Bamyan province with history of 2000 years, a center of some great civilizations & its location on the Silk Road made it a major trade route between east & west. The cultural heritage & natural beauty of this land helped it attract thousands of tourists & visitors from all around the world. Before the war, the province would host 50-60 thousand visitors every year helping develop tourism industry and contributing to the local revenue.
After the war, there are attempts to restore tourism industry of this region. With (8) cultural heritage sites, Band-e-Amir national park, annual Nowroz & Silk Road festivals, winter games festival, natural beauty and hospitable people, Bamyan shows its great potential for tourism investment. In view of the facts, (3) days Bamyan Investors Tourism Conference was held on May 23 – 25, 2011 by the joint efforts of USAID, AISA, ACCI & AKF to draw both national & international investors and open up the gates for all tourism investment sectors.
The Conference was well organized and attended with at least 22 international investors, plus a variety of domestic investors, filmmakers and media companies, NGOs, and USG and Bamyan government officials (65 total attendees). Investors we spoke with felt positively about the investment atmosphere, and were pleasantly surprised by the openness of the Bamyan people to foreigners.
Many investors announced their investment plans. AISA found the possibility of between 3-5 investment deals and Kam Air committed to flying 48-seat fixed wing aircraft twice a week as soon as the runway is paved plus other minor details. Roshan, US Government & Global Partners showed their interests for the infrastructure & IT; while Afghan Logistics & Wild Frontiers announced their tour plans in the coming months. Nationally, Afghan investors & Afghan Chamber of Commerce & Industries were inspired by immense tourism progress as AKF – Ecotourism Program shared its tourism success & the establishment of Bamyan Tourism Development Board & the promotion of Winter Games by Rah-e-Abrisham Tour Agency. They found enough grounds for tourism investments; while the media groups did capture the beauty of the lakes, the masterpiece architecture of Buddha Statues & hiking magnificence on the first day’s excursion.
The conference helped introduce the investment potential to both national & international investors making Bamyan one of the major investment points & a hot tourist destination.