KOCHI: The ninth edition of the Kerala Travel Mart (KTM), which is considered to be the largest gathering of tourism stakeholders in the State, will commence here on September 27.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will inaugurate the event at Le Meridien on the World Tourism Day, which falls on September 27. The three-day event will be held at the Samudrika and Sagara Convention Centre at Willingdon Island from September 28 to 30.
Representatives from 57 countries, which include ten first-timers, will participate in the biennial event. This year, the theme will be ‘Responsible Tourism’ and ‘Muziris and Spice Route.’
“The number of registered international delegates has swelled to 560 this year. 1,304 domestic players are expected to participate,” said KTM president Abraham George.
“KTM-2016 will witness participation of the biggest ever delegate contingents from ten traditional markets. We are confident that KTM-2016 would succeed in showcasing Kerala to the world and strengthening the brand image of ‘God’s Own Country,’ besides helping the State’s tourism industry grow further. The new entrants to the KTM include China, Japan, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Georgia, Chile, Greece, Iran and Botswana. Domestic buyers from 20 Indian states are also participating in the event, which is claimed to be the country’s biggest travel show focused on a ‘single destination.” he said.
Meanwhile, a nine-point charter to address the major concerns of the tourism sector has been put forth. It calls for measures to tackle waste management, promote organic farming, use energy efficiently and to use local produces and products extensively. The key points of the checklist are rain-water harvesting, reduction of plastic use and enhancement of the green cover. “The members have identified nine key issues that need to be addressed,” added Abraham George.
The KTM is organised by the Kerala Travel Mart Society, in association with the Department of Tourism. The exhibition will be open to the public on the third day - September 30.