Thiruvananthapuram: The latest edition of Kerala Travel Mart (KTM) held in Kochi earlier this month took some crucial decisions regarding focusing on domestic tourists over the next couple of years.
Participants at the event, which was the first after the pandemic struck, felt that Kerala Tourism would benefit more by launching programmes to attract domestic travellers over this period.
“KTM organisers and Kerala Tourism officials were able to convince tour-travel operators that Kerala had overcome the COVID-19 challenge and was safe for visitors,” said a member of the organising committee.
“Around 55,000 business meetings took place during the three-day event, compared to 30,000 in 2018,” said Tourism Principal Secretary K S Srinivas, Tourism Director V R Krishna Teja and KTM Society president Baby Mathew in a statement.
The focus area of the 2022 edition was Malabar tourism. A special flight was arranged from Kochi to Kannur to take delegates to Malabar area, said the statement. “In fact, tours were arranged for a total of 500 delegates to the three regions in Kerala,” the organisers added.
“Over the coming weeks, widespread campaigns will be launched to promote monsoon tourism,” said Srinivas. “Another plan is to set up craft villages at various tourism centres on the model of such a facility at Kovalam. The initiative would help sell Kerala’s traditional handicrafts to tourists,” the Principal Secretary said.
Gloomy global scene
Meanwhile, a report of the World Economic Forum released in Davos, Switzerland, has said that even though the international tourism sector is on the path to recovery, it was yet to overcome several challenges posed by the pandemic. Journeys for tourism and business purposes were yet to regain pre-pandemic volumes, the reported pointed out.
The global situation is reflected in India too, with the country slipping in the rankings for tourism growth. India is now placed at 54 on the list, compared to 46 in 2019. Still, the country is ahead in the South Asia region.
Among all nations, Japan enjoys the first rank, followed by the US, Spain, France, Germany, Switzerland, Australia, the UK, Singapore and Italy.