KTM 2022 sees 55,000 business appointments

The flagship trade exhibition, Kerala Travel Mart (KTM) plays a vital role in attracting tourists from across the globe.

As the skies opened up and tourism started picking up, the think tank of Kerala Travel Mart Society decided to hold their flagship trade exhibition, Kerala Travel Mart (KTM) as an in-person event. The society in association with the Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala organised the 11th edition of KTM, the country’s biggest tourism Business-to-Business (B2B) event from 5-8 May 2022.

The inaugural event was held at Grand Hyatt Kochi Bolgatty Convention Center. Presenting a curtain-raiser of the second edition of its IPL-modelled Champions Boat League snake-boat race, Srinivasan K, Hon. Secretary Kerala Tourism flagged the race.

Inaugurating the 11th edition of KTM virtually, Governor Arif Mohammed Khan said earnest activities among states were vital for Kerala’s progress in tourism. Director of Kerala Tourism V.R. Krishna Teja made a presentation on the latest trends and products of the State. He said, “Unlike the previous edition, KTM 2022 has more specialised segments. We have sellers who are into core tourism activities such caravan, houseboats, ayurveda, adventure, plantation and backwater resorts besides wedding destination and MICE.” The state plans to invigorate tourism in Malabar, and the tourism department is going ahead with giving worldwide publicity to activities such as Caravan Tourism, Champions Boat League and Responsible Tourism. Entrepreneur M.A. Yusuf Ali, who was the guest of honour, called for more investments in infrastructure development. There were a lot of cultural events including the traditional Kathakali classical Indian dance.

The next day KTM expo opened at the Samudrika & Sagara Convention Centre, Willington Island. Luckily for me as I was staying at the Waterfront Granary hotel (from the Bloom group), which has a private dock and its own ferry, I was able to reach the venue in less than 10 minutes.

KTM 2022 featured 325 stalls giving a platform to around 1,500 buyers, with 300 + delegates from 69 countries. The mix consisted of quite a few well-known brands and a few upcoming boutique hotels. Some of the hotels that I interacted included Radisson, IHG, Hyatt, Beyond Eco-Living, Royal Group, KIITS, Emerald Hotels, Lake Palace and quite a few Ayurveda centers. It was great getting insights from them and their strategies post covid. The enthusiasm was fabulous.

More than 55,000 business appointments took place at Kerala Travel Mart officially. KTM 2022 was declared a green mart supporting the #Agenda9 initiatives of Kerala Travel Mart Society. The speciality of the 3 day mart was that it was completely automated. From buyer seller appointments to entering the mart, technology played vital role.

Speaking at the final session of KTM 2022, the state Chief Secretary V P Joy hailed the event as a ‘catalyst’ to bring back tourists to the state after the COVID-19 pandemic and promising to provide the organisers and the entire tourism fraternity all its support to revitalise travel industry in Kerala.

KTM Society President, Baby Mathew Somatheeram, while chairing one of the sessions, said the mart will be followed by a travel package for 300 delegates to the states northern, central and southern regions.

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