Kerala Travel Mart -2018 (Sept 27 - 30)
Kerala Travel Mart is one of its kind Travel Meet, where tour operators across the globe to come and explore the possibilities of working along with tourism suppliers from Kerala. Kerala is a tourism superbrand that promotes Kerala as a destination, which was nominated as one of the top eight destinations in the world by National Geographic. The Kerala Travel Mart 2018 is not just a mere travel exhibition, it works more kind of an image build up for Kerala after the recent floods that shook the state (Read our Blog - (KTM 2018 - Welcome to Kerala, We are back in action!). The state has risen back to shape with almost all destinations open for travelers to visit. The page is to give you a broader idea of the event and the interesting tourism products the State has to offer for the discerning traveler.
Kerala Travel Mart was officially inaugurated by the Chief Minister of Kerala - Sri Pinarai Vijayan at the Lulu International Convention center which was part of the Grand Hyatt Kochi. The Chief Minister had officially informed that Kerala is back in business and mentioned about the focus the state has in terms of responsible tourism and other eco-based tours. He was keen about mentioning the post-flood situation and the speedy recovery of the state and about the concern the world has about Kerala. Sri. K J Alphonse, the central minister of state for tourism and cultural affairs was mentioning the overwhelming response he has been receiving from road shows across the world and his experience from the recent visit to China. Sri. Rani George The Secretary of Tourism - Kerala State was showcasing the potential of Kerala for family-based eco tours through a video and the destination and announced that Kerala has been open for business and almost 90 percent of the tourism infrastructure that was hit by the floods are rehabilitated and the rest would be ready in a couple of weeks. The inauguration came to an end with a dinner organized at the venue.
#KTM2018 was, in fact, a great opportunity for the tourism stakeholders as it was an immediate tourism event that was held just after the Kerala floods. Moreover, it is the largest tourism meet that happens in India and had a buyer participation to almost one thousand five hundred and more than three hundred sellers. The event had a series of seminars and events that were held at a dedicated area at the venue. The venue inauguration was a simple ceremony and buyers and sellers commenced their meetings about the new products and services offered, understanding as to how effectively Kerala could be promoted as a tourist destination. Many of them freaked their minds depicting classy themes to impress visitors and some of them played many videos to get people attracted to their themes. The meetings were eventful and are expected to be fruitful enough to establish that Kerala is open for business. Samsonite, the suitcase brand had released a short video with the hashtag #Keralaisopen which is essential as a helping hand in terms of showcasing the message, that Kerala is back in business.
Everyone was looking at KTM 2018 with great hope the floods. In a general tone, many have come to an understanding that the International community is still traveling to Kerala, however, the domestic travelers, in general, have not yet started to visit Kerala, which contributes to a larger part of the tourism fraternity. The focus was on Responsible Tourism for which Kerala is renown across the globe. The first responsible tourism initiative in the backwater village of Kumarakom has created benchmarks in the tourism fraternity across the world. They were miniature forms of village experiences, where a house, a field, and some small water bodies were created to create an ambiance as to what happens in reality during the tours. The Archer performed with his bow and arrow, and not to miss the Chekutty Stall where numerous Chekutty's were hanging around, Chekutty is a symbol of hope emerged out of dirt, Probably it might require totally a different blog post so that we could express the whole Chekutty story.
The second day was equally impressive with buyers reaching out to different sellers for appointments and exchanging view and possibilities about working together. There were hoteliers, tour operators, service providers, activity providers, and homestay owners. There were prominent figures presenting about topics about tourism from both an academic as well and reality perspective. Kerala has always been lenient towards promoting eco-friendly, responsible and experiential programs which have an element of excitement, an element of learning and you take back something home, not just memories. The focus is still on responsible tourism which will have a ripple effect on other destinations in the state. The responsible mission has already moved ahead incorporating other destinations into the responsible tourism portfolio of the state. The third day of the mart was open to the public where many students from tourism institutions visit to know and understand as to what's happening in the industry. The public also includes small-scale tour operators, hotels and resorts who has a limited inventory or budget to be a part of the mart and a few others who are new to the industry who are looking forward to be a part of the #KTM2020. For Green Earth Trails, we found a few like-minded operators who are serious about experiences and wish to understand about unique products that is very much part of our unique portfolio. To conclude, the participation for Kerala Travel Mart 2018 was a venue for some exceptional participation of Buyers from across the globe and a lot more sellers than ever in the history of the mart. Things look very much hopeful for Kerala.
How did we Portray ourselves for the Kerala Travel Mart 2018
The temple festival tours that we organize is a special interest tour systematically organized for guests to see the event at a very close proximity. Temple festivals are something that associated with Kerala that excites many. The Caparisoned elephants, the temple orchestra and the trumpet are all part of this extravagant festival. Here is a blog post we have written about the Uthralikavu Pooram
Trek and a tribal cooking experience in the forests of Athriapally would be exciting where you learn and understand how cooking used to happen during olden days where there were no facilities like that of our Kitchen. Our association with a member of the tribal clan gives exclusive access to to this experience in Athirapally. You will get a better idea when you read the blog post about - A glimpse into the world of Tribal Cuisines of Athirapally in Kerala
One of the best ways to experience the countryside is to go for a ride on an iconic Royal Enfield Bullet. These are exclusive programs that we organize for groups as well as individual travelers. Guests would be pillions where the motorcyclists drive you through the most remote countryside where you get an idea about the backwater countryside. Thes way to know more about it is to watch the video of one of our Royal Enfield bullet Rally organized for a small group of doctors from Australia
We organize beautiful treks to the Western Ghats of Kerala, which is one of the top bio hotspots in the world. The trek to the Mathikettan Shola is one among those beautiful experiences where we trek and camp in the wilderness. We have a couple of students visiting us every year for this trek which is a real fantabulous experience. Read this blog and video where you get to have a clear understanding as to how beautiful is the trek to the Western Ghats of Kerala.
The Uthrattadi Vallamkali or the snake boat race that happens once a year at Aranmula is another interesting tradition that many travelers come to visit. The Snake boat race happens in river Pamba and is very much associated with the Parthasarathy Temple in Aranmula. The boat race is more of an organized event that was inspired by a tradition or event called "Vallasadhya". Know more through our blog post, where we share more stories and information about the Aranmula Snake Boat Race.
Theyyam is a very ritualist temple tradition more found in North of Kerala. The color and the makeup makes it very much a charismatic ritual, they look really intense, especially in photographs. We organize some very impressive tours to North of Kerala where one could get to see the glimpses of Theyyam in very close proximity.
Green Earth Trails had its space at the Kerala Travel Mart 2018 under its mother enterprise - Travel Cart India Pvt. Ltd. at Stall No. C3. We aimed at showcasing the unique programs that we have been showcasing for some time to our guests. The programs are eyeopeners to the Cultural and artistic extravaganzas of Kerala as a tourist destination. We believe that we create perspectives through travel, how people think, how these artistic wonders are derived as to what we see today. Some of the experiences include that of festival tours, event-based tours, Culinary tours, Nature Therapeutic walks into the forest, Adventure bundle of treks, hikes and camping, and incentive programs like those of motorcycle rallies and other theme-based programs and tours. Our research and operational logistics are something that we are proud of ourselves, the amount of time, money and effort we invest in research is what makes us unique and not just another mass mover. If you came this far, we think you might be interested in our travel blog as well, a step further if you wish to avail our travel services to Kerala - Check out tours to get an idea as to what the programs look like.