Tourism in Bengal is going to flourish and it will give a boost to the flow of foreign capital to our state; talks between the government of West Bengal and travel agents of several Asian countries in ‘Travel Bengal 2013’ conclave held in September, gave a new direction to the tourism sector in the state.
It was a business -to -business conclave meant to promote the Bengal-centric Buddhist circuit among these countries.
Tapping the South-East Asian Market
There are about 350 million Buddhists in the world. A large number of them are from the South-East Asian countries. So if the tour agents of those countries take initiative to promote the ‘Buddhist trail’ in this state, it can draw a large number of tourists every year. This was the focus at the conclave attended by travel agents from countries such as South Korea, Myanmar, Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, Philippines, Hong Kong, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal.
The event was held at Town hall of Kolkata on 23rd September. As a part of this business meet, a cultural programme was also arranged for the delegates along with river cruise ride and sightseeing.
The event also became the perfect ground to launch the Eastern Zone Tourism Council in collaboration with the World Travel and Tourism Council, India Initiative (WTTC).
The Buddhist Trail
The Buddhist trail is a journey that will let the tourists explore the places where the founder of Buddhism, Gautam Buddha had left his footprints. To encompass the places in the circuit outside Bengal, the Government of West Bengal has tied up with the governments of Jharkhand, Odisha, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. The circuit will originate in Kolkata and cover these states. It will also include North Bengal and Sikkim. A special coach on the lines of the Delhi-Odisha Mahaparinirvana Express will also be launched by the Union Ministry of Railways.
The tourists travelling from Southeast Asia will find the tour cost effective as the airfare from South-East Asia to Kolkata is way less than that in any other Indian city.
The trail starting from Kolkata will cover Gorakhpur, Lumbini, Koshinagar, Srabasti, Varanasi, Sarnath, Bodhgaya, Rajgir, Bakhtiarpur, Rumtek Monastery, New Jalpaiguri among other places.
Good for the tourism industry. It will help in the flow of capital.
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