Hornbill Festival 2023 pulls 1.54 lakh visitors

Tourists mingle with dancers around the Morungs during 24th Hornbill Festival 2023 at Naga Heritage Village, Kisama. (Morung Photo)

Tourists mingle with dancers around the Morungs during 24th Hornbill Festival 2023 at Naga Heritage Village, Kisama. (Morung Photo)

Over 97% surge in foreign tourists

Our Correspondent
Kohima | December 10

The 24th edition of the ten-day Hornbill Festival 2023 drew a total of 154,057 visitors at Naga Heritage Village, Kisama.

Out of these visitors, 2,108 were foreigners, 37,089 were domestic tourists, and 114,860 were local tourists from Nagaland, according to Sedevizo Ziephru, Economics & Statistics Officer at the Directorate of Tourism.

Notably, the number of foreign tourists in 2023 almost doubled compared to the 2022 edition, when 1026 foreign visitors were registered, 

However, there was a decline in the number of domestic tourists, falling from 48,413 in 2022 to 37,080 in 2023 (around 23%). 

The overall number of visitors, however, marginally increased by 13,758 (9.81%) to a total of 154,057 in 2023, up from 140,299 in 2022.

The rise in local tourists from Nagaland, from 90,860 in 2022 to 114,860 in 2023 (over 26%), as well as an increase in foreign visitors, resulted in the higher figure in 2023. 

Inclement weathers between December 6 and 8 might have also impacted the arrivals to some extent; otherwise, the number could have been higher, based on total till Day-5 when the figure stood at 78,395. 

Accordingly, the attendance has yet to reach the pre-Covid level, which recorded 282,811 visitors in 2019, including 3,015 and 55,558 foreign and domestic tourists, respectively, while the rest, 224,212, were locals.

The 19th edition in 2018 also registered a total of 251,701 visitors - 2,702 foreign, 37,397 domestic, and 211,602 locals, according to records available with The Morung Express.

Meanwhile, 28,708 visitors were registered on December 10, the last day of the festival, including 23,583 local tourists from Nagaland, 5,032 domestic tourists, and 93 foreign tourists.
On Sunday, hundreds of visitors made a beeline for the last day of Festival 2023 at Kisama.

This mad rush on the final day caused a heavy traffic jam, with some taking almost four to five hours from the main town to reach Kisama. 

The Kohima Night Carnival in the main town also attracted a huge number of visitors this evening. 

Officials  from Kohima Chamber of Commerce & Industries (KCCI) informed that this time the number of visitors was much higher than in previous years.

Mentionably, the  ten-day long Hornbill Festival 2023, which is "Festival of Festivals"  was marked by showcase of the  rich and diverse culture and tradition of the Nagas including  handloom and handicrafts, millet festival, Hornbill International Photo Fest, VLOG contest, Kids Carnival, People's Festival, Nagaland Off Road, Night Carnival, Hornbill World War 11 Peace Rally, Bee & Honey  Trail, Indigenous Games, Rice Pounding Competition, Chicken Coop Making Competition,  Disability  Pride Fair, 8th Regional Saras Fair, Naga Craft Portfolio, Miss Hornbill International, Dzukou Experience, Tuophema Experience, Naga Chef, Miss Nagaland pageant, Khonoma Experience, Hornbill Darts Masters, City tour, Hornbill Sports Festival, Nagaland Literature Festival, Hornbill Music Festival, International Hornbill Naga Wrestling, Win fest, Mezoma Experience, Handshake Concert, Ledi Kro-u Traditional Lifestyle, village/Heritage walk to Kohima, Kigwema, Phusachodu,  The Great Hornbill Run, Hornbill Angling Festival, Bamboo Carnval, SDG one stop destination, Native Epitome, 9th Loinloom festival, 2nd Hornbill Open Benchrest Air Rifle shooting, Wokha Winter Fiesta, 6th Nagaland Strongest and Fittest Man Competition, Tsiituo Gate Pulling Ceremony, Kairos Fall Winter 2023, 4th Nagaland Film Festival, North East Cultural extravaganza, Hornbill Physique Championship, King of the Hills Downhill Race, Winter Carnival/ Orchid Festival, Hortiscape etc.