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Run-up to KTM 2024 Warms up with 1,810 Buyer Registrations

In Business, News, Travel
April 18, 2024

Five months ahead of its start, the 12th edition of Kerala Travel Mart (KTM-2024) in the city has earned big response from India and abroad, with buyer registrations crossing 1,810, of whom 495 are from high-end foreign markets.

Organised by KTM Society with the support of the state Tourism Department and other state & industry agencies, the four-day event starting on September 26 seeks to showcase Kerala’s strength in tourism before a global audience.

Launched in 2000, KTM Society is the country’s biggest organisation in the travel and tourism segment and its biennial meet is billed as Asia’s largest tourism event with strong international representation.

Among the 1,315 domestic buyers registered till 15th April for participating in KTM, Maharashtra tops with 350, followed by Delhi (152) and Gujarat (140).

Also, the organizers have so far received 364 applications for putting up stalls at KTM 2024.

“The response is unprecedented at the national and international levels,” pointed out KTM Society President Jose Pradeep. “The stalls will be set up under eight segments.”

The flagship event’s inaugural ceremony will be followed by three days of sessions at the Sagara and Samudrika convention centres in Willingdon Island on September 27, 28 and 29.

The run-up to KTM-2024 will see a pre-mart tour from September 22 to 26, involving media persons, vloggers and influencers. There will also be a five-day post-mart tour across Kerala from September 30 for select buyers of KTM-2024.

The foreign buyers at the event will be from the USA, UK, Russia, Canada, Middle East, South Africa and other European countries, including Scandinavian, organisers revealed. Decades of outflow of Malayalis to other countries has enabled residents of those places to visit Kerala on knowing more about the state, according to KTM organisers.

The 11th KTM in 2022 facilitated more than 55,000 business interactions in its three days. The buyers totalled 1,134 (234 of them from abroad), while seller stalls totalled 325.

The business sessions of KTM 2024 will be held on September 27, 28 and 29. Public can visit the expo on September 29.

The 12th KTM will accord special focus to Kerala as a wedding destination. Authorities see an overexposure of tourist spots outside of the state as an opportunity to woo travellers to Kerala. Its abundant beaches, backwaters, forests, tea-gardens and lush greenery make God’s Own Country an ideal tourist destination. The state also is reputed for cultural and culinary richness besides strong infrastructure and transportation facilities including air, water, rail and road connectivity.

Besides its emphasis on promoting Responsible Tourism, the upcoming KTM will also strive to boost MICE (meetings, industries, conferences and exhibitions) tourism. In addition to hosting large events in metros such as Kochi, leisure destinations are also equipped to host variety MICE events. The G20 working group’s meet at the scenic Kumarakom near Kottayam in March-April last year was an example of the state’s USP in this segment.

Cruise tourism is another area where the 12th edition of KTM is giving focus. Authorities are optimistic about roping in potential buyers from this segment as well.