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UK EVENT 2019: Realising Pakistan's Potential in Tourism & Innovation

Notable speakers: 

Syed Zulfikar Bukhari is the Special Assistant to the Prime Minister of Pakistan on Overseas Pakistanis & Human Resource Development. He is also the chairman of the National Tourism Coordination Board & Chairman of Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation, Government of Pakistan.  Hassan Syed is the CEO of Bir Ventures USA, founder of IdeaGist, founding director of Minnesota Innovates, and a founding director of the Institute for Innovators and Entrepreneurs at Hamline University Minnesota.  Hamza Ali Abbasi is one of the most cherished actors of the industry, he is also a model, director and political activist. In addition, he is involved in several charitable initiatives.

Focus areas of the workshop: 

  • The Youth of Pakistan 

Mr Hassan Syed highlighted how the youth plays a huge part in the positive development of the Pakistani economy. We were honoured, that they chose this event to launch EMPOWER Pakistan UK. This is a social enterprise initiative which will help the youth to develop their skills focusing on employability, helping self-employed people, embracing digital technology and improving digital literacy.

  • Governmental intiatives in improving tourism

The Chief guest, Syed Zulfikar Bukhari, outlined the importance and potential of Pakistani tourism. The initiatives which the government is working on include tourist hot spots will be developed responsibly, to a high standard attracting international clients. Religious tourism is equally important, maintaining holy shrines and buildings. Recently, the government has been working with the Sikh community and will be investing to improve the experience and make it more accessible. One key aim is to improve the private sector, by working with businesses and local people. Engaging and encouraging them to tap into the tourism sector which will boost themselves financially and the economy.

Hamza and Syed with UPSIGN members

  • Positive representation of the Pakistani Diaspora

Hamza Ali Abbasi highlighted how Pakistan has different heritage sites, religious shrines, architecture, valleys & mountainous regions which are found nowhere else in the world. He encouraged the diaspora to represent Pakistan internationally in a positive light and question the perception of the country and its people. As Pakistan is perceived to be dangerous and conservative.  Click here to see more photos from this workshop.


This workshop was focused on recognising the Pakistani diaspora's vast potential to change Pakistan Tourism and Innovation.  The event took place at UCL on the 14th June, 2019 and was organised by UPSIGN, UCL Pak Soc and the Shahid Afridi Foundation (SAF). 

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