Nagaland Tourism and Higher Education Minister Temjen Imna Along on Monday said that tourist footfall in the state was approximately 15 per cent of the state’s total population, which is among the highest in the country.
“In terms of population and area, the inflow of tourists into Nagaland is one the highest in the country,” Along said while interacting with the media on the sidelines of the concluding day programme of the 17th Bishu Mini Hornbill Tribal Festival.
He said that tourism in the state had improved due to efforts of the government besides numerous efforts of the Tourism, Art and Culture departments and all the line departments.
Claiming that the annual Hornbill Festival was now known throughout the world, he said the state government looked at the tourism industry in a very holistic manner.
Stressing that the government wanted people to come and enjoy the land of the Nagas, Along said that the state's infrastructures are being developed.
In the 10-day long 24th edition of Hornbill Festival on December 1-10 more than 1,54,000, including over 2,000 foreign tourists participated.
The annual festival was a global showcase of Nagaland’s rich culture and diplomatic success with the participation by the US, Germany, and Colombia as partner countries.
Along said that the government envisioned to make the 25th Hornbill Festival, scheduled in December this year, a unique experience for all visitors.
“The state government is keen to promote Nagaland as a land of festivals, traditions, culture, and inclusiveness,” he said, adding that discussions are going on to make the Hornbill Festival a 24/7 event.
He said the government is mulling to open the heritage area round the clock.
The festival is also a tribute to the great Hornbill, which is an admired and revered bird by the Naga people, for its qualities of alertness and grandeur.
The Hornbill Festival of Nagaland, held at the picturesque Naga Heritage Village Kisama, about 12 km from Kohima, is a cultural extravaganza to revive, protect and preserve the richness and uniqueness of the Naga heritage.
A Nagaland Tourism Department official said that 'The Sydney Morning Herald', a leading daily in Australia, has identified Nagaland as one of the 16 most exciting tourist destinations in the world for 2024.