Kohima: More than 1.54 lakh people, including foreigners and domestic tourists, visited the picturesque Naga heritage village Kisama, where the Hornbill festival was held, this year. The 10-day gala event, which began on December 1, is an annual tourism promotion programme of the Nagaland government and has been considered the festival of festivals. The festival witnessed a footfall of 1,54,057 visitors, an increase of 13,758 from the previous year, the state tourism department said.
The total includes 1,14,860 locals, 37,089 domestic tourists, and 2,108 foreigners, it said. The number of foreign visitors increased by around 100 percent from 1,026 in 2022 to 2,108 this year. The data also showed that there was a sharp decline of domestic tourists by over 11,000 as the number was at 48,413 in the previous year. The highest footfall at 23,583 was recorded on Sunday, the last day of the festival, while the second biggest turnout was 18,002 on December 3, the tourism department said.
The festival has been showcasing Nagaland's deep-rooted traditions and its rich cultural heritage in all its ethnicity, diversity, and grandeur, an official said. Tourists praised the state government in visitors' dairy at various locations within the vicinity of Kisama, some 12 kilometers from the state capital Kohima. All the tribes of Nagaland take part in the festival, named after the hornbill bird which is present in their folklore. People enjoyed Naga food, songs, dances, and customs during the festival.