Kochi, August 9: Providing unequivocal demonstration of the global stature and reach enjoyed by the Kerala Travel Mart (KTM), the largest gathering of tourism stakeholders in the state is set to host 57 countries with 10 first-time participants.
As well, the biennial meet’s upcoming ninth edition will see the biggest-ever delegate contingents from 10 prized traditional markets – including the US, Canada and Australia – in attendance.
Counting representation from the new entrants: China, Japan, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Georgia, Chile, Greece, Iran and Botswana, as many as 57 countries as also 20 Indian states are now scheduled to explore tourism opportunities in ‘God’s Own Country’ at the three-day event organised by the Kerala Travel Mart Society in association with Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala.
The number of registered international delegates attending KTM 2016, to be inaugurated on World Tourism Day, September 27, has swelled to 560. Domestic participation has been buoyed as well with some 1,304 domestic buyers expected to participate this year.
“The KTM has always placed as much emphasis on the identification of quality buyers from new countries as on retaining participation levels from conventional markets. With 10 new nations confirmed to participate this year, our efforts have borne fruit,” said KTM Society President Shri Abraham George.
“Moreover, the increase in registrations from the 10 conventional markets including United States, Canada and Australia- one of our stated goals going into this edition – is further proof of the KTM’s growing profile,” he added.
An array of products, services and packages from around 261 sellers including hotels, resorts, houseboats, Ayurveda resorts, homestays and tour operators, will find showcase at the event, which runs till September 30 at the Samudrika and Sagara Convention Centre on Willingdon Island, Kochi.
“For KTM 2016, we have extended the prefixed appointment system for domestic buyers which will help the business session more effective to both the sellers and buyers. The focus is for emphasizing more on quality,” said Shri Abraham.
KTM will witness 25,000 business meetings apart from other non-scheduled meetings.
The mart is designed to facilitate B2B networking and interactions among travel industry professionals and entrepreneurs from Kerala and across the world, thereby providing a vehicle for significant business linkages between the state’s tourism fraternity and the international travel market.
KTM 2016 will focus on the themes of ‘Responsible Tourism’ and the ‘Muziris and Spice Route’. In a unique attempt to promote the ‘Muziris and Spice Route’ theme, UNESCO together with Kerala Tourism and the Union Tourism ministry will host a ‘Spice Route Culinary Festival’ from September 23-26, in which leading chefs from the 31 member countries on the historic Spice Route will participate. The event is organised as a prelude to the Mart.
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