New Delhi: In a major bid to woo Chinese tourists to India, the Union Tourism Ministry has decided to put up signage all across the Buddhist circuit in Chinese, sources said on Sunday.
The ministry's decision to put up signage in foreign languages at major destinations is part of a plan to attract 20 million foreign tourists by 2020.
While 50 lakh Chinese tourists travel globally, India's share currently is only 3.5 lakh, they said.
"The Chinese are ardent travellers and we want them to come to India. The Buddhist Circuit is the immediate target now and eventually we are going to expand it to include signage in Chinese in all Archaeological Survey of India sites as well as museums," the source said.
The sites which will be covered include Nalanda, Rajgir, Vaishali, Kesharia and Vikramshila in Patna circle, Sarnath, Chaukhandi and Kidhinagar under Sarnath circle, Sravasti and Kapilavastu in Lucknow circle and Sanchi, Bhashut and Satdhara under Bhopal circle.
As part of the plan, the ministry installed sign boards in Sinhala, the language spoken by a majority of Sri Lankans, at Sanchi Stupa in Madhya Pradesh on Saturday. The sign boards in Sinhala have been put up after a survey indicated that over 30 lakh Sri Lankans visit the site. They are followed by about 3 lakh tourists from South Korea.
While the Chinese are the top priority, the ministry is also planning to put up sign boards in Sinhala, Japanese and Korean at places like Sarnath in Uttar Pradesh and Bodh Gaya in Bihar, which are frequented by large numbers of tourists from Sri Lanka, Japan and South Korea.