A three-day festival was launched in Badakhshan on Thursday to mark the World Tourism Day where officials from the Ministry of Information and Culture, local authorities, residents and activists participated.
At this event, local artists performed folklore music and traditional dances while women and girls prepared different dishes to showcase the ancient culture of the province to the people.
The event was warmly welcomed by Badakhshan residents as dozens of them attended the festival, saying it is a good opportunity for them to spend some time with happiness and joy.
Local authorities said the number of foreign tourists has increased in the province but the residents said Badakhshan needs more attention to add to the number of the tourists.
“Badakhshan is a beautiful province of Afghanistan. More tourists will visits this province if further attention is paid to it,” said Naqibullah Saqibyar, provincial director of information and culture.
According to him, 240 foreign tourists visited the historical and cultural sites in the province last year. However, a report by Pajhwok Afghan News in April shows that up to 14,000 local and foreign tourists visited verdant landscapes in Badakhshan last year.
Some well-known places in Badakhshan that attract tourists with their beautiful, green and magical environment, are located in Ishkashim, Zibak, Shahdar and Wakhan districts. Wakhan is known as the Roof of the World. It was named as the second national park of Afghanistan after Band-i-Amir in Bamiyan in 2014.
Muzhgan Mustafawi, Deputy Minister of Information and Culture for Tourism, said the ministry will draft a plan to attract more tourists to the country, particularly in Badakhshan.
“This is the first time that we mark this day in Badakhshan. The province has many places for tourists,” said Mustafawi.
“The number of tourists in Badakhshan has doubled this year,” said Sidiqi Lalazad, head of tourism department of the provincial directorate of information and culture.
According to Badakhshan Information and Culture Directorate, so far, they have registered over 80 touristic sites and they are trying to register more sites to attract more tourists to the province.