The July 7 blasts in Bodh Gaya do not seem to have affected the tourist inflow. One of the reasons: tour operators are playing down the incident.
Tourists from Vietnam, Japan, China and Korea, continue to flock to the temple town, which clocks a footfall of one million foreigner visitors annually. Non familiarity with the English language, let alone vernacular languages, is helping keep things under wraps.
Domestic tour operators — in New Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, the three most preferred entry points for any tour of the Buddhist circuit — with international tie-ups are capitalising on this ignorance.
Rakesh (name changed), a guide of a New Delhi-based travel agency, admitted that he and his colleagues were instructed not to mention the blast unless they got specific queries. “A group of 15 Vietnamese tourists had to be in Bodh Gaya the day after the blasts. There was no point scaring them,” he said.
Trang Thauh Quang, tour leader of a Vietnamese travel agency and travelling with the group, confirmed the ‘deal’.
“We are not the only ones concealing the news about the blast. This is in our business interest,” he added.