Kohima: The Nagaland government is all set to organise the popular Hornbill festival from December 1 to help artisans and entrepreneurs associated with textile, agriculture and allied sectors, state tourism advisor Khehovi Yepthomi said on Friday.

The 10-day programme, which boosts the local economy, will be held at Naga Heritage village Kisama, about 12 km from the state capital, Yepthomi, also a BJP MLA, told the assembly.

Hornbill Festival showcases the culture, heritage, food and customs of Naga tribes and people from these tribes come together to celebrate their traditions with colourful dance performances.

Termed the Hornbill event as the “festival of festivals”, he said the annual programme brings all the 17 tribes of the state on a platform and facilitates promotion of their culture to the rest of the world.

“Nagaland is known as the land of festivals as each tribe has its own traditions, language and culture and these are celebrated throughout the year during different seasons of the agricultural calendar.

“This festival is not only an annual cultural affair but also a window to experience the unique identity and legacy of our rich Naga traditions,” the tourism advisor said.

The Hornbill festival has been showcasing the culture of Nagaland for the last 21 years and providing opportunities for entrepreneurs to grow, he said.

It has promoted the state’s tourism and related businesses, he said.

Over 1.12 lakh tourists came to Nagaland during the Hornbill festival in 2016, while 2.82 lakh travellers visited in 2019.

The festival was celebrated virtually last year, amid the surge in COVID-19 cases in the country.

Citing a study on the economic impact of the festival, he said an investment of Rs 7 crore in the 2018 Hornbill festival translated into a revenue generation of Rs 45 crore.

The total turnover from spending on transportation, food, accommodation and local products was at Rs 100.73 crore in 2019, and the government pumped in around Rs 11.52 crore for the 10-day gala in that year, the tourism advisor said.

The annual festival has not only placed Nagaland on the World tourism map but has helped Nagas strengthen their bonding with culture and heritage and fostered inter-tribal interaction.

It generated a growing interest among people about the diverse and vibrant cultures of North East India, Yepthomi said.

He also announced that the 9th International Tourism Mart (ITM) will be held at Kisama in the state for the first time from Saturday.

ITM is an annual event organised by the Centre with the objective to promote tourism in the northeastern states and establish the region as an attractive destination for domestic and overseas travellers.

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