ISLAMABAD, Oct 11 (APP):Royal Fort (Shahi Qila), Lahore which is one of most attractive cultural heritage site of the country has emerged as the most popular cultural site of Pakistan with around five million tourists visited during the year 2018.
While Shalimar Garden, Lahore was the second most visited site of the country during the same year with 398,698 tourists visited, a recent report by Gallup Pakistan titled “Cultural Heritage and Museum Visits in Pakistan,” revealed.
The report termed Hiran Minar and Tank, Sheikhupura as the third most popular cultural site with 392,311 visitors.
In the past five years the number of visits to cultural sites has seen more than a 300% rise, with the greatest increase taking place between 2017 and 2018, when the number of visits rose from 4.20 million to 6.63 million per annum.
These cultural and heritage sites largely consist of remains of historical civilizations, religious sites, Mughal and colonial monuments attracting both local and foreign tourists.
The tourism industry in Pakistan has been growing over the years, and both cultural and museum visits have seen a gradual increase in the number of tourist visits. However, while cultural site visits were lower than museum visits in 2014, they have increased exponentially over the years, reaching 6.6 million in 2018, whereas museum visits in 2018 totaled at 2.7 million.
Total foreign visits to museums have seen a gradual rise over the years, with the highest increase taking place between 2017 and 2018 when the number of visits rose by almost 60% to reach 27,378 visits.
Total foreign visits to cultural sites have fluctuated between 2014 and 2017, with the number of visits hitting a 5-year low in 2017 at 7,028 visits. However the number rose by almost 160% in 2018 to reach 18,041 foreign visits.
Both cultural and museum sites have experienced a gradual increase in the number of foreign visits over the years, with the maximum number of visits recorded in 2018 however, museums remained more popular among foreign tourists compared to cultural sites as museum received on average 50% more foreign visitors.