KOCHI: The ninth edition of the largest gathering of tourism stakeholders in the state, Kerala Travel Mart (KTM), organised by the Kerala Travel Mart Society in association with the Department of Tourism, will begin in Kochi on Tuesday. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will inaugurate the event at Hotel Le Meridien on Tuesday. The three-day Mart will be held at Samudrika and Sagara Convention Centre, Willingdon Island. As many as 57 foreign countries will be represented at the trade event this year, including 10 first-time participants.
The ninth edition of the biennial event will focus on ‘Responsible Tourism’ and ‘Muziris and Spice Route. The new entrants to KTM include China, Japan, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Georgia, Chile, Greece, Iran and Botswana. The exhibition venue will have 265 stalls featuring a range of products, packages and services. The number of registered international delegates has swelled to 560. Domestic participation is also good with 1,304 domestic buyers expected to participate this time.
The Kerala Travel Mart Society has adopted a comprehensive 9-point charter to address major concerns at tourism hotspots ahead of the Travel Mart. The 9-point agenda calls for measures to tackle waste management, promote organic farming, efficient use of energy and extensive use of local produce and products. Other key areas in the checklist are rain-water harvesting, reducing the use of plastics and improving greenery.
“The collective effort to adopt and implement the charter points aims at projecting Kerala as a sustainable modern destination and to improve the visitors’ experience in the state. The charter has been unanimously accepted and we are committed to implementing it. Many of the members have already started working towards its implementation,” said KTM Society president Abraham George....