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Gilgit Baltistan Introduction

Gilgit-Baltistan is one of the most spectacular regions of Pakistan. Here world's three mightiest mountain ranges- the Karakorams, the Hindukush and the Himalayas- meet. The entire Gilgit-Baltistan is like a paradise for mountaineers, climbers, trekkers, hikers and anglers. The region has a rich cultural heritage and variety of rare plants and flowers. Five out of fourteen mountain peaks over 8000 meters including the K-2 - the world's second highest peak and some of the largest glaciers outside polar region are located in Gilgit-Baltistan.

Five out of the fourteen mountain peaks with height of over 8000 meters including the K-2 (world’s second heights peak) and some of the largest glaciers outside polar regions are located in Gilgit Baltistan. Acknowledging the vast potential of tourism and its effects on downstream industries, the Government of Pakistan as well as the Gilgit Baltistan Administration are focusing on tourism for creation of employment opportunities, achieving higher economic growth and to introduce to the outside world, “the hidden treasures” of Gilgit Baltistan. The Karakoram Highway is known as the 'Ninth Wonder of the World' and National Highway 35 (N35), and parts of it are taller than Europe's Mont Blanc. It cuts right through the lofty Karakoram mountain range The road was built over an historical caravan trail which was once part of the ancient Silk Road, and was a combined effort between China and Pakistan. The Karakoram Highway (KKH) goes from Western China to Pakistan across the Himalayas and is the world's highest highway. Although the highest peaks are on the Pakistan side, driving the Chinese part is, nonetheless, enthralling for adventurists. The Karakoram Highway provides access to the otherwise unreachable massive peaks of the Karakoram for mountaineers and cyclists. The number of tourists visiting Gilgit Baltistan has steadily increased over the years, not-withstanding the dip-in figures immediately following 9/11. However, the challenge ahead is not merely to increase the number of tourists visiting Gilgit Baltistan but also to consider how tourism can be better promoted without affecting the natural and cultural heritage of the area, while also improving the quality of life of people to the desired levels.

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