INDIA. Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala: The 11th edition of Kerala Travel Mart (KTM), the country’s biggest tourism meet was inaugurated Sunday 28 February 2021 evening by Kerala state Governor Shri Arif Mohammed Khan. The governor called to highlight domestic tourism for better collaboration among states and greater understanding between people.
“A better industry-level co-ordination in hospitality and transportation and an inter-state understanding to rationalize and simplify taxes and tariffs will help in leveraging the true potential of our domestic market in tourism,” he said, declaring open the March 1-5 virtual summit, through videoconferencing, that aims to revitalise the state’s travel sector in the post-COVID scenario.
Inaugurating the KTM, he stressed the need to embrace the spirit of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ (self-reliant India) by treating domestic tourism as the mainstay for the industry when global travel is facing restrictions, and said, “Let tourism enable people of every part of India to understand and value each other so that we strengthen our cultural unity as a nation.”
Shri Khan complimented Kerala’s tourism projects aimed at making it a complete and different destination with a focus on cultural heritage. “We need to re-configure our business strategy by emphasising on safety and security so as to meet the post-pandemic global demands and aspirations,” he added. He also expressed the hope that the post-pandemic global consciousness will expect governments and communities to renew work to meet the United Nations’ 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
Nature and the tangible and intangible heritage of humanity are the basic assets of tourism and we need to protect them. ‘Green, clean and safe’ should be the motto of all tourism activities,” he added at the function organised.
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Dr. V P Joy, Chief Secretary of Kerala, chairing the ceremony, said Kerala tourism is on a revival path. Kerala Tourism Principal Secretary Smt Rani George spoke on how new campaigns were helping the state resume tourism after the pandemic outbreak. Ayurveda can be an added attraction for the tourists arriving in the state, known for the ancient wellness system.
Kerala Travel Mart (KTM)
The 11th KTM is being attended by all members of the KTM Society, and by over 500 international buyers and 650 domestic buyers, with around 15,000 meetings planned between the buyers and exhibitors. KTM Society is exhibiting various products of the state’s vital tourism sector, thereby striving to restore the pace of growth of tourism that has slid since the outbreak of the global pandemic. KTM Society President Shri Baby Mathew Somatheeram welcomed the gathering and said that this virtual mart would show the world that Kerala is successfully fighting out the novel coronavirus.