Kerala Travel Mart (KTM) 2020 is slated to roll out its publicity campaign with a string of roadshows starting tomorrow (February 18, Tuesday) in the run-up to the 11th edition of the country’s biggest tourism event.
The February 18 programme in Green Gates Hotels of this hill district at 4 pm will herald the details of the stalls and the guidelines regarding their functioning at the September 24-27 biennial event at Kochi. KTM 2020, which will bring entrepreneurs across India and abroad to the state’s products and services in the travel industry, is being held at the Sagara and Samudrika Convention Centre of Cochin Port Trust in Willingdon Island off Kochi.
The pre-event roadshows, totaling five, will facilitate attendance of KTM members and enable clarification of doubts related to the event, organisers said. The upcoming roadshows are at Munnar (Idukki district, Feb 25), Kumarakom (Kottayam, Feb 27), Alappuzha (Feb 28) and Thekkady (Idukki district, March 5).
As the July 31 deadline for the pre-registration of KTM 2020 nears, the edition is getting warm response with close to 1,000 applications coming in during the first three weeks of the procedure that started on January 20. Of these, 548 applications are from within the country, 165 from abroad. These include 47 entries from the international media and 21 from the domestic.
“The pre-registration rush shows that KTM continues to show the faith people have in the event,” said KTM President Baby Mathew Somatheeram. “The 2018 KTM could give Kerala’s tourism to new direction and fresh energy after the natural calamity the state faced that year. The coming edition, too, will toe that line, aiming to present innovative products and services that can rejuvenate the sector,” he added the head of the 2000-founded Society, which is Kerala’s biggest tourism body.
The organisers will scrutinise the applications for the event that gives opportunities to world-class buyers and sellers to share the platform so as to interact and promote businesses. KTM 2020 will accord importance to the Kerala Tourism’s pioneering Champions Boat League (CBL) modelled on IPL cricket. Adventure tourism will be another priority area of KTM 2020, besides efforts to boost new products in activities such as trekking, mountaineering, river rafting, paragliding and off-roading.
KTM 2018 had 1,305 buyers, a third of them from foreign nations. Those from abroad totalled 442: buyers from 58 countries including the US, Russia, Japan, China, Australia and Britain. The domestic buyers totalled 863. The sellers had set up 313 stalls in an expansive venue of 75,000 square feet, showcasing a wide array of products and services and drawing encouraging response from the general public as well. The focal subjects were rainwater conservation, lessening the use of plastic and increasing greenery.
The KTM 2018 edition (September 27-30), also at Kochi, was inaugurated by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. It had Responsible Tourism and Malabar Tourism as the core themes. With public-private participation as a key feature, that KTM had its delegates from the fields of travel and tour, hotels and resorts, home-stay, houseboat, ayurveda centres and cultural organisations.