The Director of Sindh Tourism Services, Manzoor Hussain Mari has requested the Federal Investigation Agency to block leading sites such as Airbnb, Expedia etc.
The request was made after a complaint was lodged by a local travel operator. According to Mari, the complaint mentioned about these online tourism operators having a price advantage of up to 15 to 20% which is more as compared to other local companies since they aren’t concerned with Pakistan’s tax regime.
Local operator, Travel Horizontal explained that these companies are missing the whole point of the tourism industry as they are least bothered about the policies and laws related to the tourism services governing in Pakistan.
However, the decision was made under sudden circumstances without even asking these websites and putting a complete ban on these websites might put the whole industry in a declining state.
Earlier, Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) had already put the request for review under section 37 of the cybercrime act and didn’t receive any feedback from DTS before even filing the direct complaint to FIA.