Nothing can stop tourists, or so it seems.
If the July 7 bomb blasts in Bodhgaya could not stop the inflow of foreigners, the rising dollar is no deterrent for residents of the state flying off to Zurich or Melbourne.
October to February is the state’s peak tourist season. At this time, foreign tourists flock to Bodhgaya. Residents also plan vacations, usually after Dussehra.
Hoteliers and tour operators said the trend has not taken a beating this year. If coastal hot spots such as Goa and Kerala are a huge hit for those staying back in the country, Malaysia, Singapore and Switzerland are few of the other favoured destinations.
The weak rupee has also given a boost to the inbound tourist flow. Tour operators said the number of visitors to Bodhgaya has hardly been affected because of the terror strike at and around the Mahabodhi Mahavihara on July 7.
Shailesh Kumar, the chief executive of Patna-based Nalanda Travels, said: “The inbound tourist flow started quite early this year and is almost the same as previous years. We have received bookings from at least 12 groups from foreign countries for periods between October and February.”
The inbound tourist flow in Bihar is mostly in the Buddhist sector with Bodhgaya occupying centre stage.
For the domestic tourists, coastal areas are among the most favoured destinations. “Kerala, followed by Goa, seems to top the chart for domestic tourists,” said Shailesh.
People from Bihar have also started to leave for Malaysia, Singapore, Switzerland and Australia. The comparatively expensive dollar has not stopped tour operators from coming up with attractive offers.