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Chief Minister to inaugurate three-day event on September 17 in Kochi
The eighth edition of the Kerala Travel Mart (KTM), which begins on September 18, is going to be most digital and social media savvy ever, with a range of innovative tools to connect the more than 1,500 tour operators from across the world gathering in Kochi for the event.
KTM 2014 has, for the first time, launched a mobile application enabling buyers and sellers at the mega event to schedule meetings and discuss business opportunities. Each buyer will get mobile alerts on their meetings as well as the program schedule. The buyers and sellers will be listed on the app and appointments can be made online.
Mr. Oommen Chandy, Chief Minister of Kerala will formally inaugurate KTM 2014 at 7 pm on September 17 at the Le Meridian Convention Centre, Kochi. Mr. Sripat Yasho Naik, Union Minister for Tourism will be the Chief Guest and Mr. A P Anil Kumar, Tourism Minister of Kerala will preside over the function. The Mart itself will be on for three days from September 18-20, 2014 at the Samudrika Convention Centre, Cochin Port Trust, Willingdon Island, Kochi.
âKTM will promote Kerala as the best tourism and business destination in the world. It will be a chance for tour operators and international buyers from new markets in the world to know the state better. To that effect we will be making the most of available technology to promote the event as well as the destination,â said Mr. A P Anil Kumar at a press conference.
âOur promotional efforts this year extend to Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube and live Twitter feeds and Tweet mirror are being used to attract buyers,â the Minister said. âKTM 2014 is undoubtedly a great platform for B2B networking; we expect it to host around 8,000 B2B meetings this time. Our preparatory activities have been very successful. Although registrations closed on 15th July for buyers, we are still getting more and more enquiries every day.â
MICE tourism, wedding destinations and the charm of villages will be among the key themes of KTM 2014. Around 282 international buyers from nearly 60 countries and 938 domestic buyers have already confirmed participation this year, said Mr. Abraham George, President of the KTM Society.
âUK, Spain, Germany France and Russia top the list of international buyers with around 25-30 from each country attending KTM 2014. However, the distinctive feature of this edition of KTM is the participation from relatively new markets for Kerala, like Australia (30) South Africa (12) Malaysia (36), and a strong presence from Scandinavia, Netherlands, Middle East, Eastern Europe and Latin American countries including Chile and Peru,â he added.
Exhibitors at KTM 2014 will include Hotels & Resorts, Tour operators & DMCs, Homestays, Houseboat operators, Ayurveda Resorts, Ayurveda Centres, Hotel Management consultants, Adventure tour operators, Farmstays and Tourism associations. Apart from visiting various places under the familiarisation programme, the international buyers and participants of the KTM will also visit the Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple to see and enjoy the Vallasadya - an annual event which Kerala Tourism is hoping to promote as an attraction for travelers.
The participation of so many international buyers will be of particular benefit to small and medium enterprises in the tourism sector and will be a great opportunity to promote homestays, said KTM Society Secretary Mr. P K Anish Kumar. âWe believe the seven previous editions of Kerala have served to introduce Kerala as a destination to nearly 10,000 national and international tour operators,â he said.
Mr. Suman Billa IAS, Tourism Secretary, Mr. P I Sheik Pareeth IAS, Director of Kerala Tourism, Ms. T V Anupama IAS, Additional Director (General) of Kerala Tourism and Mr. E M Najeeb, President, Confederation of Kerala Tourism Industry and former KTM president were present at the press briefing....
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The 2013 UNWTO and WTM MinistersÂ´ Summit at the World Travel Market (WTM) will put a spotlight on the essential connection between air transport and tourism, debating the challenges and opportunities of promoting higher policy coordination between aviation and tourism.
Air transport, being an important factor in outbound or inbound tourism, plays a vital role in foreign tourist arrival in India. Therefore, the discussions on the matter must be considered as important for the tourism industry in the country. New alliances with tourism boards and airlines all around the world is needed to boost the business. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) called on all partners and stakeholders involved in passenger travel to work together to deliver greater value to passengers. This is a remarkable decision that will encourage travellers all around the world to visit foreign countries.
Air travel is one of the major part, travellers worried about in their journey. Addressing their issues is the most important thing for the sector to grow their business. According to IATA Director General and CEO, Mr. Tony Tyler, Aviation makes possible $2.2 trillion worth of economic activity and supports about 57 million jobs around the globe. Every day more than 8 million passengers take advantage of the safety, speed and convenience of air travel. Therefore, any new strategy implemented will work as a catalyst that makes big changes.
The alliances by airlines also play a major part in air transport. The recent joining of Qatar Airways in âOneworldâ shows a positive approach by major airlines that hold major part of the market share. These alliances give the consumer better offers, which encourage them to travel frequently. The initiatives by WTM and IATA are expected to give new possibilities for air transport and tourism to grow together. Let's hope for a better connected world that encourages people to travel and make the tourism industry to grow to a new level....