With one out of six foreign tourists heading towards the Eastern Indian state of Bihar to visit historical sites, the state has become a favorite to the tourists from abroad.
“One among every six foreign tourists arriving in the country is accepting the hospitality of Bihar now,” said the state’s chief minister Nitish Kumar. According to reports, Bihar is receiving more visitors from abroad than Goa, which is considered a hotspot for foreigners due to its beaches.
State Tourism Minister Sunil Kumar Pintu said the number of foreign tourists in Bihar is expected to cross 1 million this year. “More than 800,000 foreign tourists visited different historical sites of Bihar between January and August this year,” he said. Pintu also stated that the footfalls of international tourists were 878,000 in 2011 and there is more than a ten-fold increase in the number of foreign tourists arriving in the state in the last one decade.
Quoting a survey by the Union Tourism ministry, Pintu said that Bihar figured at seventh position among the 10 states which received foreign tourists last year. The states ahead of it were Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and West Bengal.
Bihar has famous Buddhist sites like Bodh Gaya, Nalanda and Vaishali among others. Pintu also announced that the state has been taking steps to attract more foreign as well as domestic tourists. To draw more visitors to the state, the Bihar government organized a road show in Mauritius during an international meet, late October. The state took part in the World Travel Market (WTM) 2012 meet held Nov. 5-8 in London. Out of the nine pavilions booked by India, one belonged to Bihar.