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Hornbill festival in Nagaland likely to take place if Covid situation remains under control

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In the aftermath of the COVID-19 outbreak, there is a hint of doubt on whether to organise Nagaland’s famous Hornbill Festival, according to a top official. The Hornbill Festival, which normally begins on December 1, honours the culture and legacy of the state’s various tribes. Thousands of people from India and around the world attend.

The tourism business is in bad shape as a result of the pandemic, and if things don’t improve, the government may not be able to hold the event, according to Tourism Advisor H Khehovi Yepthomi.

Tourism business in Nagaland heavily reliant on the big event

Hornbill festival

Mr. Yepthomi explained that the event allows tour operators, hoteliers, guides, transporters, and a variety of handcraft craftsmen and restaurant owners to earn enough money to get them through the poor monsoon season.

Since February, we have had no tourist traffic, and we are confident that if this trend continues, the entire sector would collapse in another six months,” he continued. Thousands of people make trip arrangements not just to Nagaland but also to many other Northeastern states for the festival, which has been conducted for the past 20 years.

In response to PM Narendra Modi’s Atma Nirbhar Bharat

Small-scale theme-based events, such as Made in Nagaland, Crafted in Nagaland, and Flowers of Nagaland, can be organised at district headquarters, according to Mr. Yepthomi, to avoid crowding. This will also serve as the ideal platform for giving local entrepreneurs opportunities to create a community toward sustainability, which has always been Hornbill Festival’s goal, he noted.

He also stated that the tourism business in the state will have a chance to recover
After evaluating the ground realities in October and November, he said, the festival’s size and type may be considered.

Mr. Yepthomi said the Tourism Department is working on a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for a smooth reopening, and that the sector will have to redesign its services and utilities, as well as institute certain protocols, such as social distancing rules, contactless payment, and management of the number of people in a facility.

He said the department is working to establish Destination Management Organizations in collaboration with representatives from key state departments such as Health, Home, Transportation, and Municipal Affairs to ensure a smooth flow of tourists and the safe and long-term use of tourism services and infrastructure.

Before making any decisions about the Hornbill Festival, Mr. Yepthomi, an MLA, said the Tourism Department would host a consultative meeting with Kohima-based tribal hohos to get their input.

He stated that the administration has begun gathering information on approximately 20,000 people who returned to the state from other areas of the country as a result of the lockdown in order to perform skill development training and place them in the hospitality sector. We are attempting to find work possibilities for these individuals and will announce the details in the coming weeks, he said.

Govt of Nagaland has announced unlock-6

The Nagaland government has decided to extend the ongoing process of unlocking in response to the Covid-19 pandemic by two weeks, until September 30, with additional relaxations, including the opening of schools from grades five to ten, officials said.

Since July 1, the Nagaland government has been publicising the unlocking process in phases, with the current Unlock phase five ending on Thursday, they stated.

According to a notification issued by the home department on Wednesday, the decision to enforce Unlock-6 from September 17 to 30 with additional relaxations was made at a review meeting of the High Powered Committee (HPC) on Covid-19 held here on September 13 under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio.

According to the notification, 100% attendance will be permitted in all government offices during this phase of unlocking, subject to adherence to Covid-19 proper behaviour and completion of existing requirements for immunisation or testing for presence in office.

The administration also declared that regular courses will be held in all rural schools in the state for pupils in grades five through ten, with a minimum of 50% attendance and adherence to the standard operating procedure.

Also Read: Nagaland’s Sunep Lemtur wins Silver Play Button from YouTube

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