Nagaland tourism prioritises quality over quantity — Temjen Imna Along
DIMAPUR — Contrary to the Union Ministry’s statistics ranking Nagaland as the second lowest state in terms of tourist footfall in the country, the state minister for Tourism, Temjen Imna Along, highlighted a different perspective.
According to the minister, taking into account the state’s population, the percentage of tourist footfall amounts to approximately 15% of the entire population and when the national statistics are examined based on population and area, Nagaland stands among the highest in terms of tourist influx.
Addressing media persons on the sidelines of the 17th Bishu Mini-Hornbill Tribal Festival held at Government High School playground in Dhansiripar on Sunday, the minister maintained that the evaluation of tourism in Nagaland goes beyond visitor numbers.
Rather than measuring the sheer number of tourists, the state government emphasises on a holistic approach, prioritising quality and the overall experience within the tourism industry, he said.
Acknowledging the global recognition of the Hornbill Festival, Along underscored that the uniqueness of tourism in the state extends beyond scenic beauty as it encompasses rich traditions and cultural vibrancy.
The state has come this far with dedicated efforts under the leadership of Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, and before him, Dr. SC Jamir, along with the state departments of Tourism and Art and Culture.
The minister also assured the state government’s commitment to attracting individuals seeking meaningful experiences and not just a destination for transient visits.
Positioning Nagaland as a land of experiential richness, tradition, culture and unique inclusiveness, especially with the much-awaited 25th edition of the Hornbill Festival due this year, he asserted that the state is committed to expanding infrastructure and taking the tourism sector to a new level.
On traffic congestion during the Hornbill Festival and the potential expansion of the festival site, minister Along said that the state government and the Tourism department are actively engaged in resolving the traffic challenges.
Pointing out that while the festival’s popularity is evident in the traffic jams observed during the festival, he said addressing the issue is not solely the government’s responsibility but requires environmental consciousness and responsibility from all attendees, be they local, domestic or international tourists.
Regarding the possibility of keeping the Kisama Heritage Village open beyond the Hornbill Festival, the minister responded that discussions are underway within the cabinet led by the chief minister and the Tourism department.
Without going into details, he said that they were ‘planning to do something after March.’
Emphasising that the government intends to open the heritage area “with responsibility and strategic planning,” he further urged young entrepreneurs to work diligently and provide tourists with the necessary and enriching experiences.
The 17th Bishu Mini-Hornbill Tribal Festival, organised by the Dimasa Public Organisation Nagaland (DPON) and sponsored by the Department of Tourism Nagaland, culminated on Sunday.