Nagaland’s annual Hornbill Festival, a globally spotlighted event, has been on the slide due to faulty infrastructure and event planning , as reported by New Indian Express.
The festival, named after the Hornbill, a fixture in most local folklore, was started as a significant event in 2003 but the necessary infrastructural push didn't take off. The cultural festival, showcasing the Naga tribes, set in the Kohima hills, has been facing a lot of criticism due to its poor catering to tourists in these areas.
Domestic and foreign tourists, both have been complaining of bad roads, hoodwinking hotels and cheating cabbies. Most importantly, there has been no response from the authorities, who are also accused of unannounced change in schedules of events.
Justine, a foreign tourist, complained in audio about the terrible information availability and infrastructure, which has gone viral. She has even said that there has been no response to the emails. Even local tourists like Ayu Chakraborti wrote about the lacklustre commutation and accommodation. The arbitrarily hiked fares of hotels and cab drivers is the general problem.
A Guwahati-based journalist, Karishma Hasnat, said that the tourists were appreciating the bigger picture - that of enjoying the vibrancy and uniqueness of the various tribes of Nagaland and said that was what brought back tourists despite the problems.
The tourism department, however, refutes Justine’s charges, saying it responds to every single mail sent to its website. They even claim that bus service and subsidised chopper service was there and ‘Tourist Police’ were present to drop tourists at their locations too.
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