Nepal-India Tourism Mart to be held in Lumbini

KATHMANDU: Nepal and India are jointly organising their first ever Tourism Mart in Lumbini with the purpose of promoting tourism between the two countries to mark the end of Visit Lumbini Year 2012, on January 15.

Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation and Nepal and Indian Council of Cultural Relations are jointly hosting the Tourism Mart on January 15 and 16 in Lumbini, followed by similar marts in Pokhara and Kathmandu, respectively in February and March.

At a press meet, Jaideep Mazumdar, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of India said, “As the birthplace of Lord Gautam Buddha, Lumbini is significant for the Buddhist pilgrimage circuit, besides the three sites in India, Bodh Gaya, Sarnath and Kushinagar. The mart will focus on how tourist traffic can be enhanced there.”

Senior officials from India’s Ministry of Tourism and from the Tourism departments of the Governments of UP and Bihar will be present on the occasion. Officials representing the Tourism Ministry Department, Lumbini Development Trust, Nepal Tourism Board, among others, will represent Nepal.

“This will facilitate tie-ups between tourism operators and enable officials from both sides to identify problems in the tourism industry as well,” said Mazumdar.

Meanwhile, Indian Council for Cultural Relations in association with Lumbini Development Trust is organising “Lumbini Symposium on Buddhism and Historical Buddhist Sites” from January 15 to 17 in Lumbini. The event will bring together authorities and experts of the two neighbours as well as several prominent specialists on Buddha and Buddhism.

The symposium will touch upon themes like Buddhists art, culture, philosophy and rituals among others. “The event will contribute to providing academic insights into the themes of Buddhism and Buddhist sites in Nepal and India,” said Mazumdar.

When asked if it was a counter to China’s growing interest in Lumbini, he said, “Lumbini is a Buddhist archaeological hub and India heartily welcomes involvement of any country in its development.”

Source: The Himalayan Times

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