Lumbini welcomed 758k tourists in 2012
Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 2, 2013
BHAIRAHAWA: The number of tourists visiting the birth place of Lord Buddha during the Lumbini Visit Year 2012 grew by almost one-third compared to 2011, but still the arrivals fell short of the target set by the government by over 24 percent.
The government had announced that it would bring a total of one million tourists, both domestic and foreign, in Lumbini when it announced Lumbini Visit Year 2012 last year. But as the year ended on Monday, Lumbini Development Trust said a total of 758,269 tourists visited Lumbini in 2012.
The majority of tourists visiting Lumbini were domestic visitors. “Though we couldn´t achieve the target, the campaign proved instrumental in promoting the destination,” Hari Dhwoj Rai, information officer of Lumbini Development Trust, told Republica.
Lumbini welcomed tourists from 92 countries during the year, according to Rai.
A total of 509,073 Nepalis visited Lumbini during 2012, shows the Trust´s data. Likewise, India generated the largest volume of foreign tourists, followed by Sri Lanka and Thailand. A total of 113,195 Indian tourists visited Lumbini in 2012. Similarly, total arrivals from Sri Lanka numbered at 52,671, while 28,480 tourists from Thailand visited Lumbini during the year.
“Tourists from Myanmar and China stood at 17,595 and 8,600, respectively,” Rai added.
The UNESCO World Heritage site also attracted thousands of tourists from South Korea, Vietnam, the Netherlands, Japan, USA, UK, Germany, Switzerland and France, among others.
Lumbini had welcomed 587,530 tourists in 2011.