Government apathy in promotion and lack of inter-agency coordination have failed to attract one million tourists to Lumbini in 2012, as the year was observed as Visit Lumbini Year to promote Lord Buddha's birth place internationally.
"Lack of coordination among stakeholders spoiled the Visit Lumbini Year 2012," according to spokesperson of Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) Aditya Baral.
Though the year started with much fanfare, it has been able to attract only 758,269 tourists, mostly domestic. The government had a target to attract half a million foreign tourists to Lumbini. However, among the total tourists who visited Lumbini, some 509,073 were Nepalis, whereas only 136,001 were from third countries and 113,195 were Indians, according to figures released by the board.
The figures revealed that after Indians, some 52,671 Sri Lankans, 28,480 Thais and some 17,595 from Myanmar visited Lumbini.
The flow of visitors, though, has increased over the year to 2012. In 2011, some 587,538 tourists — including both domestic and foreign — had visited Lumbini, whereas in 2010, some 583,442 tourists had visited the birth place of Lord Buddha, where Buddhists all over the world — some 10 per cent of the total population, according to the figures — want to visit.
Visitors to Lumbini in 2012
Nepalis -- 509,073
Indians -- 113,195
Sri Lankans -- 52,671
Thai -- 28,480
Myanmar -- 17,595
(Source: Nepal Tourism Board)
Tourist flow to Lumbini
Year -- Visitors
2010 — 583,442
2011 — 587,538
2012 — 758,269(Source: Nepal Tourism Board)