Do more to promote Mother Teresa: IATO to Bengal

Kolkata, Jan 5 (IANS) The Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) on Tuesday urged the West Bengal government to promote the state and its capital’s links to Mother Teresa for tourism opportunities.

“I would request the Bengal tourism department to promote Mother Teresa. In Europe, shrines built in memory of saints, who are not much popular worldwide, are promoted. Although Bengal is doing its bit to promote, it can do more,” IATO president Subash Goyal told the media here at the ‘Travel India 2016’ meet.

Mother Teresa will be canonised as saint of the Roman Catholic Church in 2016, the Vatican and the Missionaries of Charity announced recently.

However, when quizzed by the media on any plans to promote Kolkata as a tourism destination for followers of Mother Teresa, a top official of the Bengal tourism department said there were no such discussions at the moment.

Born Agnes Gonxhe Bojaxhiu in Skopje in Macedonia in 1910, she started serving the poor with the Sisters of Loreto in 1928 and arrived in India in 1929. After working with the Sisters of Loreto till 1948, she founded the Missionaries of Charity in 1949.

She dedicated her life to caring for the impoverished and sick people in Kolkata (then Calcutta) and this earned her a Nobel Peace Prize in 1979.

Asked about whether the Pathankot attack would hit potential tourism opportunities, Goyal said all countries bear the brunt of terrorism but it doesn’t affect tourism.

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