Kerala Travel Mart (KTM), India’s largest tourism buyer-seller conclave to be held in Kochi from May 5 to 8, has elicited huge response from the domestic and foreign travel and hospitality industry, clearly reflecting the imminent surge in tourism activities, especially with air travel restrictions being lifted the world over.
So far, 374 foreign buyers and 1171 domestic buyers have registered for participation in the event, and the trend is set to go up in the coming days vouching the industry’s confidence in the post-pandemic resurgence of tourism.
The inaugural session of the KTM on May 5 will be followed by business meets on May 6 to 8 at Sagara and Samudrika convention centres at Willingdon Island, Kochi.
“The industry’s response to the ensuing edition of KTM has been extremely encouraging, especially after the Government of India announced its decision to lift air travel restrictions this month. The enquiries so far have even surpassed the response received by the pre-pandemic KTM conclaves”, said Baby Mathew, President of KTM Society, the organizer of the event.
The pro-active steps taken by the Kerala Tourism Department for quick revival of tourism in the state have imparted an added thrust to KTM, he said.
Though the prime focus of this edition is on the domestic buyers, the travel and tourism entrepreneurs from abroad are also showing great interest for participation, he said
“Arrangements are progressing well for the conduct of the business sessions in a hassle-free manner by adhering to Covid appropriate behaviour. We expect a meaningful buyer seller meet and interactions beneficial to all the participants,” Mathew added.
The conclave will be held in a 100,000 square feet venue. A fully green- compliant meet, all the transactions of this edition of KTM will be paperless.
The meet will feature excusive spaces to showcase ‘Keravan Kerala’, the state’s recently launched caravan tourism initiative, and the globally acclaimed Responsible Tourism.
Caravan Tourism, a trend-setting product that Kerala presents before the world, and Adventure Tourism will be the key themes of this edition of KTM.
The industry has reposed great confidence in Caravan Tourism as a unique product that Kerala Tourism has introduced after it emerged as a global brand with the houseboat tourism some four decades back. The immense potential of RT is also a prime theme of the meet, Mathew said.
The government’s initiatives to promote tourism in the Malabar region will also receive major attention at KTM.
Apart from the buyers and sellers, a record number of 75 foreign media representatives and 65 Indian media representatives have registered so far for attending the four-day event. Trips to Kerala’s prime tourism destinations have been arranged for the registered mediapersons and vloggers, before the conclave takes off. Trips for selected buyers have also been planned after the meet concludes.
The previous edition of KTM was held virtually in March 2021, amid the worldwide gloom cast by Covid-19. Still, it turned out to be a major success, demonstrating that tourism has a leadership role to play in tiding over the pandemic-inducted economic recession.