Kochi, Sept 29: The ninth edition of the three-day Kerala Travel Mart (KTM) which aims to combine business with social responsibility in the tourism sector is a treat for all senses; with 265 stalls vying for the attention of over 1,800 buyers, the sellers are pulling out all the stops to make a standout statement with unique marketing tools.
There are houseboats, wooden forest cabins, spice bazaars and old tharavad (homestead) models conveying the variety of experiences that the state has on offer for the traveler.
For instance, the visiting buyers often do a double-take to see varieties of banana, tomato saplings in ‘grow bags’ and other local vegetables exhibited at a stall. It looks like a vegetable market, but it conveys, very aptly, the Kerala feel and the KTM 2016 promotion of tourism as something that involves and benefits the community.
But the innovative marketing goes beyond the rugged. Virtual reality (VR), which is still a nascent marketing tool in India, is being used to make what is perhaps the most truthful representation of the destination with a 360 degree feel for several key Kerala spots.
There are stalls handing out food — a jackfruit ada (dumpling) is a clever way to offer a very local taste that is unique for visitors.
Shri Abraham George, President, KTM Society, says that the stalls have not confined themselves to the idea of just promoting their individual business, but are conveying a social message. “The local community aspect that is demonstrated in many stalls demonstrates that the industry is not bogged down by limited ideas of business, but have a commitment to a social cause,” he said.
KTM 2016, at the Samudrika Convention Centre in Willingdon Island
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