Kochi: The ninth edition of the Kerala Travel Mart (KTM), witnessed around one lakh business meetings both scheduled and unscheduled during the three-day event, its organisers claimed.
KTM, the largest conclave of tourism stakeholders in Kerala and the only such gathering in India focusing on a single destination, saw 60,000 meetings over the first two days, they claimed.
"As the final day was open to the public, there were around 40,000 unscheduled meetings held at the Mart. Overall, the response from buyers and sellers has been overwhelming," KTM Society president Abraham George said during a press briefing.
Besides tourism and trade officials from Kerala and other neighbouring states, tour operators, travel agents, hoteliers, as well as owners of resorts, houseboats and home-stays participated in KTM 2016. "The sellers had quality appointments with potential buyers during the Mart. Even the first-timers are excited as the platform helped them improve business volume," Abraham said.
With 265 stalls over an expansive venue, KTM 2016, which saw registrations from 1,380 foreign and Indian delegates, showcased a wide array of products and services from across Kerala.
KTM 2016 had as its core themes: 'Responsible Tourism' and 'Muziris and Spice Route'. "KTM aims to develop tourism by empowering the local community. Hence, we adopted the agenda nine CSR activity to promote eco-friendly and responsible tourism," Abraham said.
The nine-point agenda for action 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 are rainwater harvesting, reducing the use of plastics and improving greenery. KTM has also arranged post-Mart familiarisation tours that will convey delegates to selected popular destinations around the state to give them a feel of Kerala by way of its heritage of art, culture and cuisine.
The Mart's valedictory function in the evening was attended by Abraham, KTM Society secretary Jose Mathew, treasurer Jose Pradeep, and past presidents Jose Dominic and Riyas Ahamed.
(With inputs from Agencies)