Last Monday the Afghan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) established in cooperation with private enterprises a Union for Tourism and Hajj Companies. High ranking officials from the public and private sector attended the inauguration. Among them were Mr. Mohammad Qurban Haqjo, CEO of ACCI, Mr. Ghulam Nabi Farahi, Deputy Minister for Culture and Tourism Affairs, and Mr. Abdul Hakim Monib, Deputy Minister for Hajj and Religious Affairs. Furthermore, more than 200 entrepreneurs participated in the meeting.
In his speech Mr. Haqjo highlighted that the establishment of the Union is an important step to coordinate the political activities of member companies. “In the past, tourism companies were acting separately. Hence, the government and their foreign counterparts underestimated their role and importance.” He said
In establishing the union, the companies will be enabled to speak with one voice to governmental organizations in Afghanistan and foreign countries, Mr. Haqjo said. This will help them to improve the conditions for doing business. Mr. Haqjo also asked the union to provide better services for companies while promising support from the side of ACCI.
At the ceremony, the CEO of ACCI also expressed the hope that the tourism industry will follow the success story of fast growing Afghan sectors like telecommunication, media and education. Therefore, the whole sector should improve their services based on international standards.
Mr. Hasanzai Hasanyar, head of the Union, mentioned in his speech that due to the weak coordination among the companies the government did not pay attention to the growth potential of the tourism sector. He said that 400 companies already registered as members of the union and welcomed the opportunity to discuss the challenges faced by the sector with the Ministry of Hajj and Religious Affairs.
The responsible Deputy Minister for Culture and Tourism Affairs, Mr. Farahi, complained that tourism companies offer weak services to customers. He sees this as a reason why the government didn’t involve them in Hajj Operation last year. His counterpart from the Ministry for Hajj and Religious Affairs, Mr. Monib, supported Mr. Farahi’s opinion and promised that the government will involve tourism companies in Hajj Operation next year, if they improve their services.
At end of the ceremony, Mr. Khan Jan Alkozay, First Vice-Chairman of ACCI, handed over the license to the head of the newly established Union.