President Dr Ram Baran Yadav has launched Visit Lumbini Year (VLY) 2012 lighting the peace flame amidst a special ceremony in Lumbini on Saturday.
President Yadav also announced completion of Nepal Tourism Year (NTY) 2011 and launched Tourism Vision 2020. Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai had announced celebration of VLY 2012 in Lumbini on November 30.
President Yadav urged tourists to visit Lumbini and called for worldwide publicity of the birth place of Lord Buddha while speaking at the inaugural ceremony.
“It is a matter of pride for Nepal that Lord Gautam Buddha spread the message of peace across the globe. And I feel immensely proud to get an occasion to remember Lord Buddha when the country is facing a serious responsibility of concluding the peace process and constitution writing,” President Yadav stated.
Tourism Minister Lokendra Bista Magar said that NTY 2011 saw a rise of 22% in tourist arrivals and revealed the goal of attracting 500,000 tourists to Lumbini during the VLY 2012. He further said that tourism festivals would be held in more than 13 historical places from 2013 during Tourism Vision 2020.
Vice-chairman of Lumbini Development Trust Acharya Karma Sangbo Sherpa hoped that VLY 2012 will help spread the message of peace across the world and will add a new chapter in the development of Lumbini.