MAZAR-I-SHARIF (Pajhwok): The Hairatan port city of northern Balkh province has witnessed a surge in the number of tourists in the winter season, local officials said on Monday.
The beauty and location of Hairatan,situated on the bank of Amu River, are a major draw for tourists from different provinces of the country. The number of visitors is on the rise.
Qari Khalil Ullah Farooqi, a senior Hairatan-based official, said the number of tourists — especially with the advent of winter — was on the increase.
The improving security environment in the country, particularly in Hairatanwhich borders Uzbekistan, encouragedpeople to visit the city, Farooqi added.
Local restaurant owners, meanwhile, welcomed the hike in the number of tourists.
Syed Agha, one cafe proprietor, confirmed the number of their customers was steadily rising with the onset of winter.
“We host dozens of customers who come here to enjoy fish BBQ. The number of our customers soars to hundreds on Fridays,” Agha said.
Some visitors, coming to the city, said they enjoyed sightseeing and entertainment in Hairatan.
Syed Amin, a visitor from Kabul, told Pajhwok Afghan News he was thrilled to see Amu River for the first time in his life and enjoyed eating fish here.
Hashmatullah, another tourist from Faryab province, urged the government to set up parks and entertainment spots in addition to ensuring visitor security.
Hairatan is situated 80 kilometers north of Maar-i-Sharif, the capital Balkh province. It is one of the important port cities and commercial hubs of the country.