A three-day Buddhist International Travel Mart is being organized in Lumbini with the objective of promoting Lumbini as the center of Buddhist tourism activities.
The event will be held in the birthplace of Buddha from January 10-12.
Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation and Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) are the main organizers of the event while NATTA is the implementing agency.
According to Achyut Sharma Guaragain – the 1st vice president of NATTA and the coordinator of BITM, there will be 50 national and international buyer companies.”Similarly, similar number of Nepali tour operators and other service providers will showcase their tourism products and services before international and domestic buyers,” he added.
Buddhist conference, interaction programs and B2B session are the main features of BITM, according to the organizers.
The organizers are also inviting travel bloggers, influences and media representatives from several countries.
Speaking at the press meet, Tourism Secretary Krishna Prasad Devkota said that the event will help to promote Lumbini as the main Buddhist tourism destination in the international market. “Lumbini is a holy land for millions of Buddhist pilgrims all over the world. But only a few visitors spend night here. The event is aimed at extending their stay in Lumbini,” he added. He also said that the travel mart will also be important for the Gautam Buddha International Airport which is starting operation by 2019.
Likewise, Deepak Raj Joshi CEO of NTB, said that he was hopeful that BITM will promote Lumbini in the international market. “Once the Gautam Buddha International Airport comes into operation, we can attract more Buddhist pilgrims to Lumbini,” he added.
NATTA President CN Pandey said that they intend to make BITM an annual event in Nepali tourism calendar.