International conference on Developing Sustainable and Inclusive Buddhist Heritage and Pilgrimage Circuits in South Asia’s Buddhist Heartland in collaboration with UNWTO

The final Report on this conference is now available from the below link.

The International Conference on Developing Sustainable and Inclusive Buddhist Heritage and Pilgrimage Circuits in South Asia’s Buddhist Heartland in Dhaka, Bangladesh will bring together a diverse range of actors and stakeholders i.e. government policy-makers, civil society, NGOs, community-based organizations, faith based entities, academic-research-professional institutions/bodies, development partners, relevant UN agencies/organizations and mass media with the aim at securing inclusive and sustainable promotion, protection, conservationand entire development of Buddhist Heritage and Pilgrimage circuits in South Asia’s Buddhist heartland.

Today, most of the Asia-Pacific countries are found to have presence of Buddhist culture and heritage, relics and settlements of their own. South Asia is recognized as the heartland of Buddhism and such is of great interest to the world’s estimated 500 million Buddhist and increasingly to huge non-Buddhist market from Europe and North America and other parts of the world. South Asia-most notably Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka has rich, diverse and ancient ensemble of tangible and intangible cultural heritage. Bangladesh is the homeland of great Buddhist scholar AtishDipankar. Bangladesh also has the largest Buddhist monastery in the world-SompuraMahavihara (PaharpurMahavihara) which is designated as World Heritage site by UNESCO. According to a Tibetan test of 16th century, the ruins of the two of the five highest learning centers (universities) of Buddhism in the ancient world are in Bangladesh. These two are: PaharpurMahavihara and JagaddalVihara. Besides these Lord Buddha has come to Bangladesh and stayed in Vasu Vihar in Mahasthangarh for six months. Down south in Chittagong, monasteries still preserve sacred hair and tooth relics of Lord Buddha. Apart from this in the south-eastern part of Bangladesh Living heritage of Buddhism still exits.

For the first time the conference organized by the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism, Bangladesh in collaboration with United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in Dhaka from 27-28 October 2015 will also gather Ministers from 12 countries in the Asia-Pacific region. This conference is open for all, anyone interested person from anywhere in the world can participate in the conference by registration. The objectives of the conference is to bring all actors and stakeholders together in an open dialogue to discuss the issues and set directions for preparing a road map for the sustainable development and promotion of cross border Buddhist tourism circuits and routs in South Asia and the Asia pacific. Responsible and sustainable use of these Buddhist heritage and cultural assets lends unique contribution towards employment generation, income, poverty alleviation as also addressing many economic challenges of this region.

For more details, please visit the web site



Mr. Ludwig G. Rieder, Chairman, AsiaPacific Projects, Inc. Tourism and Hospitality Advisors,

UNWTO Advisor

Speakers List:

01.   Mr. Mario Hardy, Chief Executive Officer, Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA)
02.    Mr. Jens Thraenhart, Executive Director, Mekong Tourism Coordinating Organization
03.    Mr. Anders Jonsson, Project co-ordinator Southeast Asia Regional Program, OECD
04.    Mrs. DawKhin Than Win, Director, Ministry of Tourism and Hotels, Myanmar
05.    Madame Nava Dominguez of Xunta de Galicia
06.    Mr. Yuji Iida, Deputy general Manager, Outbound travel promotion Division, JATA
07.    Mr. Sunil Chopra, Area Manager for Asia-Pacific, IATA, Singapore
08.    Mr. Ashok Pokharel, President, Nepal Associational of Tour Operators
09.    Ms. Gitanjali Chaturvedi, Tourism Specialist, World Bank, India
10.    Mr. Milton Hyunsoo Kal, Development Strategist, Consultant of IFC & WB
11.    Ms. Elma Morsheda, Representative, Bangladesh Resident Mission, ADB, Dhaka
12.    Ven. Myeong-beop from Temple Stay in Korea
13.    Mr. Md. Rafiquzzaman, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism, Bangladesh
14.    Mr. Faruque Hasan, Tourism Consultant, Bangladesh
15.    Mr. Shahid Hamid, Chairman, PATA Bangladesh Chapter
16.    Mr. MohiuddinHelal, CEO, Industry Council for Tourism &Hospitality, Bangladesh
17.    Mr. Shahid Hussain Shamim, CEO, Ajiyer Fair Trade Tourism, Community based Tourism, Bangladesh (CBT expert)
18.    Dr. Heather Peters, Dr. Heather Peters, Senior Consultant at Culture Unit, UNESCO Bangkok
19.    Prof. Sufi Mostafizur Rahman, Professor of Archeology, Jahangirnagar University, Dhaka
20.    Mr. Md. Altaf hossain, Director General, Department of Archeology, Bangladesh
21.    Mr. Masud Hossain, Managing Director, The Bengal Tours Ltd (One of the leading Tour operator company of Bangladesh) 
         and Director of Tour Operators Association of Bangladesh (TOAB)
22.    Mr. Fayzul Latif Chowdhury, Director General, National Museum, Bangladesh
23.    Mr. Toufiq Rahman, Director, Tour Operators Association of Bangladesh and Secretary-General, PATA Bangladesh Chapter
24.    Dr. BikironPrashadBarua, Ex-Professor of Chittagong University and Buddhist Leader of the country
25.    Mr. Akhtaruz Zaman Khan Kabir, CEO, Bangladesh Tourism Board and PATA Board Member
26.    Mrs. Monowara Hakim Ali, Member, Governing Body, Bangladesh tourism Board and Renownd Tourism industrialist of the country.
27.    Dr. Aparup Chowdhury, Chairman, Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation
28.    Dr. Kumi KATO, Professor of WAKAYAMA University
29.    Mr. Xu Jing, Executive Secretary & Director, Regional Programme for Asia and the Pacific, UNWTO
30.    Dr.  Taleb Rifai, Secretary General, UNWTO


Category tags