independent backpackers follow this style.
When trekkers hire a special jeep, guide, cook, trek crew, and/or porters on their own, the total cost increases surprisingly. Often this style of trekking is more expensive than staying in hotels and eating in restaurants.
Pre-arranged trips: Pre-arranged trips are divided into two categories: those arranged through a (domestic) trekking companies; and those arranged through a tour operator abroad.
Trekking companies in Pakistan provide a range of services which can include the cost of a guide, cook, trek crew, porters, food, equipment, transport to and from the trail head, hotels, and permit fees and insurance premiums, if applicable. The trekker pays a lump sum directly to the trekking company, which varies depending upon the level of services requested.
Tour operator abroad provide all services in Pakistan and usually that of a Western tour leader. The trekker pays a lump sum to the tour operator, which usually does not include personal expenses, international airfare, visa fees, and insurance. The tour operator abroad then pays a lump sum for outfitting directly to the (domestic) trekking company.
Note that although the percentage reaching the local economy decreases for pre-arranged trips, the actual amount increases.
8.3.0. Revenue in Local Economy
The input to the local economy largely comes as wages for labor, cost of hotels and food, and as cost of transportation as detailed below.
The wages earned working as a guide, cook, or porter for trekking and mountaineering are a major input to the local economy.
(Chart of Ratio of Labor to Trekker/Party Category # Porter)
The wage input per backpacker runs between US$3 to US$7 per backpacker daily, or on the average about US$5 per backpacker daily. Those who hire a guide or trek crew provide significantly greater local economic input as wages.
(Chart of Cost of Labor (* as per 1995 Tourism Division regulations))
Because portering is such a significant wage earning, it is a desirable seasonal occupation with much competition for porter work. In Skardu, rules have been established by local authorities to resolve disputes over porter employment. When an expedition or trekking parties are in town, hundreds of prospective porters crowd around the gate of the PTDC K2 Motel, where many trekkers and climbers stay. Skardu police supervise the hiring process to control disputes. The wages earned by one household member working as a porter for one or two groups can effectively double an annual household income.
8.3.2. Hotels & Food
Hotels and food are also major economic inputs from tourism. hotels and restaurants provide employment and purchase food and supplies locally. Below are average rates for three categories of hotels in several towns in Chitral and the Northern Areas.
(Chart of Cost of Hotels & Food (daily costs per person))
Transportation is the third major source of local economic input from tourism. Almost every town in Chitral and the Northern Areas has several privately-owned jeeps, which serve as cargo jeeps to move town residents and goods to and from regional market centers. Tourists rarely utilize this common form of local transport. In the main towns and in Hunza, many private for hire tourist jeeps are found, and suzukis and taxis operate in the main towns. Private mini-van and coach service along the KKH and the Gilgit-Skardu road is another fast-growing transport sector dependent upon tourism. (Chart of Cost of Transportation by type of transport)
8.4.0. Average Length of Stay - Trekkers
The following tables summarize the number of standard trek routes, the average length per trek, and the range of trek lengths for each region in the survey area. Data in peak months are in bold. See Appendix G for the name of the trekking routes, season per trek, length per trek by valley in Chitral and the Northern Areas. It is important to note the peak season for ecotourism planning purposes. This data can be combined with economic data (see Economics) to provide estimates of current input to local communities from trekking for each area. When demographic data is also incorporated, even more precise estimates of input can be made. For example, although Baltistan has fewer trekkers than either Chitral or Hunza, treks in Baltistan are longer, and Baltistan tourists are mostly trekkers. Hence, the economic benefit and importance of trekking in Baltistan is greater than in Hunza.
(Chart of Average Length of Trekkers' Stay - Chitral)
(Chart of Average Length of Trekkers' Stay - Ghizar)
(Chart of Average Length of Trekkers' Stay - Gilgit, Diamir & Kaghan)
(Chart of Average Length of Trekkers' Stay - Hunza River Valley)
(Chart of Average Length of Trekkers' Stay - Baltistan)
(Chart of Summary by region -- largest to smallest)
9.0.0. Ecotourism Activities
The TOR for this survey mentions "ecotourism activities" as activities "which can either be promoted as an individual activity or as a package". Viewed this way, ecotourism is a commodity to be promoted, packaged, and sold. This is an unnecessarily narrow definition of ecotourism that constricts the range of activity associated with ecotourism. Starting instead from the broader concept of ecotourism as a way for tourists, host communities, and the tourism industry to act and interact, the potential for useful activities that sustain the resource base for tourism and conserve biodiversity is greater. The transformation of tourism into ecotourism for all three sectors involved is the goal. Formulation of voluntary Codes of Conduct for each sector will begin this process. Meetings in conjunction with formulation of codes will raise the awareness of ecotourism among the stakeholders, and many activities will spontaneously suggest themselves to the stakeholders. Stakeholders will then appreciate assistance in implementing specific activities.
Within the broader concept of ecotourism, not only activities that are income generating, but also activities that conserve and strengthen the resource base for ecotourism should be included. Many of these activities are actually investments that will bring a future return in the form of increased tourism and increased tourism carrying capacity.
Below we present "ecotourism activities" on a sector basis. Some activities should be undertaken jointly by stakeholder sectors. Some activities are of special relevance to specific locales, and are so identified.
9.1.0. Tourist Activities
Tourists are the ultimate "consumers" of ecotourism. Most activities are organized with them in mind: to enhance their experience; to minimize their impact; and to increase their economic input into the local economy. However, tourists themselves, as stakeholders in tourism, need to know how to be ecotourists. Codes of Conduct facilitate this, through informing tourists how to act appropriately and responsibly.
9.1.1. Pollution & Trash Control
Our survey shows most tourists identify pollution and trash as the major problems they encounter in Chitral and the Northern Areas. Recycling programs, trash disposal programs, and clean-up campaigns are activities that all three sectors can and should participate in. Hence, establishing recycling programs and trash disposal facilities so tourists can participate would be positive actions. In certain high-volume areas, such as Gilgit, Hunza, and the Baltoro Glacier, such facilities are an immediate remedial necessity, as the problem is already critical. The construction of incinerators to burn garbage, especially in remote locations where removal is prohibitively expensive (e.g., Paiju on the Baltoro Glacier trek is one such site) is a solution proven effective in the Nepal Himalaya. Grassroots organizations willing to provide the labor for such activities should be supported and assisted to design, implement, and monitor such programs. Local administrations must also be involved.
9.2.0. Host Community Activities
9.2.1. Local Food Sales
Many activities for host communities suggest themselves. In areas where there is a surplus of fruit, jams and juices are already being sold. Additionally, in Gojal, with a good apple supply and a good electricity supply, hotel-keepers could easily learn to bake apple pies for tourists. This would increase revenue from the apple crop.
Other local foods, especially those that are a seasonal surplus during peak summer tourism, could be produced for sale. Host communities would require assistance to develop hygienic food handling techniques and packaging. Dried fruits, particularly apricots, are already being produced, largely through AKRSP-sponsored programs. Local bread (e.g., Hunza phitti, Gojal kemisdon) could also be sold. Dairy products have potential (especially dried cheeses and panir). Cooperation with stakeholders in the tourism industry (ie, hotel operators and tour operators) will provide additional outlets for local foods. Currently, Pakistani traders travelling to Kashgar purchase local dried cheese (qurut) in Gojal from shepherds on the roadside.
Handicrafts also suggest an activity to enhance income generation, especially among women. AKRSP Women Organizations (WOs) often have "Stitchery Trainings". In Chitral, these are common in the Garam Chashma region. They are also established in Hunza and Gojal. Embroidery and weaving can be marketed in regional centers to tourists. A study of what products are most readily saleable would be useful. Our impression is that typical women's hats, well-made, are desirable to tourists as souvenirs. In the Braldu Valley of Baltistan, women's traditional hats (nathing) could be made for sale to the many trekkers and mountaineers visiting the Baltoro and Biafo Glaciers. Participation of women in the local economy is essential for village development where women's earnings are recycled into better health and education in the village.
9.2.3. Alternative Fuel Generation & Energy Conservation
Improving energy efficiency and alternative energy sources are an important activity for host communities. Energy-efficient construction, such as the use of Trombe walls (ie, a passive solar- heating wall), can be easily incorporated into construction of houses, hotels, or community buildings. Northern Areas Associates (Consulting Engineers and Planners) in Gilgit have already developed models. Solar water heaters have also been introduced into Chitral. Increased dissemination of these simple technologies would be a positive development. Tourists would be favorably impressed by the establishment of such environmentally sound technologies. New hotel construction in particular should utilize these. The continuing problem of how to provide hot water in an ecologically sound manner to tourists would be in part resolved through solar heating and the introduction of backburner stoves, that utilize waste heat in the chimney for water heating. These reduce wood and electricity consumption.
9.2.4. Cultural Festivals, Museums & Architecture
Another activity for the host communities is the establishment of cultural museums and the scheduling of cultural festivals. Silk Route festivals, under the auspices of AKCS and Lok Virsa, are already being held in Hunza and Gojal. In Gojal, Wakhi cultural museums, have been established in Gulmit, Passu, and Shimshal. These activities encourage local cultural pride and promote cultural awareness among tourists. Tour operators can use them as destinations to include in tour itineraries, enhancing Chitral and the Northern Areas as interesting destinations.
Local residents should receive training in interpretation and display, to improve the quality of museums and festivals.
New hotels and small scale lodges that include major elements of local design would also enhance tourism for local communities and for stakeholders in the tourism industry.
9.3.0. Tourism Industry Activities
9.3.1 Ecotourism Training Programs
Our survey indicates that most tourists perceive the lack of an environmentally-conscious attitude by guides, cooks, kitchen helpers, porters, hotel-keepers, and local residents as a major problem and "turn-off" for tourists in Chitral and the Northern Areas. The tourism industry must develop ecotourism training programs. Training programs are initially needed for two key groups: the domestic tour operators/trekking companies; and hotel operators. The formulation of Codes of Conduct for each sector is a necessary first step toward developing these training programs. Training programs need to be conducted on an annual basis, prior to the start of every tourist season. Principles to include in these training programs for both groups follow.
9.3.1.a. Domestic Tour Operators/Trekking Companies
All employees, including management, office staff, guides, cooks, kitchen helpers, porters, and drivers must be included. Topics to address include:
-- The three categories are: trash; water contamination; and other.
-- proper disposal of three types of trash: organic, burnable, and non-burnable
-- recycle non-burnable trash
-- minimize waste generation at its source
Avoid Water Contamination
-- do not put anything into any open water source and dispose of waste (e.g., dish
soap, human, toothpaste, etc.) at least 50 meters from any open water source
-- techniques for human waste disposal, including special training for porters who must learn to use existing toilet pits and facilities where present
Avoid other types of pollution such as graffiti and excessive noise.
Avoid cutting switchbacks on trails and avoid altering camp sites. Top soil is a scarce resource in the arid Karakoram and Hindukush.
Ban wood-cutting and insist on using kerosene rather than wood to cook. Address the fuel problem caused by porters baking bread over wood fires even when stoves and fuel are provided for them. Reforestation is essential in such areas.
Hunting should be discouraged.
Promote local food sales rather than relying on imports.
9.3.1.b. Hotel Operators (See Appendix D for a list of key private sector properties.)
Hotel operators should utilize traditional design whenever possible, and incorporate energy- sufficient features, such as Trombe walls, solar water heaters, and back burner water-heating stoves. Hotels should minimize pollution through trash maintenance and avoidance of water contamination listed above. Hotels should promote local food dishes.
9.3.2. Clean-up Programs
Existing programs, such as the Baltoro Clean-up Expedition and the Green Earth Organization's Nanga Parbat Clean-up, should be expanded to include an educational component (i.e., to minimize waste generation) to address these problems and involve local residents. Local grassroots NGOs working to address problems should be supported. Current programs have a limited effectiveness because they address mountaineering areas primarily and not trekking-only areas (e.g., Biafo-Hispar Glacier) and deal only with solid waste (i.e., trash) removal and not the more serious issue of human waste disposal. Broadening the scope of clean-up programs will generate income for porters who collect and carry out waste. A system for disposal of waste collected in clean-up programs needs to be instituted as many towns (e.g., Chilas, Chitral, Gilgit, and Skardu) nearest high impact areas have no waste disposal or recycling systems.
9.3.3. Human Waste Disposal Systems
Effective human waste disposal systems are needed. The existing cement pit toilets (e.g., along the Baltoro Glacier) are poorly designed, underutilized, and in disrepair. Effective toilets designed for high altitude, including solar toilets, should be installed in key areas on trekking routes for all tourists and porters to use.
9.3.4. Wildlife Viewing
In areas with unique wildlife populations viewing opportunities for tourists should be sensibly developed. Tourists should not disturb wildlife. Locals guides should be trained. View points can be established. In particular, the Bar Valley Project, and the activities of the Khunjerab Village Organization to protect ibex can be incorporated into viewing programs in the Gilgit and Hunza region. In Chitral, markhor in both Chitral Gol National Park and in Tooshi Gol are readily viewed. Viewing programs there should be developed around these two populations. In Baltistan, the Deosai Plains supports the largest brown bear population in Pakistan and viewing can be arranged. WWF-Pakistan is the lead organization on this.
The larger NGOs should continue to coordinate efforts and providing information about existing and potential programs. This should also include information about appropriate technologies mentioned in this survey. Information on parks and protected areas should also be made available to tourists (see Appendix H for a listing of Protected Areas).
10.0.0 Constraints on Ecotourism
These constraints must be addressed if Pakistan is to promote its image as an ecotourist destination.
10.1.0. Trash & Pollution
Our survey indicates that for tourists visible negative environmental impact is the largest problem. Grassroots organizations working in the Northern Areas also regard this as the major problem. Hence, the most immediate constraint on tourism and conservation of the resource base of tourism, is visible trash and pollution. Fortunately, this is one of the easiest problems to solve - pick it up, and dispose of it properly. Make refuse containers readily available and establish a regular removal and disposal program. Educate stakeholders in all three sectors about how to resolve the problem.
The Baltoro Glacier is the area most in need of immediate action. As Pakistan's premier destination, the danger is not only a loss of revenue in Baltistan, but irreparable damage to Pakistan's tourism image abroad. Ecotourism in Pakistan will have no credibility if the problems on the Baltoro Glacier are not strongly addressed (see Appendix J for the text of a previous report on this situation).
A second constraint on ecotourism identified by our survey is that of uncooperative attitudes and negative interaction between tourists and host communities. The key in addressing this problem is to develop a way to resolve conflict that will be acceptable to all stakeholders. The activity of formulating Codes of Conduct for all stakeholders will go a long way toward resolving this constraint. As long as tourists think that disputes can be expected in a certain area, they will not go there, no matter how beautiful the area. A case in point is Nagyr, one of the most beautiful areas of the Hunza River valley. Nagyr men developed a reputation as argumentative and dishonest, and tourists began to avoid it. However, when Nagyr people saw the wealth generated from tourism flowing to neighboring Hunza, they recognized their role in the problem, and are working to change their reputation.
The Nanga Parbat area also suffers from an image problem. Porters in both the Fairy Meadows and Rupal Valley areas have developed a bad reputation. Members of the community who are aware of the problem are working with villagers and also educating tourists. Rock-throwing is never a constructive way to address any problem.
A positive example of local initiative is Hushe village in Ghanche district of Baltistan. once the poorest village in the valley, Hushe men now realize that tourism can save them from poverty, and the village has adapted to tourism. In valleys popular with tourism, villagers no longer graze livestock. They have banned wood cutting in popular areas, and have established and maintain rubbish pits and well-constructed latrine toilets at popular locations. Most notable is Shaishcho, a four hour walk beyond Hushe village, and the Gondogoro Valley. In Passu village of Gojal, and the adjacent Batura Glacier, similar efforts are underway. These positive local initiatives need encouragement and support.
The general lack of environmental awareness is also a constraint on ecotourism development. Development of Codes of Conduct are one way to increase environmental awareness among stakeholders. For wider dissemination of environmental education, outreach programs through regional language broadcasts should be instituted. Environmental education for those in the tourism industry and also in schools should be started.
10.4.0 Policy & Regulations
In the public sector of the tourism industry, some policy and regulations constrain ecotourism. The Registration of Foreigners Rules, 1996, framed under the Registration of Foreigners Act 1979, places tedious and cumbersome requirements on any foreign staying in Pakistan more than 30 days. This period is too short. Most countries allow tourists a six-month stay beyond which they must seek special resident status and permission. IUCN should lobby with the GoP to lengthen the period before which tourists must obtain residential permission from the current 30 days to at least 90 days.
Certain areas within Chitral and the Northern Areas require a special restricted area permit from the Tourism Division for foreigners to visit. The Baltoro Glacier is one such area. Other attractive areas, such as the Chapursan Valley in Gojal also require a permit. Tourism development and ecotourism is constrained in infrequently visited, but easily accessible areas, such as Chapursan, by the difficulty of obtaining a permit. Currently, any tourist who wants to visit a restricted area must go to Islamabad to obtain the permit and return to Islamabad for debriefing after visiting the restricted area. This hinders and discourages tourists. Given the substantial tourist flow from China over the Khunjerab Pass and the KKH, the establishment of Tourism Division branch offices in Chitral, Gilgit, and Skardu would greatly facilitate ecotourism development in such areas. The permit application process is needlessly cumbersome, often taking five to seven days to complete. In other mountain regions in South Asia, similar permit processes take just one day. The Tourism Division rules and regulations for trekking and mountaineering could be revised to present a clear and transparent porter policy, which would avoid disputes and negative interactions between porters and foreigners.
The Tourism Division currently collects a US$200 non-refundable clean-up fee from all mountaineering expeditions. In 1994, 50 expeditions came to Pakistan, paying a total of US$10,000 in clean-up fees. However, the annual Baltoro Glacier clean-up expedition received Rs. 50,000 (ie, US$1,667) from Tourism Division. The bulk of the fees collected were apparently not utilized for clean-up. These funds should be fully used for the designated purpose, both on the Baltoro Glacier and in other areas receiving mountaineering expeditions, such as Nanga Parbat, Tirich Mir, Rakaposhi, and Diran. IUCN should approach GoP to pursue this constraint on the use of funds for ecotourism.
10.5.0 National Park Identity
National parks all over the world attract tourists, yet Pakistan's national parks are ineffective at doing so. This lost opportunity means lost revenue. Problems with national parks need to be resolved in order to promote the parks as tourist destinations. In particular, existing national park legislation does not provide a sound legal basis for currently accepted management practices. This results in conflict between park managers and local communities. IUCN should vigorously address this specific issue to remove impediments toward ecotourism development. See Appendix H for more on this subject.
10.6.0 Fishing Licenses
Fishing licenses are easily obtained at Fisheries offices, but the availability needs more widespread publication.
10.7.0 Antiquities & Export Laws
Antiquities and export laws do not significantly hinder tourist purchases at present.
11. Marketing & Promoting Ecotourism
This survey indicates a significant potential for tourism in Chitral and the Northern Areas to become ecotourism. Realizing this potential is what we mean when we speak of promoting ecotourism. Responsible tourism on the part of all stakeholders will:
-- address existing problems; conserve and strengthen the resource base for tourism
-- increase the carrying capacity for tourism;
-- enhance Pakistan's international image as a tourist destination; and
-- increase the benefits, both tangible earnings and in the quality of life for residents of Chitral and the Northern Areas.
Marketing ecotourism means publicizing Pakistan's efforts to promote responsible tourism. Specific activities can be highlighted to attract visitors. The paradox of Pakistan tourism is that tourists are attracted by the present lack of tourists. Unlike other major Himalayan areas, Pakistan's Karakoram and Hindukush are relatively unspoiled. Hence, Pakistan offers an attractive alternative for tourists. This clean, natural, tranquil environment with friendly, honest people is the image Pakistan should promote abroad. Tourists, then, must actually find what they are promised. Promotional "gimmicks" that are merely marketing ploys with no resemblance to what the tourist actually encounters are worse than doing nothing.
Rather than developing many new programs and activities, we recommend improving and expanding existing forms of tourism in Chitral and the Northern Areas. Our survey indicates that over 20,000 tourists visiting the area annually. If they are favorably impressed by ecotourism and biodiversity conservation measures, tourism will grow substantially by word of mouth. New programs to attract a new category of tourists (e.g., luxury tourists, helicopter tourists) are more likely to falter and be a waste of scarce marketing and promotional resources.
It is clear to us that the key sector for ecotourism development is the private sector domestic tour operators/trekking companies. These businesses are key because they mediate directly between tourists, host communities, and tour operators abroad. Additionally, tour operators respond immediately to market factors, unlike public sector stakeholders. Currently, no domestic tour operators/trekking companies is actually implementing ecotourism principles consistently or effectively.
Before marketing ecotourism, two key things must happen: Codes of Conduct must be developed and adopted; and ecotourism training programs must be implemented by tour/trek operators. It is in their own best interest to comply with this. Then the domestic tour operators/trekking companies can start visits to areas selected for implementation of ecotourism development by the Biodiversity Project. The responsibility for marketing ecotourism internationally should be left to these tour operators/trekking companies. They already work with tour operators abroad and independent tourists, and have the expertise necessary for marketing. If the problem areas can be cleaned up, and ecotourism adopted as the only viable form of tourism in Chitral and the Northern Areas, then efforts to market Pakistan as an ecotourism destination will succeed.
Appendix A - Environmental Codes of Conduct
Tourism involves three sectors: the tourists, the host communities, and the tourism industry. Sector-specific environmental Codes of Conduct usually include the issues outlined below.
A.1.0. Tourist Codes
Environmental Codes of Conduct persuade tourists to play an active and positive role in protecting the physical environment and engaging sympathetically with host communities. Additionally, codes for tourists are useful to other stakeholders in tourism, as a means of:
-- informing the tourism business, non-governmental organizations, and government
agencies about information on biodiversity conservation that can be provided to tourists
-- highlighting to business, NGOs, and government agencies issues that need to be addressed when developing ecotourism packages; and
-- preparing training programs for tour guides.
The UNEP/IE survey identified three types of tourist codes: general behavior codes; specialist activity codes; and site specific codes.
A.1.1. General Behavior Codes
General behavior codes for tourists generally include advice both for planning the trip as well as for issues arising on the trip in the host country. Planning advice encourages the tourist to: learn as much as possible about the destination; and patronize tourism business which demonstrate a commitment to environmental conservation. Destination advice encourages the tourist to: respect local culture and traditions; consider the privacy and practices of the host communities; support the local economy by buying local goods and services; contribute to local conservation efforts; conserve and preserve the natural environmental, its ecosystems, and wildlife; not disfigure cultural sites and monuments; use energy and water efficiently; dispose of waste properly; and use only designated roads and paths.
A.1.2. Specialist Activity Codes
These codes are for specialized activities such as mountain biking, climbing, or whitewater rafting and kayaking. The basic premise of such codes is: enjoy, but don't destroy. Such codes generally emphasize these points: avoid disturbing wildlife and damaging ecosystems; dispose of waste properly; respect the practices of the local community; and respect local legislation.
A.1.3. Site Specific Codes
These codes address tourist behavior in specific location, such as national parks and protected areas. Such codes often combine general guidelines with more specific localized ones: dispose of waste properly; protect the natural and cultural environment; use energy efficiently; pay a fair price for goods and services; do not give money, sweets, or other items to begging children (there are other ways to help them).
A.2.0. Host Communities Codes
Environmental Codes of Conduct for host communities address three major areas of interaction between host communities and tourism: the social and cultural norms of the host community; the economic development of the host community; and the protection and preservation of the local environment. These codes are useful tools for focusing local communities concerns and for informing tourists and tourism businesses about host communities concerns, such as: the role of the local population in tourism development; safeguarding local cultures and traditions; educating the local population on the importance of maintaining a balance between conservation and economic development; and providing quality tourist products and experiences.
A.3.0. Tourism Industry Codes
The tourism industry is the principal source of voluntary environmental codes. These are produced by government, tourism organizations, tourism industry associations, and non- governmental organizations focusing on tourism. Government tourism organizations' codes generally have a national focus and address the development and management of sustainable tourism without specific relevance to the different sectors involved in tourism. Tourism industry associations can be either national, regional, or international, and can also be sector-specific, such as hotel industry codes. Non-governmental organization codes recognize the relationship between the environment and tourism. NGOs, such as WWF, The Ecotourism Society, and IUCN can produce codes to catalyze and strengthen efforts to promote environmentally responsible tourism.
Most tourism industry codes address issues such as:
A.3.1. Overall environmental commitment
-- that tourism development must consider all aspects of the human and natural
-- that tourism development should be sustainable
-- that the industry should be supportive of local and national planning bodies
-- that environmentally responsible tourism organizations should be rewarded; and
-- that the environment should be interpreted to include not only ecosystems, but also people and their communities
A.3.2. Overall responsibility The industry should accept responsibility for the environmental impact of tourism and take corrective action where necessary.
A.3.3. Taking the environment into account in planning and development
-- recognize that every part of the environment has limits beyond which development
should not take place, particularly in sensitive areas
-- taking into account land-use planning and environmental constraints for the siting of facilities
-- encouraging the participation of host communities in decision-making processes
-- incorporating sustainability concepts into design and construction
-- integrating these considerations into a full environmental impact assessment, and monitoring implementation after development
A.3.4. Environmentally-sound management practices
-- minimize the negative impacts of tourism by carrying out environment audits or using
other techniques to assess and improve on water and energy conservation, waste
minimization, and recycling
-- ensuring positive visitor experience by effective visitor management, control, and education
-- providing environmental training for staff and motivating them effectively
-- monitoring and reporting of environmental performance
-- managing tourism enterprises so that they support the local economy
A.3.5. Effective cooperation and communication between public and private sectors and the need to exchange information and experience between and within sectors.
Sample Specialist Activity Code
Here is an example of a specialist activity code for trekking in northern Pakistan from a draft version of a section of Trekking in the Karakoram & Hindukush by John Mock and Kimberley O'Neil (Hawthorn, Australia: Lonely Planet Publications, November 1996). Many points are equally applicable to all tourists in general.
TOURIST CODE - TREKKING IN NORTHERN PAKISTAN I. ECOTOURISM
Ecotourism means being environmentally, economically and culturally responsible while travelling. Ecotrekking is a way of applying these values while trekking. As a trekker, ask yourself what you can do to lighten the impact trekking has on the environment and local culture. The point is not to become part of the problem. Being prepared to take care of yourself and to take responsibility for your actions while travelling in the Karakoram and Hindukush is a basic obligation of all trekkers.
Voluntary Codes of Conduct for tourists, tour operators, and host communities have been developed in many parts of the world. In Pakistan, the government, NGOs, and trekking companies are working to develop guidelines, but such information is not yet readily available and little has been done to implement ecotrekking principles. Hence, much depends upon you as an individual adopting an activist approach. The first step is to learn about the culture and environment you will be visiting before you come to Pakistan. Reading books will get you started. If you book a trek with a tour operator abroad, ask them for information about their practices, any guidelines for trekkers they may have, and for appropriate reading. Contact grassroots organisations and NGOs working in Pakistan for more specific information about ecotourism, culture, and the environment. It is up to you to make trekking a positive experience for you, your friends, and for local people, so please share what you learn with others.
Everybody is glad to see more trekkers coming to Pakistan. What everyone is not glad to see are the piles of trash at camp sites, the trees cut down, the toilet paper strewn along trails, the heaps of plastic bottles behind hotels, villagers angry with trekkers for wearing too-revealing clothing, and trekkers arguing with guides and porters over wages. Trekkers and local people need to be aware of these problems and learn how to deal with them. Trekkers can learn to behave appropriately and can teach by example. This enhances the trekking experience for everyone and improves the overall image of tourism.
II. MINIMUM IMPACT GUIDELINES
Ecotrekking principles translate into specific actions. Perhaps the most important single action you can take is to reduce the size of your trekking party, which will minimise your overall impact. Other actions can be usefully grouped into three areas: environmental, economic, and cultural considerations. Following these minimum impact guidelines will help sustain the Karakoram and Hindukush and its people.
A. Environmental Considerations
Whenever and wherever you find people working to conserve the natural environment, encourage them and compliment their efforts. Beyond this, you can make an effort to keep your trek from degrading the environment. Avoid overvisited trekking areas by selecting a less known trekking destination and travelling off-peak season if possible. Make sure your trek does not increase pollution, erosion, deforestation, and loss of wildlife in the Karakoram and Hindukush.
You can control pollution on trek by managing trash disposal and avoiding water contamination. Trash disposal systems do not exist along trekking routes, so everyone involved in a trekking party has to share responsibility. This includes the trekkers, the guide, trek crew, porters and any trekking company and/or tour operator abroad. Act responsibly yourself and supervise anyone you hire to ensure no one in your party pollutes.
Trash Typically three types of trash are produced on trek: organic, burnable, and non-burnable. Trash is an eyesore and can be toxic, and each type of trash needs to be disposed of properly.
Organic trash, such as food scraps, are best disposed of by feeding them to domestic animals or allowing them to decompose underground. In villages or pastures, goats and cows make excellent organic trash disposals. Always ask local people if it is alright to feed scraps to the animals. If no domestic animals are around, bury organic trash. Always bury organic material that decomposes slowly (e.g., orange peels). Remember that when you are over 4,000 metres, organic waste takes decades to decay. In such locations, carry organic trash to lower elevations for disposal.
Rather than tossing burnables, such as paper or wood products, collect and burn them. Candy wrappers and cigarette butts are trash too and should not be discarded along the trail. Be mindful of when and where you burn trash. Organise a camp routine to collect and burn trash in the morning, preferably where a fire scar already exists. Take care to keep burnable trash as dry as possible avoiding overnight dew.
Non-burnable trash is all trash that is not organic or burnable, such as tins, bottles, aluminium foil, and plastics. Do not bury non-burnable trash since it does not decompose and animals may dig it up and scatter it. Tins and bottles can be given to locals along the trail if they want them. If no one is there to take them, do not leave them. Aluminium foil, foil-lined packages, and plastics do not burn properly and if burned release toxic ozone-depleting gases. Pack all non-burnable trash out to the trail head and dispose of it properly in the nearest city. No formal recylcing facilities exist, but bottles, aluminum, and plastic are informally recycled in cities. Take used battery cells back home to your country for recycling or disposal. If you find an existing trash hole at a camp site, ideally pack its contents out. If this isn't possible, then partially cover the hole with large flat stones or wood to keep the trash from being scattered by weather or animals. Carry a container to collect and transport your non-burnable trash. Crush any tins to save space. Carrying out non-burnable trash does not increase porterage costs; the added weight is minimal and will only require a separate porter load with a large trekking party. Pick up others' trash when you see it along the trail and encourage everyone with you to do the same. This sets a good example; carry a few small bags for this purpose. None of this is difficult or time consuming, but it makes a substantial difference.
Reduce, reuse, and recycle are the three `R's' of environmentally conscious people. You can minimise waste generation (i.e., the trash you produce) by avoiding the use of non- biodegradable, non-burnable packaging. Purchase food for trek that has minimal packaging and where you have a choice, avoid plastic, cellophane and foil-packaged foods. Buy in bulk and transport items like flour, rice, lentils, sugar, and salt in reusable cloth bags or stuff sacks. You can further minimise trash on trek by removing packaging (e.g., paper boxes, tins) from dry and powdered foods and repacking them into sturdy reusable containers before your trek. Do not buy or drink beverages in unrecycleable plastic containers (e.g., bottled mineral water) or tetrapaks. In towns, choose beverages in reusable glass bottles over harder to recycle tin cans. Dispose of residual waste responsibly, by recycling whenever possible. Locals will likely be able to repair any damaged gear and be happy to take it, along with any other unwanted gear after your trek. (Chart of Length of time (in years) it takes common materials to decompose)
Women may need to deal with tampons or sanitary napkins while on trek. Bring tampons or sanitary napkins with minimal packaging from home. Avoid bringing tampons with plastic applicators in favor of cardboard ones, which can be disposed of easily. We have seen unsuspecting village children playing with an improperly disposed of plastic applicator as a whistle! Tampons are generally difficult to burn even when helped along with kerosene. Sanitary napkins with plastic coating also are hard to burn. Do not bury either since they do not decompose easily. Although it may seem inconvenient or unpleasant, plan to pack out all tampons, non-burnable applicators, and/or sanitary napkins for disposal in a city. Carry a few sturdy plastic bags for this purpose.
Water Contamination Water contamination occurs when human waste and other contaminants enter open water sources. Human waste contamination spreads hepatitis, typhoid and intestinal parasites such as giardia, amoebas, and round worms, posing a health risk for residents, trekkers, and wildlife alike. Clean water should be everyone's right. Villagers should not have to drink trekkers dishwater or soap suds!
You can avoid contaminating water sources by taking care when washing or bathing and when going to the toilet. Do not put soaps, even biodegradable soaps, or toothpaste in open water sources. Wash yourself, your dishes, and your clothes in a basin and discard soapy water at least 50 metres from open water sources. A light-weight collapsible plastic basin works well.
During the day, find a discreet location at least 50 metres from any open water source to relieve yourself. Keep toilet paper usage to a minimum and burn all toilet paper with matches or a butane lighter. Pull the toilet paper apart; a wad does not burn. Carrying a small bag to collect toilet paper to burn later in camp also works.
How to best deal with human faeces will depend on where you are. Below treeline, bury it with other organic matter where soil microbes and worms will decompose it. You may want to carry a light-weight trowel for this. Above treeline, organic matter decomposes slowly as frosts are frequent and microbes and worms are few. In remote, uninhabited areas, spread faeces out thinly on rocks to dry it in the sun. The sun's UV rays kill some bacteria and microorganisms. On a glacier using a crevasse for a toilet is actually environmentally sound. The glacier's crushing motion kills some bacteria and the waste will be dispersed and diluted over the many years it will take it to emerge into the river below.
At camp sites, use any existing toilet facility or pit. When a pit is dirty, clean it. Create a toilet site only where none exists, ensure it is at least 50 metres from any open water source and half a metre deep. Ask any locals if they have any concerns about the spot you have selected. Make sure it is not where others may want to sleep or cook. This is a real problem in heavily used areas such as along the Baltoro Glacier. If you are with a trekking company that carries a portable toilet tent, make sure they follow these same guidelines. Use toilet paper sparingly. Do not put toilet paper or trash in a toilet pit or crevasse; burn it. Have some dirt available to sprinkle in the pit after each use; this helps faeces to decompose and reduces odors. If you have a guide, trek crew, or porters, encourage them to use the toilet site as well. Along the Baltoro Glacier, pit toilets exist, but are not used by porters who greatly outnumber trekkers! When leaving the camp site, cover the pit with dirt at least three to four cm above ground level to allow for decomposition and settling.
Other Pollution Graffiti on rocks is a permanent form of environmental pollution that is easily avoided. Discourage your trek crew from writing their names or drawing on rocks.
Remember that many people find smoking offensive. The Aga Khan encourages Ismaili Muslims not to smoke, so please respect the wishes of others.
Minimise noise and don't make any unnecessary noise. Ask your trek crew to do the same. It is astounding how noisy a crowded camp site along the Baltoro Glacier can be at 4:30 a.m.!
The extreme steepness of the land in the Karakoram and Hindukush means erosion is a constant natural process. Arable land is a scarce and valuable resource and plants that help hold the soil together on steep slopes are few. When trekking, keep this in mind and trek gently; do not damage or collect plants or flowers; stay on trails where they exist; and do not cut switchbacks.
Use established camp sites and places for cooking, sleeping, and toilet. Although this concentrates the environmental impact, it minimises the overall disturbance. If there is no established camp site (not uncommon in the Karakoram and Hindukush's more unvisited areas), select a level campsite at least 50 metres from open water sources and the trail, where you do not need to clear away vegetation. Avoid camping in fragile meadows where you will damage the grass and other plants. Do not cut trees, limbs, or brush to make camp improvements. Do not make trenches around tents because loosening the soil leaves it prone to wind and rain erosion. Before leaving a camp site, naturalize the area, and replace rocks, wood, or anything else you moved. Repair anything you may have damaged such as a stone wall or irrigation channel, which helps hold the scant soil in place.
Trees grow slowly in the arid Karakoram and Hindukush, and wood is a scarce and highly valued local resource for timber and fuel. Some old cedar and juniper trees in some valleys are several thousand years old. Most trekkers agree it would be a crime to cut such slow-growing and ancient trees, and villagers have moved to ban cutting in such areas. Remember that any wood belongs to that area's inhabitants and you, as a visitor, have no right to deplete their scarce resources. Refrain from using what are essentially non-renewable natural resources.
Therefore, always cook on a kerosene stove; do not cook on wood fires. If trekking with a guide, trek crew, or porters, provide stoves and fuel or cooked food for everyone in your trekking party. Consider preparing the same food for everyone simultaneously to conserve fuel.
Bathe with warm-water only when the water is heated without wood (e.g., by solar heat) or on fuel-saving stoves. Instead of requesting boiled drinking water, carry your own water bottles and purify drinking water yourself.
Do not have campfires. Bring adequate warm clothes so you do not depend on campfires for warmth. If trekking with a guide, trek crew, or porters, outfit everyone properly so they do not depend on fires for warmth. Encourage villagers to conserve their fuel wood resources. And in hot, dry places, don't throw cigarettes and matches where they might cause fires.
4. Wildlife Conservation
Unauthorized hunting of and trade in endangered species is illegal and you should not condone or engage in it. Please do not eat wild game, harass, or feed wildlife. Villagers are just beginning to realize that tourists will come to view wildlife, and so are working to prevent poaching. Encourage these first steps at local wildlife conservation whenever possible.
B. Economic Considerations
Tourism is one of the largest industries in the world. Often it is a first or second earner of national income. In Pakistan it is the ninth largest source of foreign currency. Tourism provides economic incentives to promote conservation of wild lands, generates income for park management, and brings needed income to rural populations.
You can help reduce tourism's overall impact by patronizing tour operators abroad, trekking companies in Pakistan, airlines, and hotels that make a commitment to environmentally responsible tourism.
When local people receive economic benefits from tourism, they are more likely to respond positively and work with tourists and trekkers to protect and manage their natural resource base. Giving business to locally owned and operated trekking companies and hotels and buying local products keeps tourist revenue in the local economy. When you bring freeze-dried food from home, or buy imported food in big city shops, you are not contributing to the local economy. An excellent way to make a positive contribution is to hire a porter. Often when you enter a new valley you are expected to hire new porters from that valley and release your porters who are from a different area. Instead of viewing this as an inconvenience, realize that the local people through whose area you are walking will now benefit directly from your being there.
Purchase locally grown grains and vegetables in market towns like Chitral, Gilgit, and Skardu whenever possible and plan to be self sufficient while trekking. Living off the land may allow you to travel light, but it imposes a burden on local resources. Villagers grow just enough food for themselves, so do not expect to be able to buy grains and vegetables from them. Where villagers do have a seasonal surplus of fruits, nuts, and dairy products, buying these helps put needed cash into the local economy.
Inform yourself about current wages and prices so you can bargain for and pay a fair price for food, lodging, and other services. Avoid giving inappropriate tips. Paying too much contributes to inflation by forcing wages and prices up, while paying too little denies a fair return.
C. Cultural Considerations
Don't ask people to behave in ways or accept values contrary to their own traditions. Tell people what you like about their culture. Be respectful while visiting religious places.
When photographing, respect local residents' dignity and right to privacy. You should establish a friendly rapport, ask permission, and get their name and address so you can mail photos back to them. Letting people know you will do so may overcome their reluctance to be photographed and make friends. Photographing women is considered improper throughout northern Pakistan. Respect this sensibility whenever you go. Avoid paying people for taking their photo. This commercializes and cheapens cross-cultural interactions, allowing your economic power to dominate and overwhelm any cultural or personal reluctance to be photographed.
Show respect for local values by dressing conservatively. Tight fitting or revealing dress offends and embarrasses people throughout the Karakoram and Hindukush. Do not wear shorts or lycra, and men should never go bare-chested in public. Locals may not say anything to foreigners, who then incorrectly assume their indiscreet dress is alright. However, there are signs posted in the Skardu bazaar and in Karimabad in Hunza asking foreigners to dress discreetly. Loose fitting long pants and long-sleeved shirts are the best choice. Women need to take greater care to wear baggy clothes and cover their legs down to the ankles and arms down to the wrists. Being on vacation is not an excuse for inappropriate behavior! Once, in a village apricot orchard crowded with dozens of boys and girls, a male trekker standing outside his tent stripped down to his underpants in order to change his trousers. His thoughtless behavior managed to offend everyone present.
Avoid public displays of affection. Holding hands, hugging, and kissing are considered private acts, not to be openly and shamelessly displayed. However, public hand holding between men is common as an expression of friendship and rarely has any sexual overtones. 'Holiday romances' with local men harm the image of Western women. Most local men are married and either see the relationship as a ticket to the West or as validation of the misconception that most Western women are sexually available.
While trekking, nude bathing is also considered vulgar and shameless. Wash your body in your tent, using a wash cloth and a basin of water. Washing hair, face, hands, and feet outside is fine; Islam emphasizes personal cleanliness.
Discourage begging and do not give anything to beggars. It is a superficial and negative interaction. Muslims are expected to give part of their income to the needy, and Pakistan has more than its share of needy people. If you want to make a contribution, approach an appropriate person, such as a school headmaster, a community leader, or a representative of a local service organisation, and ask how you can best make a donation. Harder to tolerate are children who demand sweets, pens, or rupees because previous tourists handed them out or the children who throw stones at travellers who say no. Gifts are part of Pakistani hospitality, but throwing goodies around indiscriminately for the sake of goodwill paves a rough road for future travellers. Whatever your status in your own country, most people in Pakistan will perceive you as rich, leading to an idealized image of life in the West. Please make an effort to present a more balanced picture of life in the West by showing how earnings are linked to the cost of living.
The cultures of the Karakoram and Hindukush are now subject to a barrage of new influences that will inevitably change them. In the face of this change, encourage and acknowledge local cultural pride. Here are some examples from Hunza:
-- One evening after dinner at a Karimabad hotel, the hotel owner put Hunza music on the cassette player. With the music filling the room, our Hunzakut friend got up from the table and began dancing by himself. Traditional Hunza dance is a stately, dignified slow turning with arms outstretched and head slightly tilted. Some people sitting at a nearby table shot disapproving looks across the room, at which our friend remarked; "This is my culture, why shouldn't I dance? What do they want me to do, give up my own culture?'"
-- Another night we were sitting at Duikar with the full moon illuminating the mountains surrounding us and the Hunza Valley, some 1200 metres below. Our Hunzakut friend, overcome by the beauty of his land, said; "We are blessed to be born here."
III. INFORMATION SOURCES
Local communities in the Karakoram and Hindukush are realizing that their environment constitutes perhaps their greatest asset, and are taking steps to conserve and manage it. Trekkers can help by supporting grass roots organisations that work to preserve the environment and address problems created by tourism. Some of them in Pakistan are:
-- Karakoram Foundation (tel (051) 252580, 252553 and 853672; fax 250293), P.O. Box 2262, Islamabad exists to work hand-in-hand with those committed to serving people and saving the environment. Their locally focused program works to raise environmental awareness, constructing clean water supply systems, offering scholarships to talented students, operating mobile rural health camps, and training local guides in responsible tourism.
-- Karakoram Society for Natural and Environmental Rehabilitation (KASONER) (tel (0572) 3787), P.O. Box 551, Gilgit, Northern Areas is a non-profit organisation that promotes awareness and education to combat environmental problems before they become irreversible. They have an information centre in Al-Kamal House in central Gilgit. KASONER has held anti-pollution marches through the Gilgit bazaar, surveyed the town's water supply, and led protest action at the annual Shandur polo tournament.
-- Khunjerab Student Welfare Federation (KSWF), Karim Ullah Khan, President, P.O. Sost, Village Morkhun, Gojal, Hunza District, Gilgit, Northern Areas was formed by student activists in 1990. KSWF promotes education and 'green' work because of ecological degradation along the KKH. They have launched a campaign to ban the use of plastic bags and stop the burning of plastic. Litter containers have been placed in areas where villagers gather, particularly at the customs and border check post in Sost. They have branched into ecotourism, training local guides to be ecologically responsible during treks.
-- Globe Chasers Tourist Club, 21-A Bazaar Area, Gujranwala Cantt, Punjab is a non-profit organisation that promotes conservation of the environment and natural resources. They offer ongoing educational programs and encourage participation in outdoor sporting activities. They can arrange treks for student groups. Their most ambitious ongoing project, which began in 1992, is an annual environmental clean-up of lake Saiful Muluk in the Kaghan Valley. Their local representatives include: Aftab Rana (tel (042) 757 6826-8) c/o TDCP, Lahore; Tayyab Nisar Mir (tel (051) 816932) c/o PTDC Information Centre, Islamabad; and Ikram Beg (tel (0572) 2409) c/o G.M. Beg Sons, Gilgit.
-- Green Earth Organisation (GEO) is a Lahore-based NGO that has launched clean-up campaigns in Nanga Parbat's Rupal Valley. They plan to establish trash dumps and pit toilets at Tarashing, Herligkoffer base camp, Latobah, and Mazeno base camp and organise seasonal systematic trash removal (for disposal in Islamabad). To combat deforestation, they help villagers plant willow saplings. They also plan to nominate villagers as 'Green Guardians' who will ensure trekkers and mountaineers dispose of litter properly.
Other abroad include:
-- The Ecotourism Society , 801 Devon Place, Alexandria, VA, 22314 USA (tel (703) 549 8979; fax (703) 549 2920) is a research and education network specifically designed to support ecotourism efforts worldwide. They provide guidelines to tour operators.
-- Himal Magazine, P.O. Box 42, Lalitpur, Nepal (tel (1) 523845; fax (1) 521013) is an activist, Kathmandu-based bimonthly that focuses on all issues of the greater Himalayan region, including the Karakoram and Hindukush. Overseas subscriptions are available.
-- Himalayan Green Club, Attn Kyoko Endo, 3-15-7 Kitaoji Otsu, Shiga, Japan (tel (0775) 34 0911; fax (0775) 34 0984) is active in reforestation programs in Baltistan, particularly along the route up to the Baltoro Glacier. In 1993 they planted willow and poplar trees in Askole, Korophon and Paiju. Educational programs to teach Askole and Korphe villagers how to manage their own reforestation programs are planned. They also provide financial support to the All Baltistan Women Welfare Organisation (ABWWO) to provide health services for the people of Askole.
-- Kathmandu Environmental Education Project (KEEP), P.O. Box 9178, Tridevi Marg, Kathmandu, Nepal (tel (1) 410303; fax (1) 411533) and 72 Newhaven Road, Edinburgh, EH6 5Q6, U.K. (tel (0131) 554 9977; fax (0131) 554 8656); a Himalaya-based project that is tackling the hard issues of the impact of trekking. Pakistan can learn a lot from Nepal's example.
Appendix B - Domestic Tour Operators/Trekking Companies
Pakistani tour operators/trekking companies can arrange make arrangements ahead of or upon a tourist's arrival in Pakistan. They can organise a tour or trek for as many days and people as requested and provide a range of services. Most tour operators/trekking companies have more than one office; an office in Islamabad or Rawalpindi and branches offices in Chitral, Gilgit, Karimabad, and/or Skardu. Tour operators abroad work with these companies. An alphabetized list of reputable companies follows. Offices in Islamabad and Rawalpindi are listed first, followed by those in Chitral, Gilgit, Hunza, and Skardu. Street addresses follow mailing addresses if they are different.
Islamabad & Rawalpindi
-- Adventure Tours Pakistan, Ashraf Aman, P.O. Box 1780, Islamabad; G-9/1, Street 53, House 551 (tel (051) 252759, 260820, and 260821; fax (051) 252145; telex 54484 TOURS PK)
-- Adventure Travel, S. Malik, P.O. Box 2062, Islamabad; 15 Wali Centre, 86 South Blue Area (tel (051) 212490; fax 214580; telex 54539)
-- Baltistan Tours, Mohammad Iqbal, P.O. Box 1285, Islamabad (tel (051) 220338; fax (051) 218620; telex 5811 NAIBA PK)
-- Concordia Trekking Services, Mohammad Abbas Kazmi, 48 Millat Colony, Committee Chowk, Rawalpindi (tel (051) 72411; fax (051) 552304) Expedition Pakistan, Kaiser Khan, 16 Saeed Plaza, Blue Area, Islamabad (tel (051) 811457, 811301-2, 823314, and 823318; fax (051) 811457 and 824319; telex 5537 PT PK)
-- Himalaya Nature Tours Pakistan, Asif Khan, F-7/1, Street 45, House 5, Islamabad (051) 811478; fax (051) 824245)
-- Himalaya Treks & Tours (Pvt.) Ltd., Mohammad Ali Changazi, P.O. Box 918, Rawalpindi; 112 Rahim Plaza, Murree Road (tel (051) 563014 and 515371; fax (051) 563014)
-- Hindukush Trails, Maqsood Ul Mulk, F-6/1, Street 28, House 37, Islamabad (tel (051) 821576 and 217067; fax (051) 215031 and 217067; telex 54650 TRAIL PK)
-- Indus Guides, 7-E Egerton Road, Lahore (tel (042) 304190-96; fax (042) 872529; telex 44344 DEENS PK)
-- Karakorum Explorers, Mubarak Hussain, P.O. Box 2994, Islamabad; I-10/1, Street 90, House 1295 (tel (051) 442127; fax (051) 442127; telex 5811 CSCIB PK and 5945 CSCIB PK)
-- Karakurum Treks & Tours N.A. (Pvt.) Ltd., Anchan Ali Mirza, P.O. Box 2803, Islamabad; F-7/2, Street 19, 1 Baltoro House (tel (051) 829120; fax (051) 221996; telex 54480 MIRZA PK)
-- Mountain Movers, Musarat Wali Khan, P.O. Box 985, Rawalpindi (tel (051) 470519; fax (051) 584566 at 802 and (051) 470518; telex 5948 and 5949 at 982)
-- Mountain Travels Pakistan, Ghulam Abbas, F-7/2, Street 22, House 1-A, Islamabad (tel (051) 260469 and 813725; fax 212958)
-- Panorama Travels & Tours, P.O. Box 1064, Islamabad; F-6, 8 Safdar Mansion (near Tabaq Restaurant), Blue Area (tel (051) 815266 and 822080; fax 214548; telex 5945 CTO IB PK)
-- Nazir Sabir Expeditions, Nazir Sabir, P.O. Box 1442, Islamabad; G-9/1, Street 52, House 487 (tel (051) 252580 and 252553; fax (051) 250293; telex 54627 K2 PK)
-- Siachen Travel & Tours, Rozi Ali and Ghulam Ali, Rawalpindi (tel (051) 73240; fax 550531)
-- Sitara Travel Consultants (Pvt.) Ltd., Sitara House, 232 Khadim Hussain Road; P.O. Box 63, Rawalpindi (tel (051) 564750-1, and 566272; fax 584958; telex 5751 STARA PK)
-- Trans Asian Tours, Ashraf Khan, P.O. Box 2914, Islamabad (tel (051) 859367; fax (051) 822313)
-- Trans-Pakistan Adventure Services (Pvt.) Ltd., P.O. Box 2103, Islamabad; Muzaffar Chambers, Plot 82, Apt. 8, 2nd floor, Blue Area (tel (051) 214796, fax 213426 and 822313; telex 5811 NAIBA PK and 5945 CTO IB PK)
-- Walji's Adventure Pakistan, Iqbal Walji, P.O. Box 1088, Islamabad; Walji's Building, 10 Khayaban-e-Suhrawardy (tel (051) 210745-8 and 820908; fax 210762; telex 5769 WALJI PK)
-- Hindukush Trails, Mountain Inn, Chitral (tel (0533) 2112)
-- Adventure Centre Pakistan (Pvt.) Ltd., Ikram Beg, P.O. Box 516, Gilgit 15100; 468
Jamat Khana Bazaar (tel (0572) 2409; fax 2409)
-- Adventure Tours Pakistan, Airport Road, Gilgit (tel (0572) 2663)
-- Adventure Travel, P.O. Box 597, Gilgit; 3 Wali House, Khomer, Jutial, Gilgit
-- Himalaya Nature Tours Pakistan, Chinar Bagh Link Road, Gilgit (tel (0572) 2946)
-- Karakurum Treks & Tours N.A. (Pvt.) Ltd., Airport Road (tel (0575) 2753)
-- Mountain Movers, P.O. Box 534, Gilgit; Airport Road (tel (0572) 2967; fax 2525)
-- Pamir Tours, Zia Ullah Beg, P.O. Box 545, Gilgit; JSR Plaza (tel (0572) 3939; fax 2475)
-- Sitara, Airport Rd, Gilgit
-- Trans Asian Tours, Chinar Bagh Link Road, Gilgit (tel (0572) 3419)
-- Trans-Pakistan Adventure Services (Pvt.) Ltd., P.O. Box 525, Gilgit; Link Road Walji's
-- Adventure Pakistan, P.O. Box 515, Gilgit; Airport Road (tel (0572) 2665; fax 2665)
-- Concordia Expeditions Pakistan, Karimabad (tel (47) 010)
-- Karakorum Explorers, Ganesh (tel (047) 073)
-- Nazir Sabir Expeditions, Aliabad (tel (045) 048)
-- Walji's Adventure Pakistan, Karimabad (tel (47) 045)
-- Baltistan Tours, P.O. Box 604, Skardu; Link Road, Satellite Town (tel (0575) 2626;
-- Concordia Trekking Services, P.O. Box 626, Skardu (tel (0575) 3440)
-- Himalaya Treks & Tours (Pvt.) Ltd., College Road, Skardu (tel (0575) 2528)
-- Karakurum Treks & Tours, Link Road, Satellite Town, Skardu (tel (0575) 2856)
-- Mountain Travels Pakistan, P.O. Box 621, Skardu; Hameed Garh Road, Khoshu Bagh, Satellite Town (tel (0575) 2750)
-- Nazir Sabir Expeditions, Airport Road, Skardu (tel (0575) 3346)
-- Siachen Travels & Tours, P.O. Box 622, Skardu (tel (0575) 2649 and 2844)
-- Walji's Adventure Pak
istan, College Road (near Hunza Inn), Skardu (tel (0575) 3468)
Appendix C - Tour Operators Abroad
Many tourists book their holiday through tour operators abroad that specialise in adventure travel. These tour operators offer a range of activities, including trekking, mountaineering, cultural touring, jeep safaris, cycling, and rafting. The following is a list of reliable tour operators abroad that already operate tours in Chitral and the Northern Areas. The tour operators are grouped into Cultural Tours and Jeep Safaris or Trekking and Mountaineering depending upon their primary market and are listed alphabetically by continent.
Cultural Tours and Jeep Safaris
-- International Gallery, Charles Ross, 643 G Street, San Diego, CA 92101, USA (tel (619) 235 8255; fax (619) 235 9414)
-- Olson Travelworld, 970 W. 190th Street, Suite 425, Torrance, CA 90502, USA (tel (800) 421 2255)
-- Asiarep, 12, rue de Texel, 75014, Paris, France (tel (43) 21 89 17; fax (43) 27 56 12; telex 205 894) Banoa, Ronda de Sant Pere, 11 atic 3a, 08010 Barcelona, Spain (tel 34 3 318 96 00; fax 34 3 318 00 37) and c/Ledesma, 4-3 Dpto 4, 48001 Bilbao (Bizkaia), Spain (tel 34 4 424 00 11; fax 34 4 423 20 39)
-- Catai Tours, O'Donnell 49, 28009 Madrid, Spain (tel 409 1125 and 409 3281; fax 409 6692; telex 43703 CTAI)
-- Deutsches Reisebro GmbH Dertour, Emil Von Behring Strasse 6, P.O. Box 50 00 00, D-6000 Frankfurt, Main 50, Germany (tel (069) 9588 32 36; fax (069) 9588 32 29; telex 41529236 dr d)
-- Dimensiones, Jacometrezo, 4 Planta 11, 28013 Madrid, Spain (tel (1) 531 06 07 and (1) 531 51 85; fax (1) 521 42 54; telex 27663 DIMEN)
-- Gold Travel, Agenzi Viaggi, Piazza Gramsci, 14, 15048 Valenza, Italy (tel (0131) 924971-2; fax (0131) 946707; telex 211360 GOLDVA)
-- Abercrombie & Kent (Hong Kong) Ltd., 27/F, Tai Sang Commercial Bldg., 24-34 Hennessy Rd., Wanchai, Hong Kong (tel (852) 865 7818; fax (852) 866 0556; telex 78080 AKENT HX)
-- Asahi Sun Tours Inc., 4-101, Ginza, Chuo-Ku, Tokyo 104, Japan (tel (03) 3535 7781; fax (03) 3535 7762; telex 2524494 ASAHI J)
-- Independent Tours Centre Ltd., Tsukasa Bldg., 23-7, 3-Chome, Nishi-Shinbashi, Minato-Ku, Tokyo 105, Japan (tel (03) 3431 7497; fax (03) 3438 1280)
-- Jet Travels & Tours, 113 Jor Bagh, New Delhi, 110 003, India (tel (11) 616111 and 699494; fax 4627231; telex 031 65534 JVC IN)
-- NTS Co. Ltd., Mitsuya-Yotsuya Bldg, Yotsuya 2-Chome, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160, Japan (tel (03) 3359 2941; fax (03) 3356 9488)
-- Saiyu Travel Co. Ltd., Kitagawa Bldg 5F, 6-4 Kamiyamacho, Kita-ku, Osaka, Japan (tel (06) 367 1391; fax (06) 367 1966) and Shinsekai Bldg 5F, 2-2 Kanda Jimbocho, Chiyoda-Ku, Tokyo, Japan (tel (03) 3237 1391; telex 2323189)
-- World Air Sea Service Co. Ltd., Owari-Cho Bldg 6-8-3, Ginza Chuo-Ku, Tokyo, Japan (tel (03) 3572 8111; fax (03) 3572 3907; telex 252 4516 WAS J)
Australia & New Zealand
-- Abercrombie & Kent (Australia) Pty. Ltd., 90 Bridport Street, P.O. Box 222, Albert Park, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (tel (03) 9699 9766 or toll free (900) 331 429; fax (03) 9699 9308; telex AA38804 ABKENT)
-- Far Horizons, Vine Vale Road, Tanunda, Barossa Valley, South Australia 5352, Australia (tel (085) 632 985; fax (085) 632 445; telex 89531 FARHOR)
-- Patricia Healey Tours & Travel, 4 Viret Street, Hunters Hill, Sydney, NSW 2110, Australia (tel (02) 817 5278; fax (02) 816 2471)
Trekking & Mountaineering North America
-- Above The Clouds Trekking, Steve Conlon, P.O. Box 398, Worcester, MA 01602-0398, USA (tel (508) 799 4499 or toll free (800) 233 4499; fax (508) 797-4779)
-- Concordia Expeditions, Masood Ahmed, P.O. Box 4159, Buena Vista, CO 81211, USA (tel (719) 395 9191; fax (719) 395 8258)
-- Explore South Asia Tours Inc., Abdul Aslam, 500 Summer Street, Suite 203, Stamford, CT 06901, USA (tel (203) 961 8194 or toll free tel (800) 221 6941; fax (203) 348 6489)
-- Geographic Expeditions, 2627 Lombard Street, San Francisco, CA 94123, USA (tel (415) 922 0448 or toll free tel (800) 777 8183; fax (415) 346 5535; Internet: firstname.lastname@example.org)
-- Ibex Expeditions, Bruce Klepinger, 2657 West 28th Avenue, Eugene, OR 94075-1461, USA (tel (503) 345 1289 or toll free tel (800) 842 8139; fax (503) 343 9002)
-- Mountain Madness, 4218 S.W. Alaska Street, Suite 206, Seattle, WA 98116, USA, (tel (206) 937 8389 or toll free tel (800) 328 5925; fax (206) 937 1772)
-- Mountain Travel-Sobek, 6420 Fairmount Avenue, El Cerrito, CA 94530, USA, (tel (510) 527 8100 or toll free tel (800) 227 2384; fax (510) 525 7710; e-mail email@example.com)
-- One World Expeditions - Karakoram Experience, P.O. Box 10538, Aspen, CO 81612, USA, (tel (303) 925 8368 or toll free tel (800) 497 9675; fax (303) 925 6704)
-- Pete Owens' Asian Treks c/o Govind Shahi, Himalayan Treasures & Travel, 3596 Ponderosa Trail, Pinole, CA 94564, USA, (tel (510) 222 5307 or call toll free (800) 223 1813; fax (510) 223 5309)
-- Sitara Travel Consultants (Pvt.) Ltd., 3526 W. 41st Avenue, Vancouver, BC, V6N 3E6, Canada, (tel (604) 264 8747, toll free from Canada (800) 387 1974, and toll free from USA (800) 888 7216; fax (604) 264 7774; telex 0455768 VCR)
-- Snow Lion Expeditions, 350 S. 400 East, Suite G2, Salt Lake City, UT 84111, USA (tel (801) 355 6555 or toll free (800) 525 TREK; fax (801) 355 6566)
-- Wilderness Travel, 801 Allston Way, Berkeley, CA 94710, USA, (tel (510) 548 0420 or toll free tel (800) 368 2794; fax (510) 548 0347; Internet: firstname.lastname@example.org)
-- Dragoman, Camp Green, Debenham, Suffolk IP14 6LA, UK (tel (01728) 861133; fax (01728) 861127; telex 987009)
-- Exodus Expeditions, 9 Weir Road, London SW12 0LT, UK (tel (0181) 673 0859 or 675 5550; overland calls tel (0181) 675 7996; fax (0181) 673 0779; telex 8951700 EXODUS G)
-- ExplorAsia (Abercrombie & Kent Travel), Sloane Square House, Holbein Place, London SW1W 8NS, UK (tel (0171) 730 7795; fax (0171) 730 9376)
-- Explore Worldwide, 1 Frederick St, Aldershot, Hants GU11 1LQ, UK (tel (01252) 344161; fax (01252) 343170)
-- High Adventure, David Hamilton, 91 Telford Ave, London SW2 4XN, UK
-- Himalayan Kingdoms Ltd, 20 The Mall, Clifton, Bristol BS8 4DR, UK (tel (0117) 923 7163; fax (0117) 974 4993) and Himalayan Kingdoms Expeditions, 45 Mowbray Street, Sheffield, S3 8EN, UK (tel (0114) 276 3322; fax (0114) 276 3344)
-- Karakoram Experience Ltd, 32 Lake Road, Keswick, Cumbria CA12 5DQ, UK (tel (017687) 73966; fax (017687) 74693)
-- OTT Expeditions, 62 Nettleham Road, Sheffield, S8 8SX, UK (tel (0114) 258 8508 and (0114) 250 1134; fax (0114) 255 1603; Internet: email@example.com)
-- Ramblers Holidays Ltd., Box 43, Welwyn Garden, Hertfordshire AL8 6PQ, UK (tel (01707) 331 133; fax (01707) 333 276; telex 24642)
-- Twickersworld, 20-22 Church Street, Twickenham TW1 3NW, UK (tel (0181) 892 7606; fax (0181) 892 8061; telex 25780)
-- Worldwide Journeys & Expeditions, 8 Comeragh Road, London W14 9HP, UK (tel (0171) 381 8636; fax (0171) 381 0836; telex 296 871)
-- Allibert, route de Grenoble, 38530 Chapareillan, France (tel (76) 45 22 26; fax (76) 45 27 28) and 14 rue de l'Asile Popincourt, 75011 Paris, France (tel (1) 48 06 16 61; fax (1) 48 06 47 22)
-- Ashraf Travel, Alex Schrrama, Haarlemmerstraat 140, P.O. Box 468, 1000 al Amsterdam, Holland (tel (020) 6232450; fax (020) 6229028)
-- Avventure del Mundo (Viaggi Nel Mundo), Circonvallazione Gianicolense 41, 00152 Roma, Italy (tel (6) 588 0661; fax (6) 580 9540)
-- Banoa, 11 atic 3a, 08010 Barcelona, Spain (tel (3) 318 96 00; fax (3) 318 00 37) and c/Ledesma 4-3 , Dpto 4, 48001, Bilbao (Bizkaia), Spain (tel (4) 424 00 11; fax (4) 423 20 39)
-- Beek Trekking Tours, Michael Beek, Vorderdohr 41, 5600 Wuppertal 12, Germany (tel (202) 471939; fax (202) 477496); representative of Himalaya Nature Tours Pakistan
-- DAV Summit Club GmbH, Am Perlacher Forst 186, D-80997 Mnchen 90, Germany (tel (89) 65 10 72 0)
-- Hauser Exkursionen International GmbH, Marienstrasse 17, D-80331 Mnchen, Germany (tel (89) 23 50 06 0; fax (89) 291 37 14; telex 05 216475 HAUS)
-- Ikarus, P.O. Box 1220, Fasanenweg 1, D-6240, K"nigstein, Germany (tel (06174) 29020; fax (06174) 22952; telex 410648 ITKD)
-- International Mountain Climbing (IMC), Gerhart-Haputmann StraŠe 28, D-69221, Dossenheim, Germany (tel (06221) 86 39 51; fax (06221) 86 03 96)
-- Joker, Belgium
-- Kuoni Tours, Oruro 9, 28016 Madrid, Spain (tel (1) 250 5304; fax (1) 402 1509; telex 27867)
-- Mini Trek, Berg StraŠe 153, D-6900 Heidelberg, Germany (tel (06221) 401443)
-- Nouvelles Frontires, 87 Boulevard de Grenelle, 75015 Paris, France (tel (1) 41 41 58 58)
-- Pineapple Tours, Reiser GmbH, Whringer StraŠe 135, 1180 Vienna, Austria (tel (0222) 403 98 83 0; fax (0222) 403 98 833; telex 116587 PINEAP)
-- Terres D'Aventure, 6 rue Saint-Victor, 75005 Paris, France (tel (1) 53 73 77 77; fax (1) 43 29 96 31; telex 201545)
-- Tjaereborg, Kaervej 8, DK-6731, Tjaereborg, Denmark (tel (75) 177111; fax (75) 176006)
-- Trekking Y Aventura, Don RamĘn de la Cruz 93, 28006 Madrid, Spain (tel (1) 401 2208; fax (1) 401 1151) and Gran V°a 523, 08011 Barcelona, Spain (tel (3) 454 3702; fax (3) 323 5288) Viajes Astrolabio - Avial, Santisima Trinidad 15, 28010 Madrid, Spain (tel (1) 447 8000 and (1) 447 9809; fax (1) 447 8380)
-- Viajes Sanga, Alameda 8, Bajo Centro, 28014 Madrid, Spain (tel (1) 420 09 55; fax (1) 429 67 08)
-- VNC Travel, Mississippi dreef 95, 3565 CE, Utrecht, Holland (tel (030) 613844; fax (030) 627734)
-- Zig Zag, 54, rue de Dunkerque, 75009 Paris, France (tel (1) 42 85 13 93 and (1) 42 85 13 18; fax (1) 45 26 32 85)
-- Alpine Tour Service Co. Ltd., 5-F Shimbashi Towa Bldg., 2-13-8 Shimbashi, Minato-Ku, Tokyo 105, Japan (tel (03) 3506 8411; fax (03) 3506 8417; telex 2223798 ALPNTRJ)
-- Himalaya Treks & Tours (Pvt.) Ltd., Sayed Sajaad Hussain Shahji, Kyoto Shi Kita, Ku Shichiku, Kamitake Dono Cho, 42-2, Japan T603 (tel (075) 491 3060; fax (075) 491 4200)
-- Independent Tours Centre (ITC), Tsukasa Bldg., 3-23-7, Nishi-Shimbashi, Minatoku, Tokyo 105, Japan (tel (03) 3431 7497; fax (03) 3438 1280)
-- Saiyu Travel Co. Ltd., Shinekai Bldg. 5F, 2-2 Kanda Jimbocho, Chiyoda-Ku, Tokyo, Japan (tel (03) 3237 1391; telex 2323189) and Kitagawa Bldg. 5F, 6-4 Kamiyamacho, Kita-ku, Osaka, Japan (tel (06) 367 1391; fax (06) 367 1966)
Australia & New Zealand
-- World Expeditions, 441 Kent Street, 3rd floor, Sydney, NSW 2000, Australia (tel (02) 264 3366 or toll free (008) 803 688; fax (02) 261 1974); 393 Little Bourke St, 1st floor, Melbourne, Victoria 3000, Australia (tel (03) 670 8400; fax (03) 670 7474); and 145 Charlotte St, 1st floor, Brisbane, Queensland 4000, Australia (tel (07) 236 4388; fax (07) 229 5602)
-- World Expeditions - Venturetreks, 407 Great South Road, P.O. Box 12-424, Penrose, Auckland, New Zealand (tel (09) 525 3074; fax (09) 525 3065)
************************************************* Appendix D - Hotel Operators
These are private sectors hotel operators by district in Chitral and the Northern Areas. We do not attempt to mention every hotel, but to give an idea of the number and type of hotels in major towns and villages.
D.1.0. Chitral District D.1.1. Chitral Town
No hot running water or geysers exist except at top-end hotels. Hot water is available in buckets on request. Most hotels need advance warning to prepare food.
D.1.1.a. Chitral Bottom end
These hotels all have charpoys; no beds.
-- YZ Hotel (tel 2690), -- PIA Chowk Chinar Inn & Restaurant, -- Shahi bazaar Pakistan Hotel & Restaurant, Ataliq bazaar -- Garden Hotel, Ataliq bazaar; camping -- Shabnam Hotel, Ataliq bazaar -- Chitral Luxuary Hotel & Restaurant, off Jama Masjid road -- Damdam Hotel & Restaurant
D.1.1.b. Chitral Middle
Hotels in this category have beds instead of charpoys.
-- Peace Hotel just above PIA Chowk -- Chinar Inn & Restaurant, Shahi bazaar -- Fairland Hotel & Restaurant, Ataliq bazaar -- Mountain View Hotel & Restaurant (tel 2559), Naya bazaar -- Summerland Hotel (tel 2337), Naya bazaar -- Al-Farooq Hotel & Restaurant Hotel Hindukush Tower (tel 2888), next to Shahi Masjid -- Dreamland -- Greenland Hotel & Restaurant -- Hotel Tourist Lodge (tel 2452)
D.1.1.c. Chitral Top end
-- Mountain Inn (tel 2370, 2800, and 2112; fax 2668), Ataliq bazaar
-- Pamir Riverside Inn (tel 2525) Hindu Kush Heights, Dalamutz
D.1.2. Kalash Valleys
No hotels have hot running water or geysers. Hot water is available in buckets on request. Hotels do not have attached bathrooms except a few in Bumboret. Most hotels prepare basic meals.
D.1.2.a. Birir Valley
-- Paradise Hotel, Guru Mehran Hotel, Guru
D.1.2.b. Bumboret Valley
Hotels are in four villages: Anish; Brun; Batrik; and Krakal. Anish
-- Valley Inn - Jinnah Kalash Hotel & Restaurant; camping
-- Benazir Hotel & Restaurant; camping
-- Foreigner's Tourist Inn; camping
-- Hotel Kalash Hilton Inn
-- Taj Mahal Hotel & Restaurant
-- Frontier Hotel & Restaurant
-- Kalash Guest House
-- Kalash View Hotel
-- Peace Hotel
-- Lahore Motel & Camping Place
-- Hotel Jahangir Alexandra; camping
-- Kalash Hotel
-- Mateen Hotel
D.1.2.c. Rumbur Valley
-- Exlant Hotel & Restaurant, Grom
-- Kalash Hiltan Hotel, Grom
-- Green Kalash Hotel, Grom
D.2.0. Ghizar District
-- Shandur Tourist House
-- Welcome Hotel
-- Tajikistan Inn
-- International Hotel
-- Pathan Hotel
-- Gulistan Hotel
-- Snow Leopard Inn
-- Sarhad Hotel
-- Deluxe Hotel (tel 208)
-- Hamalaya (tel 209)
-- Khanjrab (tel 290)
-- Kashmir Inn
-- New Shimla Hotel (tel 212)
-- Chilas Inn (tel 211)
-- Panorama Hotel
-- Chilas Shangri-La Midway House Hotel
-- Dreamland Tourist Inn
-- Rama Tourist Cottage
D.4.1. Gilgit Bottom end
-- Madina Hotel & Guest House, by NLI barracks Hunza Inn (tel 2814)
-- Hunza Guest House, Chinar Bagh Link Rd Tourist Cottage (tel 2376), Shahrah-e-Quaid-e-Azam Rd
-- Golden Peak Inn (tel 3538), Shahrah-e-Quaid-e-Azam Rd
-- New Lahore Hotel (tel 3327), lower Hospital Rd
-- Kashgar Inn, Cinema bazaar
-- Indus Hotel Karakorum Inn, Airport Rd
-- Vershigoom Inn, Airport Rd
D.4.2. Gilgit Middle
-- Skyways Hotel & Restaurent (tel 2742)
-- JSR Hotel (tel 3971), Cinema Bazaar
-- Alflah Hotel, Domyal Link Rd
-- Park Hotel (tel 2379 and 3379), Airport Rd
-- North Inn (tel 2887), Shahrah-e-Quaid-e-Azam Rd
-- Kinbridge Hotel
-- Hunza Tourist House (tel 3788, 2338), Babar Rd
-- Tourist Hamlet (tel 2934 and 2754), Khomer Chowk
-- Mir's Lodge (tel 2875), Domyal Link Rd
D.4.3. Gilgit Top end
-- Gilgit Serena Hotel (tel 2330-1; fax 2525)
D.5.0. Hunza River Valley
-- Prince Hotel
-- Rakaposhi Inn
-- SR Hotel
-- Moonland Restaurant
-- Dumani View Hotel
-- Amir Jan's Village Guest House (tel (47) 024)
-- Ideal View Hotel & Camping Point
-- Kisar Inn
-- Williat Ali's Guest House
-- Karakoram Highway Inn (tel (47) 095 and 072)
-- Golden Peak View Hotel
D.5.5.a. Karimabad - bottom end
-- Garden Lodge; camping
-- Rainbow Hotel
--Hunza Lodge (tel (47) 061)
-- Karim Hotel & Restaurant
-- New Mountain Refuge Inn
-- Hunza Inn
D.5.5.b. Karimabad - middle
-- Hill View Hotel
-- Wajid Guest House
-- Karim Hotel & Restaurant
-- New Golden Lodge (tel (47) 094
-- Hilltop Hotel Tourist
-- Park Hotel (tel (47) 045)
-- Karakurum Hotel & Restaurant
-- Mountain View Hotel (tel (47) 053)
-- Hunza View Hotel
D.5.5.c. Karimabad - top end
-- Hunza Baltit Inn
-- Mountain View Hotel
-- Rakaposhi Palace (tel (47) 012)
-- Rakaposhi View Hotel
-- Eagle Nest Hotel
-- Tourist Lodge
-- Dreamland Hotel
-- Mountain Refuge Hotel
-- Khunjerab View Hotel
-- Baltar Cottage
-- Hoper Hilton Inn
-- Hoper Inn
-- Diran Guest House
-- Alpine Hotel
D.5.8.d. Nagyr Proper
-- Distaghil Sar Hotel
D.5.9.a. Naltar Lake
-- Lake View Hotel
D.5.9.b. Upper Naltar (Dumian)
-- Hilltop Hotel
-- Prince Hotel
-- Pasban Hotel
-- Prince Hotel
-- Aliar Hotel
D.6.0. Skardu District
D.6.1. Skardu Town
D.6.1.a. Skardu Bottom end
-- Rondu Hotel & Restaurant
-- Pak Siachen Hotel & Restaurant
-- Hillman Hotel
-- Baltistan Tourist Cottage (tel 2707)
-- Hunza Inn (tel 2570)
-- Hotel Al Amin (tel 2798)
-- Karakoram Inn (tel 2442 and 2122)
-- Sadpara Hotel (tel 2951)
D.6.1.b. Skardu Middle
-- Indus Motel & Snack Bar (tel 2608)
-- Hunza Tourist House (tel 2515 and 3491)
-- Yurt & Yak Sarai
D.6.1.c. Skardu Top end
-- Pioneer Hotel
-- Shangri-La Tourist Resort
-- Tibet Hotel
-- Satpara Lake Inn
-- Lake View Motel
D.7.0. Ghanche District
-- Ghanche Hotel
-- Khaplu Inn
-- Siachan Hotel
-- New Khaploo Inn Hotel & Restourant (tel 62)
-- K7 Hotel & Restaurant
-- K6 Hotel & Restaurant
D.7.3. Hushe village
-- Mashabrum Inn
-- Lela Peak Camping
-- K6 & K7 Camping Place
-- Ghandoghoro La Camping Place
-- Ghandughoro Camping Place
-- Hushe Saitcho Inn/Shop
************************************************* Appendix E - Transport Operators
Four regional routes link the cities and towns in Chitral and the Northern Areas that both domestic and foreign tourists visit. These are: the Karakoram Highway (KKH) between Islamabad and the Khunjerab Pass via Gilgit; the Gilgit-Skardu road; the Gilgit-Chitral road over the Shandur Pass; and the Peshawar-Chitral route via Dir over the Lowari Pass.
E.1.0. Private Sector Transport Operators
Private sector transport operators by route follow.
E.1.1. Karakoram Highway (KKH): Islamabad to Khunjerab Pass
-- Hameed Travels Service (tel 73387)
-- Mashriq Hotel, Saddar, south of Fowara Chowk, Rawalpindi; and (tel (0572) 3181 and 3026)
-- Skyways Hotel, Gilgit
-- Sargin Travel Service (tel 74130)
-- Modern Hotel opposite the Novelty Cinema in Kashmiri bazaar, Rawalpindi; and (tel 3939 and 2959) JSR Plaza, Gilgit
-- Hunza Coach Service (HCS) (tel 472705 and 471849)
-- Anarkali Hotel, Pir Wadhai, Rawalpindi; and (tel (0572) 3553) Airport Rd, Gilgit.
-- Mashabrum Tours (tel 863595) has daily buses that depart from Pir Wadhai, Rawalpindi; Cinema bazaar, Gilgit
-- Hunza Coach Service (HCS) (tel (0572) 3553), Airport Rd, Gilgit
-- Neelum Transports (tel 2856), Taj Super market, Gilgit
E.1.2. Gilgit-Skardu Road
Mashabrum Tours, Cinema bazaar, Gilgit; and (tel 2616 and 2634), Skardu
E.1.3. Gilgit-Chitral & the Shandur Pass
No private sector transport operates regularly on this route.
E.1.4. Peshawar-Chitral & the Lowari Pass
At the time of writing only Shaheen Station/Depot, near PTDC in Chitral, goes direct to Peshawar; with other flying coaches you must transfer in Dir. Various transport operators (e.g., Herkala Rasha Flying Coach) have service direct to Chitral from Peshawar or with connections in Dir.
E.2.0. Public Sector
Northern Areas Transport Corporation (NATCO) (tel 860283 and 861028) operates on the KKH Rawalpindi-Gilgit, Gilgit-Skardu, and Gilgit-Sost.
*********************************** Appendix H - Protected Areas
Pakistan currently recognises just three categories of protected areas: national parks, wildlife sanctuaries, and game reserves. These now outdated categories and the equally outdated legislation behind them severely restrict how Pakistan manages its unique wilderness resources. Current United Nations sanctioned categories number six, with a wide range of management options.
Almost all of Pakistan's protected areas in the Karakoram and Hindukush were once the property of local princes. When the princely states were absorbed into Pakistan, the government assumed ownership of these areas. Local people, who had traditionally used the areas for pasturing and wood gathering saw themselves as the inheritors of the high mountain valleys and grasslands. The resulting disputes are still with the courts.
In addition, these mountain areas have now also become the object of desire of a number of competing interests - resort hotels, polo tournaments, adventure tourism, big game hunting, and the military. Pakistan's understaffed, underequipped, and undertrained wildlife officers are unable to handle the growing complexity of management. With the government as owner, and others as users, no one has sufficient control over resources, and effective management seems impossible. Whether the government can revise legislation and resolve park conflicts resulting from multiple users remains to be seen.
H.1.0. National Parks
There are three officially gazetted national parks in the Karakoram and Hindukush: Chitral Gol, Khunjerab, and Central Karakoram. Two other parks, Shandur-Hundrup and Deosai Wilderness, were declared national parks by the Chief Commissioner of the Northern Areas in 1993. They are currently under review for the official gazetting process by the federal government. Tourists who visit these two new parks will find no indication of their park status. So far, they are parks on paper only. National parks are administered by the government Forestry Division. Contact the District Forestry Officer (DFO) for Wildlife in each area for more information about each park.
The National Council for the Conservation of Wildlife (NCCW) is part of the Ministry of Food, Agriculture & Cooperatives of the Government of Pakistan. It has the major responsibility for development of national parks in the Karakoram and Hindukush. Their office is in Islamabad.
H.1.1. Chitral Gol National Park
This 7750 hectare former hunting preserve of the ex-Mehtar of Chitral has one of the few remaining viable populations of markhor, currently several hundred in number. To raise funds for park management, two hunting permits per year used to be sold for US$10,000 each. Now, because the markhor is an endangered species and import of markhor trophy heads is forbidden by most countries, this hunting has ceased. Chitral Gol's ownership is tied up in a three-way dispute between the ex-Mehtar, who claims it is still his private property, the government and local people. The case has been in litigation for more than 20 years. Hopefully, these three parties will decide to work together to manage and conserve this beautiful ecosystem for future generations.
H.1.2. Khunjerab National Park
This 2269 sq km area is in the Gojal region of northern Hunza. It lies on either side of the KKH from Dih to the China border at the Khunjerab Pass. Most of Shimshal's Pamir and Ghujerab regions are also included, but currently, only the area along the KKH is being actively managed.
The famous wildlife biologist George Schaller recommended the establishment of this park in 1975 to the then Prime Minister, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, who declared it done. Unfortunately, almost nothing actually was done beyond the declaration. Marco Polo sheep, a magnificent species once abundant in the Khunjerab Pass region, were almost wiped out. They now appear to be recovering thanks to efforts by WWF to develop sound management practices that respect the rights of local communities and involve them in decision making. Efforts in this park may point the way ahead for parks in the rest of Pakistan. The Directorate of Khunjerab National Park (DKNP) is responsible for management of the Khunjerab National Park, and is staffed by officials from the Forestry Department. The local staff is largely under-equipped and untrained. The DKNP operates more as a bureaucracy with administrative headquarters in Gilgit. Wildlife protection is the responsibility of villagers living near the park.
H.1.3. Central Karakoram National Park
Established in 1993 in response to growing environmental pressure on Baltistan's once pristine Baltoro Glacier, this park also includes the Biafo and Hispar glaciers and their tributaries. The crown jewel, of course, is K2 (8611 metres). On the Baltoro Glacier, the accumulation of military hardware and debris from the long-simmering conflict with India remains a problem. Management plans have yet to be developed and time will tell if the park can avoid repeating the same problems that have plagued other parks.
H.1.4. Shandur-Hundrup National Park
This park includes two separate areas in the Northern Areas' Ghizar district; the 996 sq km Hundrup River valley up to the Dadarelli An, and the 644 square km Shandur Pass area. The Hundrup River is a world-class trout stream and the Shandur Pass is the site of an annual polo tournament extravaganza. The area was declared a park in an attempt to control the merrymakers at the polo tournament, who were not inclined to clean up their mess. Now, tour operators are cleaning up after the tournament, but garbage still fills ravines in the high meadows beside Shandur Lake.
H.1.5. Deosai Plateau Wilderness Park
The Deosai Plateau is a 3464 sq km high-altitude plain bordering on Indian Kashmir. Uninhabited and little-used, the area has the largest brown bear population in Pakistan, numerous marmots, and clear streams with unusual snow trout.
H.2.0. Wildlife Sanctuaries
Wildlife sanctuaries are all remote former hunting grounds of local rulers. For each sanctuary there is at least one designated game watcher. There is no visible indication of the sanctuary status of these areas. In theory, hunting is banned. Wildlife sanctuaries include:
Agram-Besti Wildlife Sanctuary covers 30,000 hectares in the high valleys of Agram and Besti in the Lutkho district of Chitral.
Naltar Wildlife Sanctuary covers 273 sq km of the Naltar Valley to its juncture with the Hunza River, and is contiguous with the Pakora and Sherqila Game Reserves.
Kargah Wildlife Sanctuary covers 445 sq km of the Kargah Valley just five km north-west of Gilgit. This sanctuary is also the sight of over a half dozen dam and hydroelectric projects. The road there is good, and it is mostly used as a cool picnic spot during hot summer days in Gilgit.
Astor Wildlife Sanctuary covers 416 sq km on the north side of the Astor Valley from the junction with the Indus River to the confluence with the Parashing Gah. It is contiguous with the Baltistan Wildlife Sanctuary.
Baltistan Wildlife Sanctuary covers 415 sq km in Baltistan, contiguous with the Astor Wildlife Sanctuary to its south and east. It lies south of the Indus River, between Rondu and Shengus villages.
Satpara Wildlife Sanctuary lies 35 km south of Skardu in Baltistan. It includes Satpara Nala and lake, and borders the Deosai Plains.
H.3.0. Game Reserves
Game Reserves, too, were former hunting grounds, or shikar gah. Most of the game now is scarce and hard to find, but herds of ibex can be encountered when descending a pass. Villagers report snow leopard in almost every one of these reserves. Game Reserves include:
-- Tooshi Game Reserve, along the paved road to Garam Chashma in Chitral's Lutkho district, covers 1000 hectares and is proposed to be reclassified as a wildlife sanctuary, as it has a large (about 160) and readily viewable markhor population. The markhor are best seen along the road at dusk. The jeep ride is just 20 minutes from Chitral town.
-- Ghariet Gol Game Reserve covers 4800 hectares of the Ghariet Gol, east of the Chitral River in southern Chitral.
-- Drosh Gol Game Reserve covers 2000 hectares of the small Drosh Gol, above Drosh village, east of the Chitral River.
-- Chinar/Purit Gol Game Reserve, 6500 hectares, covers the Purit Gol, a southern tributary of the Shishi Gol close to Drosh.
-- Golen Gol Game Reserve in Chitral, covering 50,000 hectares, is one of the most beautiful and extensive areas, with numerous side valleys. But, it is also one of the most vexed in terms of usage conflict. Still, with its fantastic variety of ecosystems, it is a trekkers delight.
-- Chassi/Bahushtaro Game Reserve includes 37,000 hectares of the rugged territory of the Bahushtaro Gol and is contiguous with the Naz Bar Game Reserve.
-- Naz Bar Nala Game Reserve covers 33,000 hectares of the upper Naz Bar in Yasin.
-- Pakora Game Reserve includes 7500 hectares of the Pakora Valley in Ishkoman and is contiguous with the Naltar Wildlife Sanctuary.
-- Sherqila Game Reserve, in Ghizar district 48 km west of Gilgit, covers 17,000 hectares of Sherqila Valley above Sherqila village.
-- Dainyor Game Reserve is six km east of Gilgit and covers 44,000 hectares.
-- Kilik/Mintaka Game Reserve lies along the border with China, east of the KKH and the Khunjerab National Park. It includes 65,000 hectares of important Marco Polo sheep habitat, and is closed to foreigners.
-- Stak Nala Game Reserve covers 13,000 hectares north of the Indus River in Baltistan.
-- Nar/Ghoro Game Reserve covers the 7000 hectare area of two small valleys that run north of the Indus River between the Shigar and Shyok rivers, east of Skardu.
************************************************* Appendix I - Grassroots Organizations
Communities in the Karakoram and Hindukush are realizing that their environment constitutes perhaps their greatest asset, and are taking steps to conserve and manage it. Some of the grassroots organisations that work to preserve the environment and address problems created by tourism are:
-- Karakoram Foundation (tel 252580, 252553 and 853672; fax 250293), P.O. Box 2262, Islamabad exists to work hand-in-hand with those committed to serving people and saving the environment. Their locally focused program works to raise environmental awareness, constructing clean water supply systems, offering scholarships to talented students, operating mobile rural health camps, and training local guides in responsible tourism.
-- Karakoram Society for Natural and Environmental Rehabilitation (KASONER) (tel 3787), P.O. Box 551, Gilgit, Northern Areas is a non-profit organisation that promotes awareness and education to combat environmental problems before they become irreversible. They have an information centre in Al-Kamal House in central Gilgit. KASONER has held anti-pollution marches through the Gilgit bazaar, surveyed the town's water supply, and led protest action at the annual Shandur polo tournament.
-- Khunjerab Student Welfare Federation (KSWF), Karim Ullah Khan, President, P.O. Sost, Village Morkhun, Gojal, Hunza, Gilgit, Northern Areas was formed by student activists in 1990. KSWF promotes education and `green' work because of ecological degradation along the KKH. They have launched a campaign to ban the use of plastic bags and stop the burning of plastic. Litter containers have been placed in areas where villagers gather, particularly at the customs and border check post in Sost. They have branched into ecotourism, training local guides to be ecologically responsible during treks.
-- Khunjerab Village Organization (VO), Qurban Mohammad, General Secretary, P.O. Sost, Village Morkhun, Gojal, Hunza, Gilgit, Northern Areas. This VO formed in response to problems surrounding the Khunjerab National Park, and represents the 306 households of the Abgerch villages (i.e., Morkhun, Jamalabad, Ghalapan, Gircha, Sartex, Nazimabad, and Sost), who have grazing rights in the Khunjerab valleys.
-- Globe Chasers Tourist Club, 21-A Bazaar Area, Gujranwala Cantt, Punjab is a non-profit organisation that promotes conservation of the environment and natural resources. They offer ongoing educational programs and encourage participation in outdoor sporting activities. They can arrange treks for student groups. Their most ambitious ongoing project, which began in 1992, is an annual environmental clean-up of lake Saiful Muluk in the Kaghan Valley. Their local representatives include: Aftab Rana (tel 757 6826-8) c/o TDCP, Lahore; Tayyab Nisar Mir (tel 816932) c/o PTDC Information Centre, Islamabad; and Ikram Beg (tel 2409) c/o G.M. Beg Sons, Gilgit.
-- Green Earth Organisation (GEO) is a Lahore-based NGO that has launched clean-up campaigns in Nanga Parbat's Rupal Valley. They plan to establish trash dumps and pit toilets at Tarashing, Herligkoffer base camp, Latobah, and Mazeno base camp and organise seasonal systematic trash removal. To combat deforestation, they help villagers plant willow saplings. They also plan to nominate villagers as 'Green Guardians' who will ensure trekkers and mountaineers dispose of litter properly.
-- Himalayan Green Club, Attn Kyoko Endo, 3-15-7 Kitaoji Otsu, Shiga, Japan (tel (0775) 34 0911; fax (0775) 34 0984) is active in reforestation programs in Baltistan, particularly along the route up to the Baltoro Glacier. In 1993 they planted willow and poplar trees in Askole, Korophon and Paiju. Educational programs to teach Askole and Korphe villagers how to manage their own reforestation programs are planned.
Appendix J - Observation of the 1995 K2 Concordia Baltoro Glacier Clean-Up Expedition
July 22, 1995
Taleh Mohammad Deputy Chief Operations Tourism Division F-7/2, 13 T/U Commercial Sector Islamabad
Dear Taleh Sahib:
As per your request, here is a report on our observation of the K-2 Concordia Baltoro Glacier clean-up expedition of June 1995, led by Mr. Afzal Sherazi of Adventure Foundation, Pakistan.
Overall, we must say that the clean-up expedition is to be commended for picking up and removing some 31 porter loads, at 25 kg each, of trash. There is too much trash at all campsites and along the trail. This eyesore must be reduced, and through education and clean-up, can be eliminated.
We want to make three additional comments:
-- The timing of the clean-up expedition should be changed from June to July. The upper camps on the Baltoro glacier (ie, Goro I & II, Concordia, and Broad Peak and K-2 base camps) are still covered by snow in June. The clean-up expedition this year apparently could not see the trash at those camps. We found a large amount of unremoved trash at those camps.
-- The composition of the clean-up team should include several persons from the local Balti community. These persons should participate as co-members. If the Baltoro glacier is ever to become a clean and trash-free place, it will not be because ever year a handful of people from outside Baltistan come for a brief clean-up visit. It is impossible for a limited action to have a permanent or widespread effect on the trash situation. Instead, Balti people, who comprise the majority of the people traveling on the glacier, must become active participants in a continual clean-up process. This can only come about through educating them to the value and practice of cleaning and not littering the glacier. The clean-up expedition is a perfect opportunity to couple effective action with education. We suggest the clean-up expedition plan a one day workshop in Skardu, to be held the day before leaving for the glacier. Balti leaders of the trekking and tourism industry should be invited. Principles of ecologically sound trekking should be explained. The key point is that if trash continues to seriously litter the Baltoro glacier as it presently does, trekkers will be less interested in visiting the glacier. The natural resource capital that provides livelihood for the Balti community will be eroded and they will suffer an economic loss. We suggest that IUCN be requested to help plan and organize the content of this workshop together with the Adventure Foundation Pakistan. By having several Baltis participate in clean up expeditions, practical experience will reinforce the discussions of the workshop. Over time, this education will spread and the larger community in Baltistan will become aware of how they can help to keep the glacier clean each time they go there.
-- We want to address a situation that is more problematic than trash. Litter and trash are the easiest problems to solve. It is simply a matter of picking it up and removing it. The problem of human waste, however, is harder to resolve and needs immediate attention. Every camp is surrounded by human feces, and some heavily used camps are hard to approach without stepping in feces. These feces are largely from the multitude of porters who accompany treks and expeditions. This is a long term health hazard and a real stink and eyesore. Adequate and sufficient toilet facilities must be constructed for porters, and porters must be instructed to use them. Also misuse of toilet pits (eg, dumping plastic bags of garbage into them) needs to be stopped. Guides and porter sirdars should be taught to stop this practice. Non-burnable trash must be carried out. Trash in the latrines interferes with decomposition of human waste. Currently, there are two to three cement pit latrines at each campsite. These are not used by porters, who regard them as being for the foreigners only. This number of latrines is insufficient for porter use anyway. There can be anywhere from 100 to 300 people per night at some camps. We suggest meetings with porter sirdars in Skardu to arrive at a workable solution for the feces problem (ie, one that will be low cost, culturally appropriate, and easily sustainable).
This particular problem of human waste disposal is one being faced in all heavily used mountain protected areas. We enclose a photocopy of an article on the subject from Climbing magazine, a leading publication for climbers, for more input of ideas.
John Mock and Kimberley O'Neil Authors of Trekking in the Karakoram & Hindukush by Lonely Planet Publications
cc: Jan Nadir Khan, Adventure Foundation Pakistan; Aban Marker Kabraji, Country Representative, IUCN-Pakistan; Khushal Habibi, Biodiversity Project Director, IUCN; Nazir Sabir and Mohammad Iqbal, MLAs for Northern Areas
Click here to go to
the first part of the document
Click here to go to the second part of the document
BROWSING CLASSIFICATION: Recreation and Tourism: Ecotourism
CITATION: Mock, John and O'Neil, Kimberley. January 1996. Survey on Ecotourism Potential in the Biodiversity Project Area: consultancy report for The World Conservation Union (IUCN) - Pakistan. Islamabad, Pakistan.
Distributed by the Mountain Forum with permission from the author. The original electronic version of this document may be found on the author's web site at http://www.monitor.net/~jmko/karakoram.
Mountain Forum Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Mountain Forum Web Pages: