The recent calamity that hit the state of Kerala in August reminds us the need to protect the nature, especially for the growth of tourism in a state where the beauty of nature is the prime attraction, said Chief Minister of Kerala Pinarayi Vijayan while inaugurating the 10th edition of Kerala Travel Mart in the august presence of Union Minister for Tourism (I/C) K J Alphons, Member of Parliament K V Thomas, Tourism Minister of Kerala Kadakampally Surendran, Tourism Secretary Rani George, Tourism Director P Balakiran and a large number of KTM delegates. Chairman and Managing Director of LuLu Group International Padma Shri M A Yusuf Ali was the Guest of Honour.
“It is our responsibility to preserve the nature, therefore we should conserve the ecology of prime tourist destinations and promote responsible tourism in a big way,” said Chief Minister. He emphasized that entrepreneurs and the local community should join hands and come together to create an atmosphere where Responsible Tourism can grow.
While addressing the delegates, K J Alphons said: “Just last month Kerala was completely shattered with the floods, 12 out of 14 districts of the state were under water, and the economy was completely destroyed. However, in just one month the state has overcome and I proudly announce that the state is ready to receive the tourist.”
He said that the number of foreign tourist coming to India in not acceptable therefore we should focus on bigger markets like China which sends the largest number of outbound travellers anywhere in the world. Almost 144 million people from China travel across the world in a year and only 240 thousand travellers came to India last year.
Kadakampalli Surendran said: “After the floods that hit Kerala this year’s KTM has a unique significance for the tourism business of the state. For delegates, KTM is the only platform where they can discover all the avenues of state tourism at one place. This event symbolises the spirit of harmony and togetherness of the people of Kerala.”
“This edition of the KTM is unique one as after the calamity that hit the state, Kerala is ready to offer the world renowned hospitality to the travellers visiting the state. In the year 2000 the first edition of KTM was commenced with 92 sellers and 170 registered buyers. And today it has become the largest B2B mart of the country, operated by trade for the trade,” said Baby Mathew, President, Kerala Travel Mart Society.
As informed by him this edition has the largest number of buyers and sellers. 593 international and 1080 domestic buyers will be interacting with 350 sellers from Kerala in next two days. The inaugural ceremony began with a colourful cultural evening. The theme of this year’s convention is ‘Malabar Tourism’
A brief presentation on the latest initiatives taken by the Department of Tourism was made by the Secretary Rani Gerorge. Director Tourism P Balakiran delivered the vote of thanks.
The B2B Meetings and Seminars will take place at Samudrika & Sagara Convention Centre, Willingdon Island. Entry to the venue on 28th & 29th September is permitted to only the Buyers and Sellers (Exhibitors) who’ve been registered prior to the Mart.