Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Travel Mart (KTM), the country's largest congregation of tourism industry, will be holding its eleventh edition in Kochi in March 2022, giving an impetus to the efforts to revive the pandemic-hit tourism sector by attracting visitors from across the world.
The event will be inaugurated at Grand Hyatt at Bolgatty, Kochi on March 24, 2022, while the following three days' proceedings will be held at Sagara and Samudrika Convention Centre in Willingdon Island, Tourism Minister P A Mohamed Riyas told a press conference here on Tuesday.
As the ensuing edition of KTM is coming on the heels of the launch of the Caravan Tourism project by the State Government, the event will have caravan tourism and adventure tourism as the main themes, even as the internationally-acclaimed responsible tourism will also receive prominent attention, Riyas said.
KTM 2022 will give greater prominence to domestic buyers, given that tourists within the country have resumed travel even as many foreign countries are yet to fully resume travel to India revoking the pandemic-induced restrictions.
The participation of no less than 1,500 buyers is expected, wooing them in much larger numbers compared to the previous editions.
Venu V, Additional Chief Secretary (Tourism), said KTM has been planned by placing trust on the domestic market, which will help rejuvenate tourism and bring a qualitative change in the sector.
Baby Mathew, President, KTM, said the strong revival of the entire industry will be made possible through KTM 2022.
V R Krishna Teja, Director, Tourism, Jose Pradeep, Secretary, KTM, former Presidents of KTM- EM Najeeb and Abraham George- were also present.
KTM comes at a time when the travel industry is looking at the nascent Caravan Tourism with 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, which is a pioneering project being developed on PPP mode with private investors, tour operators and local communities being key stakeholders to ensure safe, customised and closest-to-nature travel experience, an official statement said.
The KTM had organized a virtual summit in March this year, facilitating more than 7,000 business meets that enabled the travel industry to take major strides in overcoming the Covid-triggered economic crisis.
Since then, Kerala Tourism had been considering organising a physical KTM to showcase Kerala as a place fast regaining normalcy after the pandemic.
In 2021, KTM was held online from March 1 to 5. A virtual buyers meet at the event saw the participation from all over the world, including India.
The majority of international buyers were from the US and UK. The others in the category included Brazil, Germany, Spain and Canada, Mexico, Oman, UAE, Australia and France.
Most of the domestic buyers were from Maharashtra, a chunk of them based in Mumbai. Delhi, Gujarat and Telangana also figured prominently in the list.
KTM Society, the country's biggest organization in the travel and tourism segment, has been working towards reviving the industry since the spread of the coronavirus in the state 20 months ago, the statement added.