USAID launches Maya Devi Trail Development Initiative in Lumbini

Published On: May 24, 2024 04:00 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

LUMBINI, May 24: Over 104 runners gathered in Tilaurakot for the Maya Devi Trail Run, organized with support from the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and its partners to promote the development of the Maya Devi Trail and showcase tourism in Lumbini. Held on Buddha Jayanti (the birth anniversary of Buddha), the event highlighted the tourism potential of the region.

The Maya Devi Trail follows the footsteps of Queen Maya Devi, the mother of Buddha, from her palace in Kapilvastu to her parents' home in Devdaha, where Prince Siddhartha was born in the Sacred Garden.

"The development of the Maya Devi Trail aims to offer a unique experience, allowing tourists from around the world to walk along this historical trail, which can lead to greater prosperity for the region and country," stated Jason Meeks, Deputy Chief of Mission of the US Embassy.

Lumbini Province Chief Minister Jokh Bahadur Mahara expressed gratitude for USAID's support, emphasizing the initiative's role in transforming Lumbini through tourism development. "This is a first step towards transforming Lumbini through tourism development. We are thankful for USAID's support to develop and market the Mayadevi Trail," he said.

In collaboration with the Lumbini Development Trust, the Nepal Tourism Board, Young Innovations, and other partners, USAID is utilizing innovative technology and partnerships to highlight various tourism assets along the Maya Devi Trail and attract investment from both the private and public sectors. Since 2022, USAID assistance has helped businesses in the tourism sector generate nearly $7M in sales and catalyzed $11M in new investment for tourism in Nepal. These efforts include service upgrades in 53 hotels and restaurants in Chitwan, enhancements in 153 community-based homestays, refurbishment of 25 lodges on the Annapurna circuit, and the promotion of the Maya Devi Trail. This work is an important part of the US Government’s efforts to strengthen Nepal’s inclusive economic growth as the United States and Nepal celebrate 77 years of partnership.


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