Sri. Abraham George, President, Kerala Travel Mart,
Sri. A C Moideen, Minister of Cooperation and Tourism,
Smt. Soumini Jain, Mayor, Kochi corporation,
Prof. K V Thomas, MP,
Members of the Kerala Legislative Assembly,
Tour operators and travel professionals from across the world,
Members of Kerala Travel Mart society,
Honoured guests, respected delegates, friends in the media, Ladies and Gentlemen
On behalf of Government of Kerala, it is my pleasure to welcome you to this beautiful state. Many of you have travelled from far and wide to attend this edition of the Kerala Travel Mart. Over the years, Kerala Travel Mart has grown to become the largest travel event of its kind in India, attracting the cream of the tourism industry of India, and a large number of foreign tour operators. Kerala Travel Mart brings under one roof almost all tourism stakeholders in the state.
For nearly two decades, Kerala Travel Mart has been a shining example of Public-Private-Partnership. This event is the collective venture of the tourism enterprises of Kerala, and is supported by the Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala. The Ministry of Tourism, Government of India has also been supporting Kerala Travel Mart over the years. For the government, it is a matter of pride that an initiative started in Kerala is today counted among the best of its type not just in India but around the world.
Kerala has taken a special path in tourism. Our industry is dominated by small business owners who have successfully presented the different products and experiences of Kerala before the world. The tourism enterprises of the state are known for their professionalism and high quality of service delivery. The main points for focus at this Mart are ‘Responsible Tourism’ and ‘Muziris and Spice Route’. These are two important sectors for Kerala’s tourism industry.
Around 57 countries and 20 Indian states are participating in the three-day event, As well, 10 countries will be represented at the Mart for the first time. It is also important to note that of the 560 total international delegates here,we have the largest-ever representation from 10 traditional tourism markets, including the USA, Canada and Australia.
The main aim of Kerala Travel Mart is to help the tourism sector raise earnings by about Rs 5,000 crore in the coming five years. In this respect, it is encouraging to hear that the Mart is expected to witness around 25,000 business meetings between buyers and sellers.
Destinations and attractions across Kerala, from Vayanad to Kovalam, have won several awards for the successful execution of our Responsible Tourism strategy. I have no doubt these will be highlighted over the next few days.
I hope that this mart will enable buyers to make new relationships and partnerships, create new packages and bring more visitors to Kerala. I have no doubt that the next three days will add another successful chapter to the story of the Kerala Travel Mart.
I invite you all to come and be a part of this wonderful event.