Footfall at this year’s India International Cherry Blossom Festival in Meghalaya has tripled compared to last year’s count, making it one of the most popular events for tourists in the state, officials said.
The festival was held during November 8-11 at the scenic Wards Lake, dotted with pink and white cherry blossoms, and at the Polo Grounds where tourists watched shows depicting local culture and tasted food and brew of the region. “There were 35,556 adults and 1,343 children who visited the Wards Lake during the four-day festival period, and a total of Rs 3.74 lakh was collected as entry fees,” state Forest and Environment Secretary A Mawlong told PTI.
The footfall during the festival period has “tripled” as compared to 2016, the first year of the event, he said. The fee collection amount at the venue, too, more than doubled from Rs 1.4 lakh last year, the official said. The number of visitors at Polo Grounds was nearly 60,000 on all the four days, as against about 20,000 a year ago, an official of the Institute of Bio-Resources and Sustainable Development (IBSD) said.
The festival is an initiative of the Imphal-based IBSD, and is jointly organised with the Forest and Environment Department of the state. In countries like Japan, US, Switzerland and Korea, such events are usually organised in spring.