Travel

Domestic, foreign buyers keen on being part of KTM as tourism set for take-off again

With restrictions on air travel lifted, participation at KTM expected to zoom

The imminent surge in tourism activities in Kerala aided by lifting of air travel restrictions the world over seems to be happening, going by the huge response from the domestic as well as foreign travel and hospitality industry towards the upcoming Kerala Travel Mart (KTM). The event is the country’s largest tourism buyer-seller conclave and is scheduled to be organised in Kochi from May 5 to 8.

Going by the available statistics, 374 foreign buyers and 1171 domestic buyers have so far registered for participation in the event. It is expected that the numbers would zoom in the coming days, stamping the industry’s confidence in the post-pandemic resurgence of tourism in Kerala.

According to Baby Mathew, President of KTM Society, the organizer of the event, the industry’s response to the upcoming edition of KTM has been extremely encouraging, especially after the Union 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, he said.

Tourism revival hopes fuels KTM expectations

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. 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.

The organisers are progressing with their arrangements so as the conduct of the business sessions would carry on in a hassle-free manner by adhering to Covid appropriate behaviour. It is also expected that a meaningful buyer seller meet and interactions beneficial to all the participants would get underway.

The fully green- compliant meet, with all transactions to go paperless, will be held in a 100,000 square feet venue.  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.

It may be noted that 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 Responsible Tourism is also a prime theme of the meet. The government’s initiatives to promote tourism in the Malabar region will also receive major attention at KTM.

Previous edition held virtually

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.

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Sanjeev Ramachandran

A journalist with 23 years of experience, Sanjeev has worked with reputed media houses such as Business Standard, The Ne More »
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