Ecotourism Takesoff in Pakistan: Gilgit-Baltistan Hosts First Ever Ice Hockey

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ISLAMABAD — The first-ever match of ice hockey in Pakistan was played on Saturday in Naltar, the hilly snow resort of Pakistan Air Force (PAF) in Gilgit-Baltistan (GB), which is emerging as center of the country’s growing ecotourism.

The match was played between the teams of PAF and GB Scouts.

Players from both sides showed extraordinary skill but no team could score a goal within the stipulated time. Therefore the fate of the match lay with the penalty shootout, where Shahryar from team PAF scored the only goal of the match leading to their victory.

The history of ice hockey in the GB region can be traced to a local game ghatal, which is also played with two sticks and a ball.

To continue the legacy of this traditional game, ice hockey has been introduced in the region known for tourism, trekking, mountaineering and all year holidaying.

GB, which is the northernmost part of Pakistan is seeing influx of tourists ever since Pakistan won the war on terrorism. These days guest houses are being constructed in different parts of the pristine region. More than 22,000 foreign tourists visited different areas of GB this year.

The construction of five-star hotels would soon be started to attract more foreign and domestic tourists particularly Chinese visitors in GB’s scenic areas close to Chinese border.

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