Buyers from 57 countries to participate in travel mart

Buyers from 57 countries will join tour operators from all over the country to participate in the upcoming edition of Kerala Travel Mart (KTM) to be held from September 28 – 30.

As of now, 1,379 domestic players from 20 Indian states have registered for the event. This includes 557 foreign buyers too.

The event is organized by the KTM Society in association with the state tourism department. It will be held at Samudrika and Sagara Convention Center in Kochi. The event will be inaugurated by Chief Minister, Pinarayi Vijayan on September 27 (World Tourism Day) at Hotel Le Meridian in Kochi.

At the inauguration the KTM Society will adopt a nine-point charter based on responsible tourism (RT).

“The KTM will help boost the state’s tourism industry in a bigger way. The tourism department will consider the suggestion put forward at the meet.” Tourism minister AC Moideen told media persons. The event will feature around 25,000 B2B meetings, providing a minimum of 80 business appointments for each seller apart from network dinners on all three days.

“This edition of the biennial event is themed on RT, Muziris and Spice Route. Around 10 products from various RT destinations including Kumarakom, Thekkady, Kovalam and Wayanad will be on display, apart from food courts by collectives like Kudumbashree,” said KTM Society president Abraham George.

The event is said to have around 265 stalls that will showcase a range of products, packages and services offered by tour operators, hotels, resorts, home stays, house boats, Ayurveda resorts and cultural art centers.

“Terming the KTM a unique model, tourism secretary Dr V Venu, “The government is spending Rs 2 crore for the event. However, the contribution from the trade is huge, in terms of complimentary post-tours for buyers and their accommodation, making the event a most successful public-private venture.”

This time the event will see the participation of few new foreign entrants like China, Japan, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Georgia, Chile, Greece, Iran and Botswana. There is also enhanced participation from traditional markets like the US, Canada and Australia.

“Now with an aggressive plan of action, we aim to increase the state’s annual tourism revenue from the current Rs 25,000 crore to Rs 30,000 crore,” said EM Najeeb, president of Confederation of Kerala Tourism Industry.

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