The first edition of Global Travel Market (GTM 2023) and expo drew to a close here on Saturday with leading players of travel and hospitality sector calling for stepping up promotional efforts focusing more on niche areas like experiential travel, wellness and heritage to tap the full potential of post-pandemic surge in tourism.
The four-day event, which saw a large number of business decisions being clinched during the B2B sessions by stakeholders from around the world, also stressed on firming up sectoral collaborations and government-industry relations to impart a further momentum to the highly promising sector.
GTM 2023 was organised by South Kerala Hoteliers Forum (SKHF), Trivandrum Chamber of Commerce and Industries (TCCI), Tavaz Ventures, Metro Media and Citrine Hospitality Ventures.
GTM CEO Siji Nair said the expo had participants from around 24 countries and more than 20 states, making the event a grand success. Overall, more than 1000 trade visitors, 600 plus domestic and 100 international tour operators and 100 plus corporate buyers attended the four-day September 27-30 summit. Around 45 corporates participated in the Corporate Speed Networking session of the event.
The travel and trade exhibition of GTM 2023, held at Travancore International Convention Centre, Greenfield International Stadium, Karyavattom, had 200 plus stalls of major hoteliers and resorts, tourism boards and organisations, airlines, travel agents, tour operators and travel tech innovators. The expo drew a big crowd on the final day.
The meet also had a series of insightful conversations on live topics with industry players and experts sharing their experiences and perspectives on imparting a further momentum to tourism related activities.
The diverse charms of south India and the beauty and heritage of south Kerala with the state capital region as the centre were a focal area of the meet. A familiarization tour was organised on September 30 to introduce the delegates to riveting tourist attractions like Jatayu Earth Centre, Ashtamudi Lake, Poovar, Thiruvananthapuram city, Varkala and Kovalam.
Addressing the valedictory session of GTM at Kerala Arts and Crafts Craft Village at Kovalam last evening, A Vincent, MLA, said it is vitally important to showcase products like Ayurveda, handloom, traditional cuisine and handicrafts before visitors and make them spend more days in the state. “GTM is a great endeavour in this direction,” the MLA noted.
GTM Chief Coordinator and General Convenor, Prasad Manjali; General Secretary, Kerala Tourism Development Association, Kottukal Krishnakumar; Immediate Past President of KTM, Baby Mathew; and MD of Sagara Resorts, Sisupalan were also present.
On Saturday, a seminar was held on ‘The Role of Media in Promoting the Tourism Industry’ at the expo venue. Asianet News Senior Vice President Anil Adoor; and Janmabhumi News Editor P Sreekumar spoke.