Tourism potential field to attract investment in Afghanistan

08:59, April 30, 2010      

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An Afghan farmer ploughs his land in Jawzjan Province, northern Afghanistan, April 19, 2009. (Xinhua/Zabi Tamanna)


Long queue of roaming cars on congested road leading to the scenic Salang valley on Friday illustrates the
inner wishes of war-weary Afghans towards having durable peace and enjoyment.

An amusement - the car race-rally like of private automobiles on the busy road where each driver attempts to take edge and reach the goal appears fantastic as it was a dream for Afghans a decade ago when Taliban was in power and the country had burned in factional fighting.

"It is the time to enjoy the life, to breathe fresh air, to take sigh of relief and above all to forget the past dark days and suffering," Mohammad Zakir, 39, said.

Salang, a mountainous valley with beautiful landscape, situated 85 km north of Afghan capital Kabul, is almost packed with visitors on Fridays.

Friday is the weekly off day in Afghanistan and wealthy people like in other countries going out for relaxation.

However, foreign nationals rarely are seen to visit tourist destination partly due to lack of facilities to accommodate and security concerns.

Although there is no cable car, no movie, no park, no rest room and no entertainment place in Salang valley, people with families go there to have meal in open air, have fun and return home in the afternoon.

"I like very much to stay at night in Salang but there are no hotel, motel and guest houses to accommodate you," another visitor Ainullah who likes many Afghans uses one name said.

Like other institutions, tourism industry has also been badly damaged in Afghanistan due to protracted wars and civil conflicts.

Although Afghanistan is the cradle of old civilizations ranging from Bactrian, Zoroastrian, Buddhism and Islam, and even the legacy of cold war era are available there in bulk but little has been invested in tourism industry.

There are castles, historical forts and archeological sites dated back to 5,000 years. However, these national assets are not properly preserved.
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(Editor:王千原雪)

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http://english.people.com.cn/90001/90782/6968517.pdf