President Ram Nath Kovind has emphasized the need to overcome issues that are limiting India’s potential in promoting Buddhist tourism. He said, limited market research and interpretation, inadequate presentation of Buddhist circuits’ history and narratives are the issues which need to be addressed.
Inaugurating the International Buddhist Conclave in New Delhi today, Mr. Kovind said, while the air connectivity has expanded in the past few years, there are still gaps in the last mile connectivity to Buddhist tourist destinations which needs to be filled.
The President said government has taken steps to develop Buddhist heritage sites as more welcoming destinations. Buddhist circuits have been identified as one of the thematic circuit under the Swadesh Darshan programme. Five projects worth 350 crore rupees have been sanctioned in this regard for the states of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh.
Highlighting the roles of private and civil society in promoting tourism, Mr. Kovind said the government can not do everything on its own in this sector as it is a multi-stakeholders enterprise. He added that state and municipal administrations play critical role in providing safe and secure visitors experience.
During the function, Tourism Minister K J Alphons said the government has taken several initiates for the development of Buddhist circuits. He also said it is intended to double the foreign tourist flow in the next three years. On the occasion, the President launched a website on Buddhist heritage sites.