Nepal received unprecedented religious and tourism mileage as the Birthplace of Lord Buddha at the 5th Sichuan International Travel Expo (SCITE) 18 held in Leshan, China from September 6 to 9, Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) said in a statement.
Nepal was the Country of Honor at this year’s edition of Sichuan International Travel Expo.
Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Rabindra Prasad Adhikari, led the Nepali delegation in the expo. The delegation comprised of Members of Parliament, Mayors of Lumbini, Tansen and Ramgram municipalities, Nepal Tourism Board, Lumbini Development Trust and tourism entrepreneurs.
Minister Adhikari addressed the opening ceremony of the expo and visited the Nepal Pavilion as well as held several high-level meetings with the Governor of Sichuan, the Mayor of Leshan, Heads of the famous Dado Zen temple and Leshan Buddha temple to discuss mutual cooperation and promotion of tourism in the very potential China market, NTB said in the statement.
The highlight of the visit was the signing of MOU between Leshan, the home of the biggest Buddha statue in the world and Lumbini, Tansen and Ramgram for promotion of Buddhist tourism.
Meanwhile, Minister Adhikari also handed over holy soil from Lumbini to the Leshan Buddha Museum.
Nepal Week was also organized on the sidelines of the expo. Nepal’s ambassador to China Leela Mani Paudyal inaugurated the event last week. The event featured exhibition and sale of Nepali handicrafts and showcased Nepal’s culinary delights. Photo exhibition, live pottery and cultural dances were the other attractions of the event.
Minister Adhikari and the Mayor of Leshan have expressed great commitment in strengthening the ties between Leshan and Lumbini and this will definitely go a long way in promoting Nepal’s tourism in China. Nepal Association of Tour and Travel Agents (NATTA) coordinated participation of travel agents in the B2B session of the expo.
According to NTB, the Nepali delegation used the event to promote Visit Nepal Year 2020 campaign.