High-profile meeting discusses upcoming Buddhist tourists' conf (United News of Bangladesh)

Dhaka, Sept 10 (UNB) The Civil Aviation and Tourism Ministry on Thursday held a meeting with the Foreign Ministry and diplomats at the state guesthouse Padma to discuss how the forthcoming International Buddhist Tourists Circuit Conference can be held successfully.

Tourism Minister Rashed Khan Menon, Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali, Tourism Secretary Khorshed Alam Chowdhury, CEO of Bangladesh Tourism Board (BTB) Akhtaruzzaman Khan Kabir and diplomats from China, Vietnam, Nepal, Bhutan, India, South Korea and Thailand were present.

The government will host the two-day international conference titled ‘National Buddhist Workshop and International Buddhist Tourists Circuit Conference’ from October 27.

The event, to be held with the participation of 13 Buddhist populated countries, will help Bangladesh showcase the Bangladesh Buddhist heritages to foreigners.

UNWTO Secretary General Taleb D Rifai along with high officials from China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, Bhutan, Nepal, India and Sri Lanka are expected to attend the conference to be jointly hosted by the Civil Aviation and Tourism Ministry and the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).

Earlier, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina declared 2016 as tourism year and the government is taking necessary steps to increase foreign tourists from various countries to visit Buddhist Heritage sites and other places in the country.

Menon said the government has taken short, medium and long-term initiatives to attract foreign tourists in the country.

Bangladesh has immense potentials to explore the opportunity of Buddhist as there are over 500 Buddhist ancient monasteries and temples in Bangladesh against the total global figure of 6,000.

Experts say Bangladesh can earn US$ 6 billion dollars in revenue a year if it can attract 1.5 lakh foreign tourists to visit Buddhist heritage sites annually.

There are about 450 to 480 million Buddhists across the world and they frequently visit the ancient holy Buddhist archaeological sites and relics.