The eleventh edition of Kerala Travel Mart (KTM), India’s largest tourism industry congregation originally scheduled for March 24-27, has been postponed to May 5 to 8 at Kochi, in view of the current surge in Covid-19 cases across the world.
The inaugural ceremony of the event, being organised by the KTM Society, will be followed by three days of deliberations at Sagara and Samudrika Convention Centre in Willingdon Island, according to Kerala Tourism Additional Chief Secretary Dr Venu V., Director Shri V.R. Krishna Teja IAS and KTM Society President Shri Baby Mathew.
The KTM meet is of crucial importance in the state’s efforts to revive the pandemic-hit tourism sector by attracting visitors from across the world, they told a virtual media conference, which was also attended by KTM Society’s former presidents and managing committee members of KTM Society.
Coming close on the heels of the launch of the state government’s Caravan Tourism project ‘Keravan Kerala’, the upcoming edition of KTM will have caravan tourism and adventure tourism as the main themes. Alongside, the internationally-acclaimed responsible tourism, too, will receive prominent attention.
KTM comes at a time when the travel industry is looking at the nascent Caravan Tourism with renewed hope, considering its potential to fetch Kerala a special place in the world tourism map, as did Houseboat Tourism earlier.
The government is coordinating among various departments to carry forward Caravan Tourism, a pioneering project being developed on PPP mode with private investors, tour operators and local communities as key stakeholders to ensure safe, customized and closest-to-nature travel experience. This time, KTM will also give prominence to the government’s tourism initiatives in upstate Malabar.
KTM 2022will give greater attention to domestic buyers, given that tourists within the country have resumed travel even as several foreign countries are yet to fully resume travel to India revoking the pandemic-induced restrictions.
Already more than 1,100 international and domestic buyers have registered for KTM. Having devised novel ways to woo them, organisers are optimistic about a steady rise in their number once the pandemic shows further signs of abatement.
More than 100 media representatives across the globe have registered to cover KTM 2022.
Organisers have charted a pre-KTM tour for media persons including vloggers from the country and abroad to show the beauty and variety of Kerala’s travel destinations. A similar journey is being conducted after the event for select buyers attending the mart in May.
Last year, the KTM had organised a virtual summit in March, facilitating more than 7,000 business meets that enabled the travel industry to take major strides in overcoming the Covid-triggered economic crisis. That online event saw a virtual buyers’ meet with participants from across the world, including India.
KTM Society, the country’s biggest organisation in the travel and tourism segment, has been working towards reviving the industry since the spread of the novel coronavirus in the state two years ago.