Speaking on the occasion, Abraham George, president, KTM said, The focus would also be on reaching out to new markets like the United States, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Norway, Poland, South Africa and Sweden. The Mart will also highlight innovative tourism products like village life experience and culture tours.
Organised once in two years, the Mart this year will be held at the Samudrika Convention Centre of the Cochin Port Trust located in the picturesque Willingdon Island. A big turnout of MICE tourism operators, global wedding planners, wellness and adventure tour operators are expected at KTM 2014.
The overwhelming response to the previous editions of KTM has inspired the Kerala Travel Mart Society to innovate, think out-ofthe-box and take each Mart to the next level. KTM 2014 will project Kerala as the ideal destination for weddings and honeymoons along with conferences and exhibitions. At the mart, we will have destination wedding themes to focus on this segment. These emerging segments are being viewed very seriously by tourist destinations and KTM intends to increase Keralas market share to an additional 5,000 crore, opined George.
In a move aimed at promoting MICE tourism, the Kerala Government had cut luxury tax on convention centres and auditoriums with a daily rent exceeding INR 20,000 to 10 per cent from 20 per cent in the state budget announced in January this year.
Held in partnership with Keralas Department of Tourism, the KTM, organised by the Kerala Travel Mart Society, brings together business entrepreneurs behind the tourism products and services of Kerala on a single platform. Tour operators, hotels, resorts, home stays, houseboat owners, Ayurveda resorts and cultural art centres will showcase their products at the Mart.
"From its inception, there has been an overwhelming response from national and international buyers at the KTM, which has reflected in the steady escalation in the variety of tourism products and in the numbers of participants, both buyers and sellers," mentioned George.
Over the last 13 years since the first Mart, KTM has attracted over 1,000 international buyers, who have established business partnerships among various sections in the tourism industry of Kerala. The previous edition, KTM 2012, was attended by more than 1,250 buyers.
George said, We will be focusing specifically on the new and emerging markets. Only 10 per cent of the national inbound tourist traffic reaches Kerala and KTM has set itself a target of 15 per cent with arrivals from new and emerging markets.