The Nagaland government has sanctioned Rs 5 crore for the 10-day Hornbill Festival 2019 which begins at Naga Heritage Village, Kisama, in Kohima on Sunday.

The biggest tourism event of the state will be turning 20 on Sunday, which coincides with 57th Statehood Day of Nagaland, with a series of events and activities.

MLA and adviser to tourism and art and culture department Khehovi Yepthomi said though the same amount of Rs 5 crore was sanctioned for the festival in 2018, the overall expenditure added up to Rs 7.98 crore and the total revenue was estimated at Rs 45 crore.

He said the department is expecting the figures to climb higher this year on both counts.

The legislator said the tourism and art and culture department sponsors the activities incorporated in the festival but the turnover belongs to the entrepreneurs and the various event organisers.

Nagaland Governor RN Ravi is the chief of the festival while chief minister Neiphiu Rio the host.

The mega festival is spread over different parts of the state from Kisama to Kohima, Mokokchung, Dimapur, Wokha and Phek districts.

Hornbill Festival 2018 recorded 2, 51, 701 visitors. Of this, foreign tourists comprised 2702, domestic visitors numbered 37,397 and local visitors 2,11,602.

The Hornbill Festival is intended to revive, protect and preserve the richness and uniqueness of the Naga heritage while continuing to draw visitors.

Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd will be the digital partner of the information technology, tourism and information and public relations departments of the state at the Hornbill Festival 2019.

Jio will provide data connectivity by installing free WiFi booths at different locations of the festival venue.

Jio has been working closely with the Nagaland government for the last three years for promoting the cultural and ethnic fabric of the Hornbill Festival.

Last year, an exclusive communication channel was set up on the Jio Chat mobile app.

People from across the globe got access to live streaming, video clips and photographs of significant events at Naga Heritage Village in Kisama.

Hornbill Festival 2018 was the first festival of eastern India to have data streaming of the event on social media.

Internet login banners were installed at strategic locations at the Naga Heritage Village at Kisama and Agri Expo in Dimapur, which helped people make voice calls and access free data.

This year too, Jio is going to provide live streaming of the event for 10 days on Jio TV.

Bhadra Gogoi

Bhadra Gogoi is Northeast Now Correspondent in Nagaland. He can be reached at: bhadragogoi@yahoo.com