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Pakistan Needs to Safeguard USD$351m Travel & Tourism Industry from COVID-19

Travel & tourism industry contribute 2.8% of Pakistan’s GDP. The country attracts 965,500 tourists annually. Generating an income of US$ 351.6m for the country.

KARACHI/DUBAI, SINDH , PAKISTAN/UAE, April 17, 2020 / -- Pakistan Needs to Secure Borders with Contactless Body Temperature Fast Screening Solutions to Safeguard US$351 Million Travel and Tourism Industry

Islamabad/Dubai – 17 April 2020 - The strategic preparedness and response plan to fight the COVID-19 has left most of the public policy decision makers in a fix between the availability of resources versus technological solutions available to them. This challenge becomes more significant for countries like Pakistan, when the population and influx points are in greater numbers.

The World Economic Forum in its biennial Global Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2019, ranks Pakistan at 121 among 140 economies globally. The Report states that, the travel and tourism industry contribute a 2.8% of Pakistan’s GDP. The country attracts 965,500 tourists annually, generating an income of US$ 351.6 million annually for the country. On average a single tourist spends around US$364.2 per visit. Additionally, 6.8 million people travel by air to visit Pakistan per annum. The travel and tourism industry generate 1,484,200 jobs in Pakistan, contributing 2.4% share of the total employment in the country. Pakistan is the least competitive country in South Asia when it comes to travel and tourism, including the region’s least favourable safety and security conditions, where Pakistan ranks at 134. On the Health and Hygiene Pillar Pakistan ranks at 101, better than Indonesia (102) Bangladesh (103), whereas India ranks at 105 among 140 economies. Covering 140 economies, the Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index measures the set of factors and policies that enable the sustainable development of the travel and tourism sector, which contributes to the development and competitiveness of a country.

Without a proper state of the art solution, that can monitor travelers with the state-of-art artificial intelligence and other touchless technologies, Pakistan can lose its attractiveness to cater international and national travelers.

Pakistan’s major international airports Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad, along with other international airports situated in Peshawar, Multan, Sialkot, Faisalabad, Quetta, Rahim Yar Khan, Turbat, Gwadar and D.G.Khan are entry/exit points for 6.8 million international travelers. These can prove to be serious vulnerability points for any endemic or pandemic to spread in Pakistan and beyond.

Pakistan also shares borders with its neighbors at multiple points, which are, with India (Wagah and Kartarpura), also the Srinagar–Muzaffarabad bus is also an entry/exit point available for locals. Pakistan has 8 formal border crossings with Afghanistan, of which Torkham and Chaman – Spin Boldak have international status. The other 6, assumed, are bilateral: Arandu (Chit­ral), Gursal (Bajaur), Nawa Pass (Mohmand), Kharlachi (Kur­ram), Ghulam Khan (North Waziristan), Angoor Adda (South Waziristan) and Chaman (Balochistan). These entry/exit points and have no efficient system to monitor the influx of travelers daily. The volume of passengers is so huge, accounting to hundreds of thousands of people crossing the borders daily, makes the task humanly impossible to be achieved. The COVID-19 has made the global travel and tourism industry vulnerable to a great catastrophe and Pakistan is no different than the rest of the world, with limited resources and large populations to be monitored and checked is a serious task for any administration.

Wusool, a company focused on digital solutions and payments has brought the non-contact Body Temperature Fast Screening Solutions to Pakistan. The solution has been developed by CP Plus and distributed by Ethos Technologies. Ethos Technologies has appointed Wusool as the authorized resellers for the state-of-the-art technology in Pakistan.

Mohsin Iqbal, Co-founder, Wusool said, “the recent COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the population to an unprecedented challenge, this can be addressed by social distancing and by identifying and separating the infected from the rest. The Infrared Body Temperature Fast Screening solution is mainly developed based on the principle of infrared thermal radiation. It uses a non-refrigerated core and low signal-noise image processing technology”.

He further elaborated that, “What Pakistan needs is a non-contact, real-time, continuous and accurate temperature measuring equipment”. He said, “the border controlling authorities can benefit from Wusool’s solution by non-contact monitoring, yet at the same time, a dedicated software system can be used to visually display the temperature information of the temperature measurement objects. It can be used for entry-exit health quarantine at customs, airports, stations, terminals, land ports, and epidemic prevention in key places such as schools,

Amir Jahangir
Mishal Pakistan
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