The World Bank through the Pakistan Provincial Councils of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sri Lanka Tourism, under the Ministry of Tourism and Christian Religious Affairs is planning to develop vast Buddhist Heritage Tourism through a strategic partnership.
This will not only be a good opportunity to get foreign help to protect and preserve Buddhist heritage sites but will also showcase the expertise of Sri Lankan craftsmanship in building the ancient Buddhist worship sites , including the sculptures, murals and paintings promoting Sri Lanka as a great nation consisting of talented artisans. It will also showcase the scenic beauty of the pearl of the ocean.
Thus this attempt by Sri Lanka Tourism is a good step taken on preserving Buddhist Heritage and also showcasing the development growth that Sri Lanka is going through as a country. Partnering with the international community to develop Buddhist Heritage Tourism will definitely give a boost to the tourism sector as well.
Today many foreigners are interested in learning Buddhism and getting to know about the Buddhist culture and history, so this will be a great opportunity for them to get to know about it more, since Sri Lanka is a Theravada Buddhist country and the majority of the country being Buddhists.
In order to facilitate the preparation of this mission, an eleven member team of the concerned government officials from Pakistan with the World Bank Officials participated on the meeting of Buddhist Heritage and Culture Tourism. As part of their intentions of developing and learning about Buddhist Heritage, They met Sri Lankan Buddhist scholars and lecturers and shared knowledge partnerships and discussed about student transfer programmes and lecturer transfer programmes. The delegation met officials of Sri Lanka Tourism to convey their intentions of promoting Buddhist Heritage Tourism. They also held a meeting with the Chairman of SLTPB , P.M Vithana and other senior officials, and the delegation was handed a token of appreciation thereafter.
The foreign officials were of the view that “they can learn a lot from Sri Lanka and Sri Lanka can absolutely take off “. Thus the collaboration between Sri Lanka Tourism and Pakistan will certainly take the Buddhist Heritage Tourism towards a new dimension and mark Sri Lanka on the world map as a country which consists of scenic beauty, cultural heritage which dates back to 2500 years, and also depicts the beauty of Buddhism and its teachings. Later on the delegation also visited the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage and the temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic in Kandy as a part of their tour.