Participants at the three-day Kerala Travel Mart (KTM), which concluded in Kochi today, expressed serious concerns at the new excise policy of the government.
The policymakers were urged to adopt positive steps in evolving a tourism friendly liquor policy in the state. The tourism fraternity also hoped that the assurance given by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy that their concerns would be looked into.
The Mart, which according to the organisers is the largest B2B summit in India, broke all past records in terms of arrivals of buyers, a release from the organisers said here. It hosted 861 domestic buyers and 241 international buyers. ‘There were an expected 30,000 buyer seller appointments lined up for the mart, but the figures crossed 40,000 business sittings between the potential buyers and sellers’, Abraham George, KTM President said.
The sellers included Adventure Tour Operators, Ayurveda Centres, Ayurvedic Resorts, Homestays, Amusement Park, Convention Centres, Hotel Management Consultants, house boats, Museums, Travel & Tour Operators.
While UK, Germany, France, Malaysia and USA topped the buyer arrival countries, newer markets like Singapore, Poland, Romania, Czech Republic, and Brazil had their buyers for the meet. All together, 45 countries had their presence in the mart, the release said.
The governments in the state and the centre were urged to keep clear and long term policies to enhance the sustainable growth of the tourism industry. While proposing an innovative PPP model development plan for the tourism sector, the meet appealed to the governments to initiate long-term progressive outlook for the way ahead for Kerala tourism, Anish Kumar, Secretary, KTM said.
Experts applauded Kerala’s responsible tourism model being successfully implemented in key tourism destinations. The Mart projected Kerala as a viable wedding destination and village tourism as a prime focus product with artists and artisans demonstrating their activities.
The idea was to create the feel of a real village and share lifestyle experiences. Medical tourism, was identified as a highlight product during the deliberations held at the Mart. The three day mart will be followed by post mart tours for the buyers who will make use of the opportunity to visit destinations across Kerala.
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