September 18, 2020

Pitch for Buddha conclave

Patna: Bihar has told the Centre that the state wants to host the International Buddhist Conclave in September this year.

State tourism minister Pramod Kumar wrote to Union minister of state (independent charge) for tourism K.J. Alphons on Friday, urging him to look into Bihar’s request.

The minister’s letter was followed by an oral request during his recent visit to Delhi. Pramod had met with tourism ministry officials and informed them about the state’s desire to host the conclave in which delegates from over two dozen countries take part.

The Union tourism ministry organises the event every two years to promote Indian Buddhist heritage sites across India as tourist destinations. The previous edition of the event was held in Uttar Pradesh in October 2016 and one session had been organised in Bodhgaya. Bihar wants to host all the sessions of the event this year.

Pramod’s letter talks of Bihar’s rich Buddhist heritage and provides details of the infrastructure for organising the event either in Patna or in Rajgir or in Gaya.

The letter also mentions the successful hosting of the events related to the 350th birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh last year. Lakhs of devotees who took part in it were provided all kinds of facilities during their stay in the state.

“I have urged the Centre to allow Bihar to host the conclave, as it will give us an opportunity to showcase the state tourism in front of an international audience,” Pramod told The Telegraph. “We will also get an opportunity to tell people about the steps being taken to improve the tourism sector in the state.”

He said he was trying his level best to attract domestic and international tourists.

Bihar has been witnessing a regular increase in tourist flow. In 2017, 3.34 crore tourists visited Bihar of which 10.82 lakh were foreigners.

In 2016, it had received 2.95 crore tourists of which 10.1 lakh tourists were from foreign countries. The corresponding figures for 2015 stood at 2.89 crore and 9.23 lakh.

Courtesy: The Telegraph

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