Association of Buddhist Tour Operators (ABTO) writes to Tourism Minister regarding the archaeological excavations in and around Champaran Districts of Bihar. The letter mentions the need to focus on the archaeological sites in the area. It mentions, “The Bihar Government has taken a decision to beautify the sites of Buddha stupa at Kesariya, Ashokan pillar at Lauriya Nandangarh, Ashokan pillar at Rampurawa, Ashoan Pillar at Araraj, Gandhi ghat at Turkauliya in East and West Champaran districts. Hence, we earnestly request the ASI to carry out surveys and excavations at these important archaeological sites in East and West Champaran districts of Bihar.”
The association feels that because of the cultural significance that the archaeological sites hold, there’s a lot of potential for Buddhist inbound travellers. “We strongly believe, these sites will attract a large proportion of international pilgrims and tourists originating mainly from Asian countries such as Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Indonesia. It will also help in reviving the tourism sector of Bihar post-Covid-19.”
ABTO is a common forum of like-minded Tour Operators and Tourism service providers promoting Buddhist pilgrimage globally especially in India-Nepal and countries of Asia- Pacific.