This was possible despite the bifurcated state having limited infrastructural facilities and not so encouraging law and order situation.
Official sources, qouting latest available figures here today, said of the total 1,07,64714 tourists between January and December 2006, 20,12,647, including 3964 foreigners, visited the capital city. This was followed by 11,40,108 tourists, including 3338 foreigners, visiting Gaya and 5,13,790, including 52,917 foreigners, going to Bodhgaya last year.
These apart a total of 3,48,22 domestic and 10,885 foreign tourists visited Rajgir,1,41,547 domestic and 2469 foreign visitors toured Raxaul near Indo-Nepal border during the same period, the sources said. Even in Vaishali more than 2.61 domestic and 11,461 foreign visitors arrived followed by 65,639 tourists, including 8703 foreigners, in Muzaffarpur.
About 400,000 tourists, including 1709 foreigners also visited Sonepur,the site of the world's largest cattle fair,last year.
Describing the difference between the number of domestic and foreign visitors in the state was very wide primarily because of inadequate facilities and poor law and order besides, several other factors,the sources said,however, necessary steps had already been initiated to promote Bihar tourism in big way.
Keeping in mind the huge growth potential of tourism in the mineral rich state which also enjoyed a considerable forest cover besides being rich in flora and fauna,the state government had chalked out a plan to promote tourism in a big way and had appointed a consultant so that more tourists could come to the state,the sources added.