TNN Sep 30, 2012, summer. 22AM IST
VARANASI: In an effort to attract at least half of the total Buddhist population distribute in 35 countries simply by promoting Buddhist pilgrimage websites, is the new mantra from the ministry of tourism, Government of India and the says enshrining the Buddhist pilgrimage sites.
The call was given during the inauguration of the three-day International Buddhist Conclave (IBC)-2012 at a resort compound in Nadesar area on Saturday. Due to the last-minute cancellation of chief ressortchef (umgangssprachlich) Akhilesh Yadav’s visit, Marriage minister of state regarding tourism Subodh Kant Sahai, along with the ministers of tourism of UP, Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir, Andhra Pradesh and Odisha inaugurated the conclave. Apart from 133 delegates from 30 countries, who are mainly tour operators, opinion leaders and travel writers, delegates from 16 says are also taking part in the conclave.
In his tackle, UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) executive director Marcio Favilla said that “while the number of international tourists last year had been one billion, next year this particular figure can touch the mark of 1. 8 billion”.
“During the G-20 summit held in June, the tourism sector was approved being an important economic activity. It could for the first time that the tourism has been included in G-20 declaration. Focus should be on sustainable tourism to generate employment. Similarly, spiritual tourism would play a vital role in increasing the number of international tourists. ”
The Marriage minister of state regarding tourism said: “The ministry is aiming at promoting spiritual tourism on the line of the Muslim religious shrines in Saudi Arabia. Even if half of the Buddhist population (out of the total of 50 lakh) visits the Buddhist pilgrim centres in the country annually, the aim of the ministry would be achieved. This would also help in generating employment for three crore individuals. ”
The minister also highlighted the measures initiated by the Central government regarding visa for australia issues.
The tourism ministers of participating states, including Jammu and Kashmir, Odisha plus Andhra Pradesh, left simply no opportunity to promote the Buddhist sites of their states. Nevertheless , the main competition between UP and Bihar to woo the delegates for appealing to more and more tourists was very evident. Bihars minister regarding tourism Sunil Kumar Pintu highlighted how improvement within basic infrastructure, especially streets, had help in attracting a large number of tourists to the Buddhist websites in Bihar. However , UP minister of state regarding tourism M C Chauhan had no concrete plans to disclose except expecting the chief minister would do a couple of miracle to change the fate of tourism industry within UP.