Leap for Buddhist tourism
The International Buddhist Conclave 2018 was recently inaugurated at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi by Ram Nath Kovind, President of India. He also launched a new website on Buddhist tourism.
The four-day long International Buddhist Conclave, inaugurated by President Ram
Nath Kovind was presided over by KJ Alphons, Minister of State (I/C), Tourism in the presence of Kenji Hiramatsu, Ambassador of Japan to India;
Rashmi Verma, Secretary, Tourism; and Satyajeet Rajan, Director General, Tourism, Along with senior members from the travel and hospitality industry. The conclave was organised in collaboration with state governments of Maharashtra, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh in New Delhi and Ajanta (Maharashtra), followed by site visits to Rajgir, Nalanda and Bodhgaya (Bihar) and Sarnath (Uttar Pradesh). The occasion was aptly used as a platform to launch the Ministry of Tourism’s website on important Buddhist sites - indiathelandofbuddha.in Buddhist sites in the country.
Addressing the attendees, Alphons said that India has a rich ancient Buddhist heritage with several important sites associated with the life of Lord Buddha. “The followers of Buddhism around the world have great interest in the Indian Buddhist heritage. The Conclave has been organised to showcase and project Buddhist heritage in India and boost tourism to the Buddhist sites in the country besides cultivating friendly ties with countries and communities interested in Buddhism.
The Conclave witnessed presentations by MOT and state governments, panel discussion between scholars and monks, and B2B meetings between the foreign and Indian tour operators. The Ministry also organised an Investors’ Summit during the Conclave to attract investments in developing world-class infrastructure at Buddhist sites,” he revealed.
Verma informed that about 500 million Buddhists worldwide represent 7 per cent of the world's population, making Buddhists the fourth largest community in the world. She said, “Buddhism binds the culture of India with that of countries in the region like Bhutan, China, Cambodia, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Myanmar, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and 17 sites in 12 clusters in the country for development under Iconic Tourist Sites Development Project.
KJ Alphons Minister of State (I/C), Tourism