Although tourist arrivals from third countries to Lumbini, the birth-place of Lord Buddha, has not been so encouraging, a steady increase in domestic and Indian tourists to Lumbini has been witnessed since 2011.
As per data with Lumbini Development Fund, the number of domestic tourists grew from 395,570 in 2011 to 539,210 in 2012. Data further shows that the number of domestic tourists to Lumbini in 2013 was 573,529. Likewise, 63,709 Indian tourists visited the Buddhist pilgrimage site in 2011. While the number went up to 120,583 in 2012, it grew to 150,252 in 2013.
“The number of domestic and Indian visitors has increased every year. This is good, but we should also do the needful to attract visitors from third countries,” said tourism expert Gita Giri, highlighting the need for more aggressive publicity for the Buddhist pilgrimage site.
Lumbini Development Fund spokesperson Ajitman Tamang conceded that the fall of the third country tourists showed the need of further publicity campaigns.
source: Himalayan Times, 06 Jan 2014