Tourism Management has been designed and developed as one of the most challenging and practically calibrated 4-month duration courses for SDSB LUMS by Mr. Syed Hussain Haider. It aims to explore a diverse range of functional and management perspectives of the tourism industry, understanding how tourism has evolved as a business, how the tourism industry is structured, and how tourism businesses operate at a destination and in a national context through textual and practicum resources, cases and experiential learning (field visits). Two phenomenal classes of LUMS students have created 7 tourism start-up companies and arranged 10 commercially attuned trips across the different regions of Pakistan.
Kaarvan Travels led a cohort of 14 students, accompanied by the course instructor to explore the tourism ecosystem of the largely unexplored area of Kalabagh located in the north-west of Punjab. Upon arrival, we were mesmerized by the enchanting view of Namal University and the serene Namal Lake. Dr. Adnan Zahid, Executive Director Namal, welcomed the group and led a tour of the university and its facilities.
Mr. Hammad Noor Ahmed, CEO Kaarvan Travels, along with his team highlighted the agenda and expected outcomes of the tour as part of the Tourism Management course. The course instructor, Mr. Syed Hussain Haider then delivered an engaging and highly interactive 2-hour workshop on “Unleashing Your Inner Potential” to students and faculty at Namal University.
The following day, we set off after a delicious breakfast at Hotel Shehzad in Mianwali. The group was excited to witness the pristine, unexplored territory and architectural beauty of Kalabagh. Our first stop was at “Ganda Pani”, where Pakistan Inland Transportation and Water Company is based. After a lovely ferry ride, we were given a detailed presentation on the Tourism Potential of the area by the Base Commander. A scrumptious lunch of fish and bhindi (okra) was arranged at Chashma, following which we visited Jinnah Barrage, Chashma Barrage, Chashma Nuclear Power Plant and Kafir Kot mandir. The day ended with a barbeque and bonfire accompanied with a mesmerizing musical performance under the stars.
Day three of the trip was dedicated to explore the picturesque Soon Valley, where Eco-tourism is promoted. The main attractions include Khabeki and Uchalli Lakes and the Kanhatti Gardens. At Khabeki, group members walked alongside the lake, took pictures, interacted with other visitors, and enjoyed the solitude offered by the valley. The group also visited a resort established by the Tourism Development Corporation of Punjab (TDCP), which offers various activities including boating. Our group rented twelve bikes to ride along the shoreline, racing and taking pictures while enjoying the pleasant weather of Soon Valley.
The next stop was the famous Uchalli Lake, a salt-water body with a picturesque view. Here, the group was invited by locals to a Valima (wedding) ceremony on the lakeshore. Later, the group departed for a stop at the breathtaking Kanhatti Gardens. The natural water spring is surrounded by fruit orchards. We quickly trekked our way up to the top of the gardens to enjoy the spectacular sunset.
A small ceremony was organized at Bhera, where all members of the group were awarded participation certificates for various activities conducted as part of the tour. The trip was a memorable experience since it not only gave students the opportunity to relax, but also broadened the mindset regarding tourism opportunities in Punjab and the prevailing eco-system of tourism. As a group we learnt and experienced developing a Tourism startup from scratch and executing a commercially viable tour as part of this course.
The write-up and photographs have been shared by Rehan Waseem (B.Sc Accounting and Finance Class of '21) as part of the Tourism Management course.