Buddhist sites new destination for Thai Airways

DPA, Oct 26, 2006

Bangkok, Thailand -- Thai Airways International (THAI) will fly to three new destinations in India from next week to tap the country's growing business and tourist attractions.

THAI's executive vice president Narongchai Sangapong announced that the airline will open new flight routes to Hyderabad, Bodh Gaya and Varanasi starting on Oct 31.

Hyderabad is a centre for India's information technology, while Bodh Gaya and Varanasi are places of importance for Buddhism, as the site of Buddha's enlightenment and where he preached his first sermon, respectively.

More than 90 percent of the Thai population of 65 million profess to be followers of Buddhism, a world religion that started in Nepal and India.

"India is a country with high growth potential, particularly in the areas of trade, investment, and tourism," said Narongchai, explaining THAI's decision to expand its market in India.

"The introduction of THAI's new destinations supports the expansion of business and investment opportunities, as well as religious tourism for Buddhists seeking travel to India," he added.