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Gallup Pakistan Consultancy Report for World Bank on Tourism

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Gallup Pakistan consultancy report for the World Bank “Survey report: Survey for Estimation of Buddhist tourist potential” & “Survey Report: Initial Assessment of potential of Sikh Diaspora in Canada, USA and UK for cultural tourism in Pakistan” and “Cultural-Religious-Ancestral Home Tourism to Pakistani Punjab: A Multi country study” extensively cited.

Main findings from the reports:

For instance, despite the fact that Pakistan houses a number of holy sites for Sikhs,visits to these sites are severely limited. Barely 6,000 Indian Sikhs visit every year. A survey undertaken for the World Bank in India and in Canada, USA and UK revealed that approximately 80% of both Diaspora and India Sikhs have an interest in visiting Pakistan, but majority of them do not follow up with an actual visit, due to multiple reasons, explained below:

 The most severe reported impediment was the perception of safety and security. Almost all the pilgrims had come in the face of pressure from friends 
and family who were worried about their safety. This is reportedly exacerbated in times of political lows between Pakistan and India.

 The other serious limitations have to do with the various restrictions on the pilgrim visa given to the Sikhs. Pilgrims can only visit at four predetermined times during the year, with limitations on sites they can visit, and are they not 
allowed to visit at any other time. The visa duration is limited to 10 days. Moreover, there is a quota of 7,500 visas a year for Indian Sikhs, which can constrain the demand.

Indian Sikhs are also not allowed to stay at private accommodation, and the facilities they are accommodated in are very basic. Diaspora Sikhs do arrange private accommodation, but their priority is to stay close to the Gurdwara where there are limited options, dominated by budget hotels. Since demand is low and seasonal, the private sector has not developed higher end facilities to 
cater to it.

Similarly, survey work undertaken for the World Bank by Gallup Pakistan in South Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Bhutan reveals that 59% of all Buddhist respondents reported that they were not interested in visiting Pakistan. The predominant reason is clearly the perception of security problems in Pakistan, a finding that is shared by Sikh tourists as the most important deterrent. The other important Pakistan-specific issues appear to be lack of facilities and visa related problems.

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