Kohima, May 5 (MExN): The Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) has defended the government’s decision to have mini Hornbill festivals around the State coinciding with the respective tribal festival.
In response to the Opposition’s criticism of the same, NDPP in a statement today said, “It is unfortunate that the opposition is criticizing the decision without actually understanding the positive benefits of this policy initiative.” Instead of promoting Nagaland as a tourist destination to the outside world, it alleged, the previous government made “serious efforts” to reduce tourism related events and programmes.
The party maintained that the mini Hornbill festivals will give a boost to tourism throughout the State, which in turn will have a multiplying effect on all aspects and further enhance the local economy and employment generation. “Growth in tourism will boost economic growth, generate local employment, besides motivating the youth to promote culture, handloom and handicrafts, sports, music, arts, creativity and innovation which Naga youths are blessed with in abundance,” it added.
“Besides inculcating a strong sense of pride in our rich cultural heritage, much revenue can be earned thereby giving rise to a sustainable local economy. Most importantly, emphasis on tourism gives opportunities to our youth in dozens of sectors and it allows the youth to be positive contributors to economic growth and enables them to participate in a proactive manner in our common endeavors of shaping a new and welcoming image of Nagaland to the global community,” the statement read.
Referring to a recent survey which ranked Nagaland 27th in the country in tourism, NDPP further asserted “together we need to change this ranking for the better.” It meanwhile said an independent assessment indicated that with an investment of around Rs. 5 crores by the State Government, conservative figures estimated approximately more than 50 crores revenue to the local economy during the Hornbill Festivals.
“The local entrepreneurs avail the opportunity to earn well from events like the Hornbill Festival and the longer and more expansive the festival, the better for our entrepreneurs not only in Kohima and Dimapur but across the length and breadth of the State,” NDPP added.
Mini Hornbill festivals, it opined, will serve as an opportunity for the benefits and economic impacts to percolate to all the districts, making Nagaland tourism real and inclusive. “The PDA government’s development agenda will enable the interior areas and all districts to improve and upgrade the existing facilities such as comfortable accommodation, transport and conveyance, better road and communication facilities, specialized training for tour operators and tourist guides and travel agencies etc. Another beneficial aspect will be the documentation of our rich cultural heritage, stories and legends not only for tourists and visitors, but for the local populace too.”
NDPP held that the PDA government aims to empower the tribal Hohos and popularize tribal celebrations into national and international events so that Nagaland and the Nagas are known for positive and wonderful aspects. Hoping that the “sincere effort” will evolve into a cohesive partnership between the government, the tribal Hohos, and the people, it requested all sections of society to join hands with the government towards achieving sustainable economic development.