Aviation industry, backbone of world tourism

Aviation Industry, if it was a country would rank at number 17 in world GDP. Pakistan is yet to recognize Aviation as an Industry. 3.5 trillion US dollars (4.1%) of the world’s gross domestic product (GDP) comes from the Aviation Industry. If it was a country, it would rank 17th on the world scale.

Pakistan can not realize its fair share of the industry’s market cap because of the poor management and incompetence right from the top. Our failed National Aviation Policies, poor legislation, and their substandard interpretation add to the ill-condition of the sector.

This means policy enforcement and implementation turn out to be discriminatory, predatory, and perpetuate inequality. This also dispels investors, entrepreneurs, and businesspeople from conducting business in Pakistan. It is not only damaging to the aviation industry but Pakistan’s economy as a whole.

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In this day and age, travel is an essential part of human conduct. Not only does the aviation industry provide a means to get around but also to promote socio-economic gains. One important gain that can be realized is tourism.

Imagine a pre-COVID-19 revenue of US Dollar 666 billion for global airlines in 2019 and a very small share that we have had that to a loss of more than US Dollar 500 Million for this sector. Whereas the post 9/11 decade was very promising for the aviation industry but an unfortunate decline continued in Pakistan.

2021 was seen as a slow global recovery year for the Airlines Industry. The industry generated about 290 billion USD globally. This is about 45% of the Pre- COVID-19 year. We need to think if we are able to keep up the pace as the post-COVID-19 era will have its own challenges for which a pro-active approach is essential and by all means, we are lagging and seem to be going with the flow.

To keep up with this global recovery and growth Pakistan needs to focus on its tourism sector. Pakistan needs to change its approach to tourism promotion and revitalize infrastructure to reach global standards. A gaudy attempt by policymakers is usually made where such policies are created, propagated, and hailed for political mileage but a lack of implementation still prevails.

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A serious effort by the Senate Sub Committee on Aviation is being made this time, and the stakeholders have been involved in revamping the country’s Aviation Policy and the legislation, which is likely to create an impact.

Further, if timely efforts are made to hire professional and competent management to implement aviation and tourism policies, Pakistan can generate an estimated revenue of 40 Billion USD in the next five years.

The strong aviation industry is the backbone of world tourism but we even did not have basic laws which can promote this sector. Nonetheless, it’s still surprising to think that this sector is yet to be given industry status in Pakistan. When treated as an afterthought, it will operate like one. It is time, stand up and lobby for change.

The founder of Pakistan said, “with faith, discipline, and selfless devotion, there is nothing worthwhile that you cannot achieve.”

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