S. Asian countries launch Buddhist tourism program

Xinhuanet, Jan 26, 2005

MANILA, Philippines -- Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal have launched a coordinated tourism marketing program to promote the subregion's tourism industry with the theme of "Nature, Culture, Adventure" and "Buddhist Heartland", said the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Wednesday.

The heads of tourism of the four governments jointly unveiled two attractive brochures, a series of six posters, a CD booklet, and the new website www.visitsouthasia.org, in a ceremony held in New Delhi on Jan. 16. A subregional Calendar of Events poster featuring festivals and special events is also part of the promotional collection, said ADB in a news release.

According to Indian officials, this is the first jointly fundedtourism campaign of its kind in the subregion.

The program is expected to boost local private sector tourism industry and highlight the ecological tourism and Buddhist heritage products boasted by the region's countries.

The coordinated tourism marketing campaign is conducted by the Tourism Working Group established under the Asian Development Bank's South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Program.