Pakistan’s elite travel agency gets the green light to open in US
TEXAS, Texas – The top U.S. travel agency in Pakistan will open its first office in the United States this week, officials said.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has signed a memorandum of understanding with the country’s largest travel agency and hotel chain, Pakistan Travel Agency, for the launch of the agency’s new operations in Texas, officials with the Pakistani government said in a statement.
The move to expand the agency into Texas comes as the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Egypt are all looking to expand their own travel agencies and hotels.
The announcement comes amid a surge of foreign tourists heading to Pakistan, which has long struggled to maintain a stable economy and attract a growing number of foreign visitors.
Pakistan has had a number of problems attracting travelers from other parts of the world, including terrorism threats and growing drug trafficking.
Pakistani authorities have struggled to combat drug trafficking, including in the southern province of Sindh, which was home to one of the largest drug busts in the world last year, according to a report by the U.N. Human Rights Council.
In the last two years, at least 1,200 people have been killed and nearly 7,000 others have been arrested in Karachi alone for drug-related offenses, according the Council’s Office on Drugs and Crime.