According to sources, Sindh tourism authorities are not happy with the foreign travel websites and want to get them blocked.
Sindh tourism authorities aiming toward the ban on foreign travel websites in Pakistan. However, DTS or Sindh Directorate of Tourist Services requested FIA or Federal Investigation Agency to block more than 60 websites without prior consulting both local and foreign tour operators.
According to DTS, foreign travel websites are operating in Pakistan without valid travel and tourism operation licenses. Agoda, AirBnB, Expedia, and Booking.com are few of them. Manzoor Hussain Mari, Sindh DTS Controller revealed that these websites enjoy a price advantage of up to 15 to 20 per cent over local companies.
On the other side, the complaint was referred to the department by the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA), with a request to review it in light of section 37 of the cybercrime act. The DTS then approached the FIA for action before returning the complaint to PTA with some recommendations.
DTS has also failed to take into account how other local travel operators as well as users of such websites view this situation. It also appeared not to pay serious heed to how a blanket ban on such websites could disturb the travel plans of those relying on them.