9th Kerala Travel Mart to focus on Responsible Tourism

Registrations for the Sept 2016 event at Kochi to begin in January


Thiruvananthapuram, Nov 30: The 2016 edition of Kerala Travel Mart (KTM), which is the largest gathering of tourism stakeholders in the state, will be held in Kochi in end-September with focus on Responsible Tourism.

Informing this, Tourism Minister Shri A.P. Anil Kumar said the Samudrika Convention Centre will be the venue for the September 28-30 event being held by Kerala Travel Mart Society, in partnership with the state’s Tourism Department.

KTM 2016 is expected to attract nearly 1,100 buyers from around the country and abroad, he told a media conference here, while briefing about the ninth edition of the annual event for which the registrations will start in January.

“KTM 2016 will reach out to buyers from new markets like Australia, Austria, Brazil, Chile, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Middle East, Norway, Poland, South Africa, Sweden and USA, with special emphasis on raising the quality of participation next year,” he added.

KTM, the minister noted, has contributed largely to the development of tourism industry in the state. “As the responsible tourism campaigntitled ‘God’s Own Country, People’s Own Tourism’ goes, we hope to popularise the concept among the common man,” he said.

KTM brings together business entrepreneurs offering various tourism products and services, including tour operators, hotels, resorts, homestays, houseboats, Ayurveda resorts and cultural art centres, on to a single platform and facilitates their meeting and interaction with buyers from around the world.

The Mart will also project Kerala as an ideal breakaway destination for weddings and honeymoons along with its Ayurveda and leisure products—all of which are emerging segments for tourism destinations—with the aim of increasing the state’s tourism market share by an additional Rs 5,000 crore.

Kerala Tourism Secretary Shri G. Kamala Vardhana Rao said a break-up of present statistics showed United Kingdom as the country that brought in the maximum percentage (17) of international tourists to the state. This is followed by  France, US and Germany. “Our aim is to increase the number of tourist from the US in the next two years”, he revealed, while reeling out relevant figures of the state tourism over the last five years.

“The state tourism department will hold talks with the private airlines to bring about a slash in the air fare for more inflow of tourist to the state”, he said.

The Minister released a book on Kerala tourism Statistics 2014. Kerala Tourism Director Shri PI Sheik Pareeth and Additional Director-General Shri TV Anupama besides KTM President Shri Abraham George were also present at the occasion.

Shri George said the success of KTM has been the result of joint efforts between the sectors of trade and tourism along with the government.  “The government has assured all help for this year’s ninth edition as well,” he added.

Further, it is the only travel mart in the country to showcase a single destination. KTM will highlight the success of Responsible Tourism in Kerala by bringing to centre stage Thekkady, which recently won the PATA CEO Challenge top destination award. “We will be tapping more markets this year with 266 stalls,” the KTM president added. “Our marketing committee will identify more markets. We are looking forward to open markets in China and Middle East.”

KTM, which is held once every two years, is the only travel mart in the country to showcase a single destination. The 266 stalls of ninth edition will spread over 75,000 square feet of air-conditioned space and include food courts, press room and other key facilities.

The ‘Hosted Buyer programme’ is a unique component of KTM. It provides the buyers an opportunity to meet with the exhibitors of their choice for focused one-to-one sessions with pre-fixed appointments. Select buyers will receive complimentary accommodation, local transfers, a post-Mart FAM Tour and participation at networking evenings.

 The pre-registration of buyers will commence on January 5, 2016. Each pre-registration form will be scrutinized by a committee. Registration for sellers will begin by February.

For more details and updates visit www.keralatravelmart.org

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