Kerala Travel Mart

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The Bolgatty Palace Heritage Hotel will be the venue of the sixth edition of Kerala Travel Mart 2010 (KTM). This hotel, well-known as a heritage palace all over the world and situated on the picturesque Bolgatty Island in Kochi in God’s Own country, is one of the few remnants of Dutch rule in the State.

The fact that Kerala Travel Mart is going to be hosted in a heritage building itself shows the importance of heritage structures in branding Kerala Tourism during an international travel forum like KTM, where delegates from all parts of the world take part.

The Bolgatty Palace, built in 1744 by Dutch traders, is one of the oldest existing Dutch palaces outside Holland. It was built as the official residence of the Dutch governor. Later in 1909, the palace was leased to the British and it served as home to the British governors during the British rule in India. In 1947, when India became independent, the palace became the property of the state and was later converted into a heritage hotel by the Department of Tourism.

The Palace hotel is gearing up to welcome more than 1,500 delegates who will be attending the KTM 2010 from September 23 to 26, 2010. This edition of KTM will have 370 stalls, including mooring facility for houseboats. The participation growth is 27 per cent more compared to the previous edition.

International buyers from countries like Poland, Mexico, South Africa, Japan, China, Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, the U.K., the U.S.A., Germany, France and from countries in South Asia have registered as delegates in the mart. More than thousand buyers from other states of India will also participate in India’s most popular travel mart.

The tourism sector of Kerala faces tough competition from many stakeholders in the region. In an effort to build up its war-ravaged economy, Sri Lanka has started a campaign to lure premium travelers to the island nation. For Indians, Sri Lanka is a bargain tourist destination. Even Malaysia, Maldives and Thailand are not far behind in their efforts to attract the discerning tourists.

Supported by the Ministry of Tourism, this year’s KTM will be indicative of the State’s preparedness to attract tourists from countries just recovering from global recession.

Timed just ahead of the peak tourist season, this biennial travel mart is aimed at preparing the stakeholders for a head start as Kerala is facing unprecedented competition from traditional rivals such as Goa and Rajasthan and also neighboring Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

Organized during the last Thursday, Friday and Saturday of September every two years, KTM is the only tourism event in the sub-continent that brings together the business fraternity and entrepreneurs behind the tourism products and services of Kerala.

Launched in 2000 as KTM 2000, the marts held in 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2008 were very successful with the participation of buyers from around 50 countries and other parts of India.

Primarily a buyer-seller meet where buyers fall in the categories of tour operators, travel agents, airline, event managers, travel writers, media personnel or anyone who has the potential to buy services that the tourism industry of Kerala has to offer. All sellers are members of the KTM society coming under the service categories of tourism industry service providers.

The mart will be inaugurated on September 23, 2010. On September 24 and 25 there will be exclusive interactive sessions for the buyers and sellers. September 26 is open for the public.

This is a press release from Kerala Tourism

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