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Touring India: Road show touts Buddha footsteps

THE Indian Tourism Road Show has made its inaugural appearance in Cambodia, promoting India as a destination for Cambodians to “walk in the footsteps of Buddha’.

India began providing visas on arrival to Cambodians in January 2011. In the same month, four visas were issued to Cambodians under the scheme, two less than issued to Luxembourgers, according to figures from the Indian Ministry of Tourism.

So far this year, 49 visas on arrival have been issued to Cambodians, the statistics show.

But Indian officials say they see the Kingdom as a future growth market for tourism to the world’s second most populous nation.

A 19-person delegation attended the Phnom Penh event, including Shantum Seth, a notable Buddhist practitioner, teacher and guide, whose message was simple; Buddhists need to visit the “Buddha Land”.   

“Buddhism declined many years ago in India, but in Cambodia, it has been prominent for over 2,000 years and I’m very proud to be here,” he said.

A number of Cambodian travel agency representatives were present at the event, with the first tours arranged for September this year.

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