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Tourist arrival shoots up in birthplace of Lord Buddha in Nepal

Xinhua, Sunday, November 4, 2007

The number of tourists coming to visit Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord Gautam Buddha in Kapilvastu district in southern Nepal, has been rising steadily over the last five years.

According to Sunday's The Himalayan Times report, the rise in tourist arrival is mainly attributed to the restoration of peace in the country after the end of the decade-long conflict in the country, the Lumbini Development Fund (LDF) said.

According to statistics, 7,854 passport-holding foreign tourists visited Lumbini, some 300 km southwest of Kathmandu, in 2002. In 2003, 2004 and 2005, some 28,053, 37,977 and 39,789 tourists visited Lumbini, one of the world heritage sites in the country, respectively.

In 2006, after the end to conflict and restoration of peace, some 49,595 passport-holding foreign tourists came to Lumbini while 51,437 have visited it till October-end in 2007, said information officer at the LDF Keshav Chaudhari. He added that the number of such tourists is expected to cross the 75,000 mark by the end of December.

The number of domestic and Indian tourists has also shot up significantly and the construction of an international airport at Bhairahawa nearby Lumbini will further boost tourism prospects in the famous place, said Chaudhari.

The largest number of tourist visiting Lumbini is from Sri Lanka followed by Thailand, Myanmar, China, Australia, Japan, Poland, the United States, Britain and Germany, according to the statistics.

source: http://english.people.com.cn/90001/90782/91341/6296192.html

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