India to promote Buddhist Circuit in China: Alphons

India is all set to promote its Buddhist Circuit to attract tourists from China which provides the biggest outbound visitors in the world at 144 millions a year, Tourism Minister K.J Alphons said.

The number of Chinese tourists visiting India reached 2,47,000 in 2017, a mere two per cent of the total 10.18 million foreign tourist arrivals, according to data available with the Ministry of Tourism.

"China provides the biggest outbound tourists in the world. I want to increase the number of Chinese tourists visiting India to 14 million in the next five years. We will conduct promotional roadshows and continuously engage with the people so that we can build confidence," said Alphons.

Alphons, speaking at an event, said that the ministry was taking a lead out of the UAE's strategy which increased its footfall of Chinese tourists by 119 per cent in the past three years by conducting 40 roadshows across the country.

"We will promote our heritage, the Buddhist Circuit will indeed be the focus. However, we need to improve our infrastructure and we will start with Sarnath. I have already had discussions with Roadways and Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari and we are set to build a four- lane highway connecting the Buddhism-related cities," he said.