Okay, the Travel Professor is here in Sri
Lanka and I’ve been invited to speak at the First Buddhist Tourism conference in in 2018. What is Buddhist tourism?
Watch this video and find out. Buddhism has come up long long back but in the recent past, the global
community has witnessed that Buddhist Tourism is coming up very fast,
especially in the Southeast Asia and Asia. And lot of Buddhists by religion
and by practicing, the tourists those are coming from Europe and America, they are
also following the Buddhism as practice and I’m sure this Buddhism will come up
in a very nice manner: religion with pleasure and happiness. This is the crux
of the Buddhist tourism. Actually tourism, you know that okay, it is the experience collection basically, this tourism, actually which is
part of Religious Tourism, we think that Buddhist Tourism is making more
potential, more possibility to capitalize the potential of Buddhists,
Buddhist practices and Buddhist historical sites and Buddhist life and
Buddhist way of thinking especially, you know, that Buddhism is actually doctrine us to be don’t be pessimistic or optimistic, you must be realistic. So
therefore I think that Buddhist Tourism is the way we can learn something. We can
get some experience something about how we can manage our own desires to
maximize our spiritual satisfaction. One of the popular attractions is this
Temple. Why is it so popular? It’s popular because there’s a relic here: the tooth
of Buddha is inside and you can see the casket where the relic is if you wear
the appropriate attire. We have at the site, the most important site, is the Bodh Gaya : the place where the Buddha got enlightenment and that is the place
where a lot of Buddhist people from different countries are coming. Even you
will be surprised to know that the Hollywood actors, they have started coming. A lot of
of Australians and New Zealanders as well as people from South America, North
America also practicing Buddhism so Buddhism is something which is concerned with the happiness and peace and this is what the community is looked for, the people are looking for. I’m sure this Buddhism will be a great success as a niche tourism. Buddhism is the main religion for about 65% of the Sri Lankan people. Basically, I would say that we started the Buddhist Tourism Summit in Sri Lanka so the purpose of organizing that Buddhist Tourism Summit is to explore the possibility of capitalizing on the potential Sr Lanka has to create a new way of tourism development.
As you know, if somebody asks what is Sri Lanka?
Most of the people talking about it’s a beach island which has beautiful beaches. We have elephants and very good beaches. One very good example is Buddhism, we have, actually. It started a 1,000 years ago. At the same time we have developed this particular culture, based on Buddhist tourism.
At the same time we have architecture, we have a culinary, we have ethnic.
We have various cultural practices, festivals, all are connected to Buddhist Tourism. Buddhism is not for Sri Lankan Buddhists
as a religion, is not only as religions, it is a heritage for Sri Lankans.
That is why we believe that why don’t we use this heritage for tourist attractions.
These tourism must be more responsible. These tourism should be more inclusive
type of tourism. It must combine all categories of
tourism activities and make more responsibilities for the people and
tourists. At the same time, we believe that community can get some additional
income than the mass tourism, especially communities involvement is very vital
for the success of Buddhist tourism that can ensure the sustainable tourism development
especially when you promote religious tourism like Buddhism. So you will
protect the environment. You will protect the culture. You will protect the people
and you will ensure that you are responsible type of tourism development.
I think this is the first time in Sri Lanka happened 1st Buddhist Tourism Summit and we
established 1st Buddhist Tourism… International Buddhist Tourism Centre.
We believe that Sri Lanka is a story of untapped potential. Now we are trying our
best to tap the potential we have been given from the Buddhism and Buddhist
heritage in Sri Lanka. We got a new direction for Sri Lanka tourism development.
People will recognize Sri Lanka as not only a beach tourism destination. It is more
than that. It can get a new spiritual happiness and mental satisfaction and
peacefulness and tranquility.