Modi’s trip expected to boost tourism

The visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Lumbini on Monday has excited tourism entrepreneurs in the area in hope that it will help in the promotion of tourism here.

Tourism entrepreneurs have said that measures should be taken to extend the stay of Indian tourists as their tourists may increase after Modi’s visit. “Now we have to find a way to extend their stay,” said Chandra Prakash Shrestha, President of the Siddhartha Hotel Association.

Indian PM Modi is coming to Lumbini for a few hours on the occasion of Buddha Jayanti on Monday. Tourism entrepreneur Shrestha said that Modi’s visit would have a positive impact on Lumbini and its tourism sector. He said that worshiping at Buddha’s birthplace Lumbini would help for the worldwide publicity of the site and Nepal.

Another tourism entrepreneur, Kiran Chandra Poudel, said that the Indian travel agency could help in the successful implementation of the Buddhist circuit. “It is not beneficial for Nepal if tourists come to Nepal for a short period of time. If they stay here for a couple days and do shopping, it will be beneficial for the country,” he said.

Hem Bahadur Bista, another businessman, said that the visit of the high-profile guest should strengthen the initiative to bring the circuit train journey already started in India to the Nepalese border. He expressed confidence that many Indians would come to Lumbini after his visit due to the influence of Prime Minister Modi’s personality and leadership.

Senior Vice President of Lumbini Hotel Association, Lilamani Sharma said that the number of Indian tourists had increased by 60 per cent after PM Modi’s visit of Muktinath in Mustang district. The Lumbini Development Fund has intensified the reception preparations to welcome the Indian PM. The fund is working to decorate the venue.

Construction of four helipads is completed in Lumbini. The decoration of the venue for the main programme of Buddha Jayanti, International Buddhist Conference has been completed. Likewise, sanitation, painting and maintenance works are being carried out on Lumbini premises.

Hotel Pawan Palace, where the Indian Prime Minister and guests will stay, is also being decorated. Welcome gates have been constructed at various places in Lumbini. According to Gyanin Rai, Senior Administrative Officer of the Fund, about 2 thousand people will participate in the Buddha Jayanti celebrations to be addressed by the Prime Ministers of Nepal and India.

He said that the ceremony will be attended by the representatives of diplomatic missions, donor agencies, secretaries of the Government of Nepal, Chief Minister of Lumbini Province, ministers and government officials, local political parties, people’s representatives, private sector organizations, and local people.

According to Member Secretary of the Fund, Sanuraja Shakya, Indian PM Modi is scheduled to arrive in Lumbini by helicopter on May 20 at 11:00 AM. He will be welcomed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Narayan Khadka.

PM Modi is scheduled to worship at the temple. After the pooja, he is scheduled to circumambulate the Mayadevi Temple and light the lamps on the premises of Ashoka Pillar, and irrigate the Bodhi tree near the Pillar.

Source : TRN,