Kochi | The Kerala Travel Mart (KTM), the largest gathering of tourism stakeholders in the state, hopes to substantially augment its appeal by leveraging a unique Spice Route Culinary festival to commemorate the shared legacy of the over 2,000-year-old maritime trade way.
The culinary festival, to be hosted here by UNESCO, Kerala Tourism and the Tourism Ministry from September 23-26, will witness leading chefs from the 31 countries, on the historic spice route, converging in ‘God’s Own Country’ to discover the famed gastronomic delights of the state, a release here said.
The festival, the first-of-its-kind celebration of flavours and friendship, is a prelude to the ninth edition of the KTM, to be inaugurated on World Tourism Day, on September 28. The festival will promote the KTM 2016 theme: ‘Muziris and Spice Route’.
There will be a competition in which an expert panel and invited dignitaries will rate dishes and select the best chef, said KTM Society President Abraham George. Leading chefs from across the Spice Route countries will sample Kerala’s cultural and gastronomic offerings, participate in cooking demos and culinary discussions and showcase the choicest cuisines from their homelands in a tasting competition.
The festival will culminate in a public tasting event. With the Spice Route festival expected to bring in a substantial number of foreign tourists to Kerala, the KTM is hoping to benefit from and augment the state’s destination pull, George said. The Chief Minister, Finance Minister and Tourism Minister have extended full support for the upcoming KTM edition, he said, adding, The government has plans to bolster the development of the tourism sector.
The ninth edition of KTM, organised in partnership with the Department of Tourism, will also focus on ‘Responsible Tourism’. KTM will be a platform for B2B networking, bringing together business entrepreneurs from Kerala that offer a range of various tourism products and services, including tour operators, hotels, resorts, home stays, houseboats, Ayurveda resorts and cultural art centres.
As many as 265 stalls for Kerala-based exhibitors will be featured at the venue. We have been receiving great response from international, as well as domestic buyers. Around 350 international and 900 domestic buyers have registered. We are planning to close the buyers’ registration by July, George said.
The event, to be held at Willingdon Island, will go on till September 30, the release said.