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While Buddhism is followed by 7 per cent of the world’s population, India holds the unique distinction of being the origin of the Buddhist philosophy and home to a number of significant destinations that Lord Buddha traversed on his path of enlightenment, opined ASSOCHAM. The association believes that, with development of the sector accorded priority by the Government, it is imperative to harness the immense potential of the Buddhist Tourism Circuit. The Sarnath-Bodh Gaya patch alone is expected to fuel a sizeable 15 per cent annual growth in the tourism industry.

ASSOCHAM has submitted it’s recommendations to Shripad Yesso Naik, MoS (I/C) for Tourism & Culture to further boost the tourism sector. The recommendations highlighted infrastructure development, with a focus on the proposed Kushinagar International Airport and the provision of Tourist Information Centres / Contact Centres. It also suggested an emulation of Korea’s ‘Temple Stay’ Programme which provides a unique opportunity to domestic and international tourists to experience Korean Buddhism, its lifestyle and rituals.

The recommendations also listed collaboration with international agencies, primarily for Infrastructure development of Buddhist Circuit. Skill development and the need to integrate technology and tourism are other highlights of the recommendations.

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