Patna, Dec 24 (IANS) In a bid to promote Bihar tourism across the world, the state government plans to take help of Discovery Channel, officials said Friday.
Bihar Tourism Minister Sunil Kumar Pintu said the tourism department would sign an agreement with Discovery Channel to shoot a 53-minute documentary on over a dozen heritage sites in Bihar to promote tourism and attract tourists, particularly foreigners.
He told IANS that the decision to involve Discovery Channel to promote Bihar tourism and to attract tourists from across the world is a beginning of a fresh move to market brand Bihar.
'Bihar tourism has a potential to attract more tourists than other states, it only needs promotion and branding,' said Pintu.
According to him, with millions of Discovery Channel viewers across the world, this will give a boost to Bihar's tourism.
A tourism department official said that the channel's team will visit Bihar to formally sign an agreement.
The ministry official said that Bihar witnessed a significant increase in the number of foreign tourists over the past four years. From 95,000 foreign tourists who visited Bihar 2006, the numbers have risen to 5.21 lakh November 2010.
'It is a big jump that itself shows Bihar has a potential to attract foreign tourists,' an official said.
Similarly, the number of domestic travellers has also grown to 1.33 crore.
However, early this year a report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India lashed out at the Bihar government for failing to tap its tourist potential due to lack of planning and professional approach. The CAG report pointed out that the Bihar State Tourism Development Corporation Limited failed to meet the challenges despite immense tourist potential.
Bihar is well known for its heritage sites and popular Budhhist circuit of Bodh Gaya, Rajgir, Nalanda and Vaishali, besides, historical sites linked with Jainism.