Travails of ordinary visitors to Hornbill

Travails of ordinary visitors to Hornbill
Khiamniungan cultural troupe performing a dance Tuesday at the Hornbill Festival. (NP)
Correspondent KOHIMA, DEC 4 (NPN) | Publish Date: 12/4/2018 11:12:12 AM IST

Hornbill Festival, billed as the ‘mother of festivals’ and an international one at that, has managed to continue for the past 18 years, since 2000 when the idea took shape, to celebrate Nagaland Statehood Day through a kaleidoscope of cultural items. Since then, Hornbill Festival has been sustained mainly because the state government has been the main organiser and event manager of the entire ten-day hectic ‘cultural festival-turned-carnival’ that temporarily freezes the entire state machinery.

There has been both positive and negative aspects of the Hornbill Festival and to the credit of the state government, for creating an interesting programme, compressed to ten days for giving that boost to tourism. 

In a recent post on social media, a foreign tourist reveals the various problems faced while visiting Nagaland to witness the much-hyped Hornbill International Festival.

One complaint was that the government website on Hornbill was not interactive since queries are never answered. Many travel on their own and on reaching Kohima, are literally left without any place to stay as all hotels have been booked months ahead. The home-stays in and around Kohima have helped but the problem of high cost of food items and conveyance left much to be desired.

One point noted was that the Hornbill Festival should maintain and showcase Naga local cultural flavour and not turned it into a mish-mash of various cultures from other states. 

The state government spends a huge amount for the ten-day festival and this year the budget was put at around Rs.5 crore but sources said the figure could go much higher.

Those who earn the most out of Hornbill Festival are said to be tour operators from outside Nagaland who ferry in tourists.

The festival has earned a niche for itself as among the important tourist attractions in India and abroad but the issue of air and rail connectivity from other parts of India to Dimapur, has been a big disappointment. 

To promote tourism, the state government needs to prioritise connectivity to and from Dimapur. Also all those running hotels, guest houses and home-stays etc. should come up with a proper rate structure for food and lodging that is affordable and all these could be uploaded on the Hornbill website for tourists with all necessary information.


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