Launching the poster for the India International Cherry Blossom Festival 2018 in New Delhi on Tuesday, Meghalaya chief minister Conrad Sangma and Institute of Bioresources and Sustainable Development (IBSD) director Prof. Dinabandhu Sahoo expressed confidence that the festival is going to be a mega event this year. They also urged people from across the nation and the international community to visit Shillong and enjoy the festival and the beauty of Northeast.
The festival which will be held in Shillong from November 14-17 is world's only Autumn Cherry Blossom festival. Addressing media persons at the Press Club of India, New Delhi, they said one can enjoy the full cherry blossom view at Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya, which will be in full bloom during November with pink and white cherry blossoms all along the roadside and the famous Ward’s lake.
Sahoo in his welcome address mentioned that the Cherry Blossom Festival generates huge employment and revenues for various cities and countries as lakhs of visitors from different parts of the world come to Japan, New Zealand and parts of Korea to witness the Cherry Blossom. In Washington DC alone, festival typically brings more than 1.5 million visitors and brings in $400 million in revenue every year.
The India International Cherry Blossom Festival 2017, which was celebrated to mark the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development attracted more than one lakh visitors and boosted the local economy by 300%, he added.
Appreciating the initiative by IBSD, Sangma said this was another way to deepen and strengthen relations with the Japan government through the exposition of the Japanese cultural events and cuisine, as the Embassy of Japan in India has come in as a strategic partner.
The India International Cherry Blossom Festival 2018 will celebrate the unique mass flowering of autumn Himalayan Cherry Blossoms with several cultural events at Shillong. Visitors can enjoy fashion shows, rock concerts, beauty pageant and even compete in an amateur golf tournament. Alongside, there will be stalls showcasing the region’s food, arts and crafts and several Japanese cultural events and a Japanese Food Pavilion in partnership with the Embassy of Japan in India.