The 2016 edition of Kerala Travel Mart (KTM), billed as the largest gathering of tourism stakeholders in the state, will be held in Kochi in end-September with focus on 'Responsible Tourism.'
Tourism Minister A P Anil Kumar said that the Samudrika Convention Centre would be the venue for the September 28-30 event, being held by Kerala Travel Mart Society, in partnership with the state's Tourism Department.
KTM 2016 is expected to attract nearly 1,100 buyers from around the country and abroad, he told reporters here today.
"KTM 2016 will reach out to buyers from new markets like Australia, Austria, Brazil, Chile, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Middle East, Norway, Poland, South Africa, Sweden and USA, with special emphasis on raising the quality of participation next year," he added.
KTM, the minister said, has contributed largely to the development of tourism industry in the state. "As the responsible tourism campaign titled 'God's Own Country, People's Own Tourism' goes, we hope to popularize the concept among the common man," he said.
KTM brings together business entrepreneurs offering various tourism products and services, including tour operators, hotels, resorts, homestays, houseboats, Ayurveda resorts and cultural art centres, onto a single platform and facilitates their meeting and interaction with buyers from around the world.
The Mart will also project Kerala as an ideal breakaway destination for weddings and honeymoons along with its Ayurveda and leisure products-all of which are emerging segments for tourism destinations-with the aim of increasing the state's tourism market share by an additional Rs 5,000 crore.
Kerala Tourism Secretary G Kamala Vardhana Rao said a break-up of present statistics showed United Kingdom as the country that brought in the maximum percentage (17) of international tourists to the state. This is followed by France, US and Germany.
"Our aim is to increase the number of tourists from the US in the next two years," he said, while reeling out relevant figures of the state tourism over the last five years.
"The state tourism department will hold talks with the private airlines to bring about a slash in the air fare for more inflow of tourist to the state," he said.
The Minister released a book on Kerala tourism Statistics 2014.