The Kerala Travel Mart (KTM) celebrated its new home by recording around 25,000 business meetings – both scheduled and unscheduled – over the course of a frenzied opening day.
The ninth edition of the state’s largest conclave for tourism stakeholders – housed at Samudrika and Sagara Convention Centre – saw registrations from 1,380 foreign and Indian delegates. The venue was inaugurated in the morning by Joint Secretary, India Tourism, Suman Billa, Principal Secretary,Tourism,Gov of Kerala Dr Venu V. and Kerala Tourism Director U.V. Jose.
A pavilion themed on the Muziris Heritage Project and the Spice Route – one of the two foci of KTM 2016 – was inaugurated by KTDC Chairman
i M. Vijayakumar. The new venue also houses six food courts offering a variety of fare and a Kudumbasree stall.
“The response from the delegates has been overwhelming. This may be attributed to the fact that both buyers and sellers were accommodated in the same premises this year, facilitating meetings. Over all, it has been a very successful beginning,” said Abraham George, President, KTM Society.
KTM, India’s biggest tourism conclave focused on a single destination, has 265 stalls featuring an array of products, packages and services offered by businesses and entrepreneurs.
A seminar on ‘Responsible Tourism’, a high-priority segment for state tourism and the other theme of KTM 2016, saw participation by Suman Billa IAS and K. Rupesh Kumar, Responsible Tourism State Coordinator, among other discussants.
Commending the state for its award-winning Responsible Tourism initiatives, Billa said, “The tourism sector can only move forward by including the local people and empowering local communities.”
“As of now, seven destinations around the state are implementing Responsible Tourism. The Government has decided to implement it all over Kerala,” said Rupesh Kumar, noting that the initiative would lead to increased public participation. KTM 2016 will run till Friday, September 30.
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