The popular Kerala Travel Mart (KTM), the biennial
international travel, tourism exhibition and buyer-sell meet, will be held in
the virtual format from November 23 to 27 this year owing to Covid-19 pandemic.
Kerala Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran said the south
Indian state aims to revive its struggling tourism industry, which got crippled
by the global health crisis, through the first edition of the virtual KTM.
“The aim is to revive the tourist industry by January-February
next year. We expect over 500 sellers and 2500 buyers, international and
domestic, to participate in the event,” he said.
The last KTM edition, held soon after the devastating floods,
received encouraging response despite the natural calamity as the event helped
the state’s recovery through the tourism sector.
“Over 35,000 B2B meetings were held and over 1600 buyers were
selected then. This time also, we’re expecting a good response that will help
rejuvenate the sector and help the state to bounce back. The way the state
responded to the Covid-19 challenge has won it praise from the world over. We
can capitalize on that positive image to rebuild the state’s economy,” the
The organisers, Kerala Travel Mart Society, has developed a
special software to conduct the virtual event in which participants across the
globe can attend online. Also, there will be no limit on the sellers participating
and the fees will be cheaper, just to cover the expenses.
The state government has already taken a host of relief measures to bail out the key players and stake holders of the tourism industry, including Rs 455 crore assistance package and a one-time financial assistance to the house-boat owners and tourist guides.