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 Pakistan News 05/19/2002: DOCUMENTARIES TO HELP DEVELOP TOURISM IN PAKISTAN

Pakistan is as diverse in its topography as it is in its demography, culture and traditions offering opportunities for investment in the tourism sector with a capacity to provide solid infrastructure for self-sustainable development of local people. This was stated by Thomas A Keckeis, leader of a two-man Swiss team representing Cenar network. He is in Pakistan to prepare for a documentary on ballooning over Himalaya, "Flying over Heaven Door". The $10 million Cenar project include making four documentaries depicting Northern Areas mountainous region in all its epic beauty, said Thomas Keckeis.

The documentary "Halfway to Heaven" featuring the history of Polo in the Hindukush mountain was shot last year during the Shandoor Polo Festival. It was shown in an international documentary world preview in Switzerland, where it received a lot of appreciation. It was something totally new about Pakistan for the western world, said Thomas. Rest of the project is based on three parts, from Afghanistan to Kashmir. The second documentary would be on a world record even of ballooning over 8126 meter high Nanga Parbat in two hot air balloon. The documentary is planned for this year to mark the UN year of mountains. It is designed to raise awareness about Pakistan particularly for potential tourists and investors. The Swiss team leader said we were here to learn the Pakistani way, and not the western mind set.

The documentary of Cenar project are the promotion platform for a tourism to Pakistan development project created in cooperation with Pakistan Tourism Ministry. Its ultimate goal is to help Pakistan acquire infrastructure needed to divert the stream on international tourism.

A 8 members Japanese team from Himalayan Green Club is back in Islamabad after trek until Piaju and visiting projects of Himalaya Green Club in Baltistan Areas of North Pakistan. The Team also accompanied by the staff of Japan Embassy in Islamabad.

Source: Asghar Ali Porik JASMINE TOURS Department of Tourist Services License #333 http://www.jasminetours.com

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