New Delhi: To popularise Buddhist tourism and to attract more foreign tourists, India's tourism ministry is planning to add more states to the Buddhist circuit apart from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, union Tourism Minister Shripad Naik said Thursday.
Speaking at the International Meet on Buddhist Tourism, organised by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham), Naik said the ministry was considering adding Odisha to the existing circuit.
"There are several Buddhist destinations across India, therefore it is the need of the hour to develop these sites in terms of infrastructure, sanitation, maintenance, connectivity, safety and security," he said.
Naik said his ministry advocated promoting bilateral tourism ties with the Asian countries of Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Myanmar, Singapore. Japan, Korea and other countries with sizeable Buddhist population to exchange greater volume of tourists.
"We regularly organise road shows and exhibitions in domestic and overseas Buddhist source markets to encourage inbound tourism to the Buddhist sites in the country," he added.
Naik also noted that development of necessary infrastructure like hotels, resorts, roads, leisure clubs and others would spur job creation in the regions.
Assocham president Rana Kapoor said the development of the circuit in other states will create "viable impetus" which is vital for infusing demand into the under-leveraged inbound segment.