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Association of Buddist Tour Operations 

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Dear patrons,

Warm greetings from Association of Buddhist Tour Operators (ABTO=The Platform of Tourism with Buddhism). ABTO is a forum of the Buddhist Pilgrimage Travel industry. Established in 2015 in Nalanda – the land of Dhamma, it has close connections and constant interaction with other Buddhist associations in the world, and is increasing its international networking with professional bodies for better facilitation to national or international Buddhist Pilgrims and travelers visiting Buddhist heritage sites in the region.

ABTO interacts closely with the respective government son critical issues affecting the Buddhist Tourism Industry of the region. It interacts closely with all the government ministries, departments, chambers of commerce and industry and diplomatic missions etc. It functions as a bridge between the decision makers and the industry, synergizing their common agenda for Wisdom Tourism facilitation. All ABTO members observe the highest standards of professional ethics and offer personalized service to the Buddhist Pilgrimage Travelers.

ABTO is a common forum of like-minded tour operators who are promoting Buddhist tour packages. It expects to work as an industry lobby by coordinating with the government agencies and other concerned stakeholders for bringing favorable policies for business and doing away with obstacles hindering business of our member agencies.

In a world beset with many problems and causing great stress to humans and others alike, the Utopian Vision of ABTO is to bring to focus the truth of Dhamma as expounded by the Buddha with visits to the serene locations and enabling one and all to find the inner peace and happiness. 

In this noble exercise there is a compelling need to ensure that all the sacred places associated with Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha are maintained and preserved for not only the present but for the future. In this context ABTO works with all governments, government agencies and other concerned stakeholders for maintenance and preservation of all sacred places.
Buddhist Tourism is not one where people only visit the various sites, venerate and do sightseeing but also where the pilgrims are inculcated with the noble truth of Dhamma as expounded by the Buddha as well as taken in the noble path to purification with Mindfulness and Vipassana Meditation. In our noble endeavor we, therefore, will ensure that pilgrims of whatever nationality from whatever nation is given the greatest value with these pilgrimage tours for their emancipation, peace and happiness. 

ABTO, which has the blessing of its Supreme Council of Buddhist venerable, has a managing committee selected from amongst the members. Let me introduce the founding Executive Committee of ABTO, which will have a two-year term, as under:

Supreme Council
Ven. Seevali Bhante, Mahabodhi Society of India, Sarnath Branch
Ven.Sanghasena Mahathera,President, Mahabodhi International Meditation Centre, Leh, Ladakh.

Patron:
Dr Subhash Goyal, MD STIC Travel, New Delhi

Advisors
Prof Ravindra Panth, IBC and Prof of Buddhist Studies, Gautam Buddha University, Delhi NCR, Greater Noida.

Dr Vasanta Bidari, Archeologist based in Lumbini, Nepal

Dr. Sunil Kumar Patnaik, Archeologist & Buddhist Scholar, Orissa

Legal Advisor 
Mr. Jyoti Kapoor, Chairman, Vietrade Tours & Travels Pvt. Ltd.  New Delhi-24

Honarary Advisor
Dr. Sunil Kumar Pathnaik, Archeologist & Buddhist Scholar, Odisha
President
Mr. Ran Vijay Singh, MD, SHASHI Group of Companies

Vice President  & International Vice Coordinator
Mr. Bikram Pandey Kaji, Good-will Ambassador, Lumbini Development Trust, Government of Nepal

Secretary General
Dr Kaulesh Kumar, MD, Hans Holidays, Nalanda

Treasurer:
Mr. Pradip Rai, MD Skyline Travel, Varanasi

Managing Committee members:
1. Mr. Ravi Gosai, MD, Erco Travel, New Delhi
2. Mr. HariharPatra, MD, Toshali Group, Bhubaneswar
3. Mr. Goswami, MD, Avinandan travel, New Delhi
4. Mr. Bishwajit Singh, GM, HHI group of Hotels
5. Mr. Prakash Pant, Indo Nepal Tour, Kathmandu
6. Mr. Ravi Banker, Consultant of Buddhist Circuit, World Bank
7. Mr. Raj Basu, MD, HELP Tourism, Siliguri
8. Mr. Mihir, Research Scholar, North East States of India

International Coordinator
Mr. Vijay Mohan, MD Holiday World, Visakhapatnam,

Country Heads
Nepal -- Mr.Ravindra Sharma, MD, City max Hotel, Lumbini, Nepal
Cambodia – Mr. Shiva, MD, Boom Boom Travel
Sri Lanka – Mr. Sugath Rajapakse, GSA, Air India
Malaysia -- Mrs. Rani Ramasamy, Travel consultant
Bhutan --  Mr. Dupto, MD, Shangri-La Tours

State Coordinators
  • Southern States of India: Mr. Gagan Sarangi, MD, Dove Tours, Bhubaneswar, Orissa
  • Bihar:  Mr. Ranjit Mishra, MD, Heritage International Travel, Bodh Gaya
  • Uttar Pradesh: Mr Abhijeet Roy, MD, Incredible Destination, Varanasi
  • Gujarat:  Mr. Sanket Shah, MD, Compass Tourism, Ahmadabad  
  • North East: Mr. R.K. Sharma, MD, Seven Sisters Holidays, Imphal, Manipur
  • West Bengal:  Mr. Prosanto Majhi, Director, Ankur Tour & Travels, Kolkata.

Hence, I request all the stakeholders of the Buddhist Pilgrimage Tourism industry to become members of the association, exchange their experiences and help making this industry a vibrant sector of the tourism industry. Let’s unite for the promotion of Peace, Happiness and Harmony, serving the Path of the Buddha Dhamma.

Thank you.
Regards,
Dr. Kaulesh Kumar (M.A. in Buddhist Studies)
Secretary General


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