Tourism at present is the single largest industry in the world employing over 150 million people globally. It was 1997 that World Travel and Tourism Council anticipated the possibility that Tourism will become one of the leading industries in the 21st century.
However, before the anticipation made by World travel and tourism council, it was 1989 when the Pakistani Government upgraded the tourism sector to the status of an industry and at present, the country is well known in the world of specialized tourism i.e., mountaineering and trekking. Apart from this Pakistan`s other potential resources for tourism are relics and ruins of great historical civilizations including the Indus Valley Civilization, Gandhara Civilization and Mughal period exhibiting the varied history of the region.
Economically speaking, Pakistan’s shares account for 0.097% and 8.5% in international and South Asian tourism markets respectively (GOP, 2009). Regardless of its lowest shares in both regional and global tourism markets, the tourism industry is still significantly contributing to the country’s economy. In 2009, the tourism industry earned 240.6 million US$ for the Country (Ministry of Tourism, 2009).
Keeping in view the vital role of tourism in both national and internal economies, AWKUM established Department of Tourism & Hospitality with a vision to:
“Uplift tourism industry of the country through promoting quality education in this particular sector”
In September 2011, the Department started Bachelor (BS) and Master (MA) degree programs in Tourism & Hospitality. The department in its 1st batch was capable enough to attract 66 students. The encouraging response to the newly established department is indicative of the promising future of the department.