The Gilgit-Baltistan tourism sector is facing a decline due to the government’s restrictive policies. Wintertime, when many travelers flock to the region’s snow-capped mountains, has seen a decrease in visitors due to inadequate infrastructure.
According to Durdana Sher, a local inhabitant, this is the prime season for tourism, however, the lack of adequate facilities such as well-maintained roads and accessible lodging options negatively affects the industry. The closure of the PTDC hotel, which used to provide accommodation to tourists, two years ago, has also left its employees jobless. She suggests that the tourism department should take steps to reopen hotels and address the lodging issues to revive the tourism industry.
Gilgit-Baltistan has been consistently subject to state-sponsored neglect and exploitation. The policies implemented by the central government have not only diminished the quality of life for its residents, but they have also severely impacted the region’s natural beauty.
The peak tourist season has seen a decrease in visitors due to the lack of adequate road connectivity, accommodations, and communication facilities. This is further compounded by the government’s lack of interest in developing the infrastructure of the region.
Despite being a hub for hydropower generation, the region continues to experience persistent power outages. The authorities responsible for implementing change have been unable to improve the situation.
Hidayat Ali, a local inhabitant, highlights the region’s struggles with snowfall and the resulting drop in temperature, water shortages, and access to electricity and wood. The lack of proper development in areas such as road connectivity, internet access, and electricity has made Gilgit-Baltistan a neglected, backward, and impoverished region in South Asia, despite its potential for tourism.