Travel Scams In Pakistan: Things To Keep An Eye On

road crossing mountains

Written by Usman

June 8, 2022

Travel scams in Pakistan’s industry are on the rise, as tourism is growing rapidly. It’s because of its distinctive formations. There are breathtaking mountains and natural beauty in Pakistan. The same is true whether it is the huge Himalayan ranges to the north or the alluvial delta of the Indus River to the south.  There are many attractions for sightseers, skiers, trekkers, and hikers.  It is because Pakistan is abounding with deserts and some of the world’s highest peaks. White water rafting, trout fishing, jeep, camel, yak safaris, and a diverse range of vegetation and animals are all there in Pakistan. 

Pakistan is among the top 25% of global destinations for UNESCO ‘World Heritage Sites,’ according to the World Economic Forum. Further, a leading magazine named Pakistan a Top Tourist Destination in 2020. All these factors are luring international visitors to Pakistan. But, with the rise in tourism, travel frauds in Pakistan are at an all-time high.

This not only discomforts the tourists but also damages Pakistan’s international reputation as foreign vloggers show all the scams they encounter on social media. Several days ago, a video become viral showing a guy demanding more money from a tourist for giving him a small camel ride at a beach in Karachi. The escalating number of scams is further damaging the reputation of the company. Let’s look at some of Pakistan’s most typical tourist frauds.

Overpriced taxi fares

yellow taxi

More than 80% of tourists who visit Pakistan use taxis to get around. As foreigners, they do not know the fares. Many drivers even charge more for short rides. This type of travel scam in Pakistan has become increasingly common. But, services like Careem and Uber have significantly reduced this travel fraud. These apps only ask for a calculated fare, so there is less chance of getting in a scam this way.

Fraudulent Ticket Sales

man holding some tickets

Foreigners visiting historical places in Pakistan often get tangled in high-priced ticket scams. Despite the cheaper tickets, visitors may pay more. It is because they don’t know Pakistan’s visiting rates. Visitors should follow the ticket’s price. Purchasing tickets online is also a viable option. But, there are still chances of booking travel scams in Pakistan even online. By asking a local friend for help, a person can avoid this overcharge.

Overpriced Hotel Rents

beds in hotel room

Residency is obviously needed while visiting a place. To find a five-star hotel, the majority of people search online or through an app. Hotel reviews, however, may be a key factor in many of the scams reported in travel apps. There are many hotels rated 4-star or 5-star that a visitor will find on the internet. But the actual services and infrastructure of these hotels are not top class. Even these hotels charge foreigners the same as 5-star hotels. And they do so without providing better facilities. A foreigner can avoid this online booking travel scam in Pakistan by visiting hotels beforehand. He should check the hotel’s services.  Then, compare their rent with those of other high-level hotels. This will help in selecting a convenient and affordable stay area.

Dodgy Travel Guides

two persons standing in front of their car

The dodgy travel guide is another travel scam in Pakistan that can catch an unwary visitor. Foreigners need a proper guide to visit all the possible places abroad. Visitors may choose a paid travel guide, which can make their trip more exciting. Unfortunately, many Pakistani tourists get scammed in this regard. You can expect a tour guide to dodge and not take you to all the places you have paid them to show you. All visitors should make a list of all places they want to visit.  And he should get some information about these areas from the internet. This may help foreigners avoid travel scams in Pakistan.

Overcharged Shopping

a foreign women buying Pakistani cultural jewelry

Foreign tourists who travel to Pakistan want to bring home souvenirs from their trip. It may be just as a memento of their visit. Handmade items and traditional items are popular souvenirs in Pakistan. Shopkeepers often charge more for these products.  A visitor can avoid these travel scams in Pakistan by getting advice from locals. Buying products from reputable brands can also help.

Money-changing scams

two persons exchanging currency

When a tourist is not familiar with the currency of Pakistan, they are most likely to fall victim to this scam. A tourist should not exchange his currency for the Pakistan rupee through a local vendor. If someone wants to exchange money in Pakistani currency, he should do it through banks or other legitimate money exchange companies. One should make sure that he is working with a reliable source.

Overpriced Edibles

Pakistani food

Pakistan does not charge much for food. Pakistani street food is famous all over the world. Therefore, everyone visiting Pakistan is eager to try its dishes. Foreigners have traditionally been charged more at local stalls. Tourists can avoid this if they check the prices of the food first. This problem can be solved by requesting a bill receipt and calculating the price of the edible.

Conclusion

The trend of tourism in Pakistan is leading to an increase in travel scams in Pakistan. There is a problem not only for foreigners but also for Pakistanis. Bloggers from abroad post all details of their tours on social media platforms. Recently, various video clips uploaded by tourists on scams while visiting Pakistan have turned viral. These videos severely damage Pakistan’s international reputation. Foreigners can boycott tourism in Pakistan due to the high number of scams. This will negatively impact Pakistan’s economy as well. It is because increased tourism in Pakistan can contribute to its development.

FAQs

Q1. Is it safe to travel to Pakistan?

Pakistan has a high crime rate. It is deterring many foreigners from traveling there. Moreover, ongoing security problems in Pakistan are some other barriers for foreigners thinking of exploring the country. Despite this, many tourists visit Pakistan each year and enjoy it.    

Q2. What are Pakistan’s most breathtaking tourist attractions?

There are many beautiful places in Pakistan, with so much natural beauty. There are many tourist attractions in Murree, Ziarat, Swat Valley, Hunza Valley, Neelum Valley, Kaghan Valley, Jhelum Valley, and Chitral.

Q3. What is the best place to visit in Pakistan?

The most fascinating area in Pakistan is the naturally gorgeous Kel valley. It is located 155 kilometers from Muzaffarabad. Kel is a well-known tourist attraction that is best visited during the summer. 

 

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