I had a chance to go sight seeing and trekking this month. I went out once towards Kashmir second time to a more reachable destination of Murree. It was eye opening to see what beauty is offered by this country we live in (was my first trip to Azad Kashmir), and at the same time I was surprised to see extreme lack of information available for tourists and adventure seekers online.
There are hardly any tour planning and booking sites for someone who wishes to plan a trip. There are sites like paktrip and ajktours but mostly they ask you to leave a number and have very vague statements like “accommodation would be a 3 star hotel”. Even the most prestigious PC Hotels website does not list its own Hotel in Muzzarafabad, you have to Google to actually know that PC has a hotel in Muzzarafabad.
Currently the onlye source of updated information and details you find are on different forums (pakwheel seems to be the best source for many) usually updated by some one who has recently visited. you can go around the forums asking questions and if lucky some user will tell you details from his last trip and that’s all you get from online space if planning a trip.
How hard it is to put some name for a hotel, some accompanying pics of the accommodation (a pic of how the bedroom looks like and front of hotel, some specific maps to nearby places, availability of transports available, some testimonials of satisfied customers?
To all those rushing to create the next online shop for Pakistan, or a bidding site. Please pause a moment, that space is already crowded. Give some time and think about creating a whole experience around trip and vacation planning, give a service which allows you to book hotels, transportation through and through from home back to home. Load it with required information, pictures and I can assure you that the revenue/profit you generate would be far more than what you can from online shopping site.
I am sure a lot more people like me would be happy to give some advance for booking and rest on arrival, if some one was able to plan a trip through and through from them. the information required to help me part with my money would be not more than some basic information, like exact details of where I would be staying? What are the options around the stay area? A confirmation that a jeep/transport is booked when i arrive. Some guidance about what type of clothes to take. A pictorial preview of what to expect in terms of stay, transport, sites to see.
With advent of EasyPaisa and online transfers money handling is not as hard as it was some years ago.
So any one willing to take it up? maybe the team behind Pakwheels can create a paktravel site, or rozee.pk people can create sair.pk or even Paktrip can add these missing pieces. I think it can create genuine business and is a great opportunity.