(KPL) The International Buddhist Conclave 2018 was held in New Delhi, India on Aug 23 to promote culture tourism, especially ancient Buddhist heritage in India.
The aim of the conclave was to showcase and project the Buddhist Heritage in India and boost tourism to the Buddhist sites in India and cultivate friaendly ties with countries and communities interested in Buddhism.
“The voyage of Buddhism from India to Asia and the transcontinental links that were created carried more than just spiritualism. They carried a rich cargo of knowledge and learning. They carried arts and crafts. They carried meditation techniques and even martial arts,” said President of India Shri Ram Nath Kovind at the opening ceremony of the 6th International Buddhist Conclave.
Eventually, the many roads that the monks and nuns – those men and women of faith – carved out became among the earliest trade routes. In that sense, Buddhism was the basis for an early form of globalisation – and of inter-connectedness in our continent. It is these principles and values that must continue to guide us.
“The business potential of tourism is immense. Across our world, this industry is a big job creator, especially for local households and local communities. In its essence, tourism, like Buddhism, is about people and empowering them to realise their potential,” said Minister of Tourism of India, Shri K.J. Alphons adding that India has a rich ancient Buddhist Heritage with several important sites associated with the life of Lord Buddha.
It is currently estimated that there are nearly 500 million Buddhists all over the World and majority of them live in East Asia, South East Asia and Far East countries. However, a very small percentage of them visit the Buddhist sites in India each year. So the potential of encouraging more tourists to visit the Buddhist destinations where Lord Buddha lived and preached is immense. The “ASEAN” was the Guest of Honor during IBC, 2016 and Japan is the ‘Partner Country for IBC-2018.
The Ministerial level delegations from Bangladesh, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar and Sri Lanka participated in the conclave along with those from Australia, Bhutan, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Mongolia, Nepal, Norway, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Slovak Republic, Spain, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, UK, USA and Vietnam.
The President also launched the Ministry of Tourism website on important Buddhist sites – indiathelandofbuddha.in and a new film showcasing the Buddhist sites in the country on the occasion.