NET News Desk
The famed Hornbill festival of Nagaland is unlikely to be held this year due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The festival, which celebrates the cultural and traditional heritage of different tribes of the state may take a back seat in the wake of the pandemic.
The 10-day Hornbill Festival that usually starts on December 1 is attended by lakhs of people from across India and abroad. This could prove to be a major setback to the tourism industry of the state, as it is largely dependent on the mega festival to boost the sector.
As per reports, Tourism Advisor H Khehovi Yepthomi said, that the festival, which is being celebrated for over last the 20 years has enabled tour operators, hoteliers, guides, transporters and a myriad of handicraft artisans and restaurant owners to earn enough to sustain them through the lean monsoon season.
“The tourism industry is in a dire condition due to the pandemic and if the situation doesn’t improve, the state government may not be in a position to host the Hornbill Festival,” Yepthomi said.
He further said that small-scale theme-based events like Made in Nagaland, Crafted in Nagaland, Flowers of Nagaland could be held in the district headquarters of the state during the Hornbill season. This will also act as the right platform in giving opportunities to local entrepreneurs in rebuilding a community towards sustainability, which has always been the goal of Hornbill Festival.
Reportedly, the situation would once again be studied in October-November. The tourism sector of Nagaland is prepping for a steady reopening and Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) would soon be finalized.
Yepthomi, an MLA, said the Tourism Department would hold a consultative meeting with Kohima-based tribal hohos for their views before taking any decision on the Hornbill Festival.