New Delhi: Last-mile connectivity is vital for popularizing India’s rich history of Buddha circuit, said President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday, emphasizing that “we need to overcome the bottlenecks so that heritage tourism is utilised to its full potnetial.”
“I must emphasise that while we should take advantage of our strengths, we also need to overcome issues that are limiting us from scaling up,” the President said after inaugurating the 6th International Buddhish Enclave in the capital.
He said that there are issues related to limited market research, limited interpretation, and inadequate exhibiting and presentation of the Buddhist Circuit’s history and narrative.
“While air services have expanded in the past few years, last-mile connectivity, whether by way of road and rail, still has gaps that need to be filled. Pollution and environmental changes are other pressing concerns,” he pointed out.
The President said that despite these niggling problems, the potential is so large that it can only motivate us to move ahead with greater energy and vigour.
“I am confident that the combined expertise of the delegates at this conclave, drawing inspiration from the wisdom and the problem-solving techniques of Lord Buddha, will lead our heritage tourism efforts to a more enlightened path,” he added.
The President also launched a website (www.indiathelandofbuddha.in) and a film dedicated to the Buddhist circuit in the country.
Kovind also said that the practice of cultural and religious travel and tourism is not new to India.
“It goes back thousands of years and in fact visits from Buddhist pilgrims, monks and scholars from other countries and civilisations have been a proud feature of our history. This has been mutually enriching and in diverse ways,” he said.
“The voyage of Buddhism from India to Asia and the trans-continental 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,” he added.