Nagaland, December 11: 18th Hornbill Festival concluded on a cheering note embracing its unique culture. The ten day long festivities of the 18th Hornbill Festival 2017 registered record breaking turn out of visitors. The 2017 edition of the Hornbill Festival drew a record turnout of 2, 43, 214 visitors. This year’s total visitor count barely beat out the previous record of 2,43,113 visitors registered in 2015.
Miss Nagaland 2017, Marina Kiho, along with the runners up, Chief Minister TR Zeliang and Governor PB Acharya joined in on the lighting of bonfire, followed by a ‘unity dance’ of the various Naga tribes.
Speaking as the Chief Guest, Governor PB Acharya said the Hornbill Festival is designed in such a manner that it coincides with Statehood Day Celebration, which gives an opportunity to all the Naga tribes to converge at one location to showcase the best of their tribal costumes, songs and dances.
Governor thanked the Chief Minister, his Cabinet colleagues, particularly C Apok Jamir, Parliamentary Secretary for Tourism and Eshak Konyak, Parliamentary Secretary for Art & Culture and their officers and staff for successful conduct of the Hornbill Festival, which has become an international event now. He also congratulated the Information & Public Relations Department for giving wide publicity of all events.
He said this year’s Hornbill Festival was attended by a galaxy of high dignitaries including the President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, who inaugurated the festival on December 1.
People from different walks of life from across the world participated in this year’s Hornbill Festival which is a remarkable achievement for the Tourism Department, he said. As per reports, the number of tourists has increased manifold from previous years which is a positive sign thereby Nagaland has gained a notable position in the world tourism map, he added.
“Nagaland has the potential to become the most populous eco-tourism spot in the North East. We must take this advantageous position to address our unemployment problem. Tourism can be one of the biggest revenue earning departments,” he stated.
He also congratulated the departments who had put up stalls and pavilions – like Horticulture, Floriculture etc and also organized various cultural events like Night Carnival, Handshake Concert at Raj Bhavan, International Music Festival at Dimapur, International Rock contest 2017, Craftscape 2017, different competitions like Fashion Show etc. He conveyed his warm greetings to all the people and wished a Merry Christmas and prosperous New Year.
Parliamentary Secretary for Tourism, C Apok Jamir expressed hope that the ten-day celebration of the Hornbill festival provided an opportunity for the tourists to peep into the rich cultural heritage and tradition of Naga tribes. He appreciated the younger generation for taking the responsibilities in the celebration.
Chief Minister, TR Zeliang said the festival has gained popularity despite the remoteness of the state and the lack of proper infrastructure. This has been possible due to our collective effort, he said, expressing his gratitude to the people for the efforts put in and making the festival a grand success.
Expressing gratitude to the cultural troupes from other States including Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Tripura and Madhya Pradesh, Zeliang said their participation had contributed immensely towards cultural integration of the country besides, adding colour to the festival.