With Japan as a partner country in this Conclave, delegates from approximately 30 countries, who have come to India for this Conclave, and who will be part of this event as well as events in Maharashtra, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh over the next three days.
“India has been a storehouse of history and culture, of faith and philosophy. Buddhism has been among India’s greatest spiritual traditions. Many great locations associated with the life and teachings of Lord Buddha are found in India. These include Kapilvastu (Piprahwa), where he spent his childhood; Bodhgaya, where he attained Enlightenment; Sarnath, where he delivered his first sermon; and Kushinagar, where he embraced Mahaparinirvana,” said Kovind.
“The Buddhist Circuit in India is an important and revered set of destinations for the approximately 500 million-strong community of Buddhists that lives across Asia and other parts of the world. It is to facilitate such a travel and pilgrimage experience that this Conclave has been organised and that the website and film dedicated to the Buddhist Circuit have been formally launched,” he added.
Lauding the government, President highlighted that Ministry of Tourism has identified the Buddhist Circuit as one of the thematic circuits for development under its Swadesh Darshan Scheme. Five projects, with a combined outlay of more than 350 crore rupees, have been sanctioned for the states of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.
The President said that tourism is a multi-stakeholder enterprise. The private sector and civil society have substantial roles. And in terms of providing a safe and secure visitor experience, state and municipal administrations play a critical part. The business potential of tourism is immense. Across our world, this industry is a big job creator, especially for local households and local communities. In its essence, tourism, like Buddhism, is about people and empowering them to realise their potential.
Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, is organising an Investors’ Summit as part of the Conclave. The objective is to finalise business and investment plans for developing world-class infrastructure in the Buddhist heritage sites that have been identified. President also said that the collaboration between the Japan International Cooperation Agency and the government of India for the Ajanta-Ellora Conservation and Tourism Development Project is worth mentioning. This will conserve one of our most remarkable cultural sites for future generations as well as enhance the tourist experience for those visiting the Ajanta and Ellora caves.
With loan assistance from the Japan International Cooperation Agency, the first phase of development of the Buddhist Circuit in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar too has been completed. The Union Ministry of Tourism and the state governments of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh are now cooperating with the International Finance Corporation, which is a part of the World Bank Group, on an integrated Buddhist Circuit Tourism Development Project.
6th International Buddhist Conclave 2018 in Aurangabad PM by PIB Mumbai
Buddhist delegates, monks and the consulate general from 12 to 15 Buddhist nations will be present at the conclave where, business meetings between them and domestic tour operators will be facilitated. Additionally, presentations and cultural programmes will used to highlight the Buddhist attractions across the State. The conclave will offer participants a platform to interact, encourage, package and sell pilgrimage tours to potential tourists.
Minister of Tourism, Government of Maharashtra, Jaykumar Rawal, commented about this occasion that, “Buddhist Tourism is a growing sector and the International Buddhist Conclave will help us understand its potential and opportunities to promote Buddhist sites in the state. I am certain through this initiative Maharashtra will be able to encourage Buddhist travellers from across the world. The Ministry of Tourism has also recognised stupas and viharas across the country and is planning to develop these Buddhist Circuits.”
Maharashtra is one of the most popular tourist destinations in India offering a diverse range of experiences from pristine beaches, wildlife sanctuaries, hill stations, natural caves, waterfalls, to imposing forts, colourful festivals, ancient pilgrimage shrines, museums, and historical monuments. Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) was established with the aim of promoting tourism in the state. To aide tourists, MTDC has opened information centres at all popular destination, which provide travel information about various tourist spots in Maharashtra.