The Ninth edition of three days Kerala Travel Mart was concluded today at Samudrika Convention Center, Willington Island, Kochi. I have heard about this last week and it was already late for me to get a media pass for the event. Being a Travel Blogger since years, I was eagerly waiting for this opportunity to meet new people and to explore various travel service providers in Kerala.
I traveled to Kochi yesterday night and stayed in Hotel Olive Down Town, Kadavantra. Olive Down Town is one of my favorite places to stay in Kochi. I started from home at around 8 Pm and reached Ernakulam by 10 Pm. Checked into the hotel and spend some time talking with my friends until midnight. The hotel was almost occupied with the guest who has come for Kerala Travel Mart.
Next day morning I checked out from the hotel after breakfast and went to Vyttilla to meet my friends Tony & Bobbit. Since I reached early, I decided to spend some time in Vyttila Mobility Hub for taking some videos & photos of KSRTC buses to use on my website KSRTC Blog & Aanavandi. Tony was coming from Kakkanad and Bobit from Idukki, his hometown. We met at Vyttilla and proceeded to the venue of Kerala Travel Mart in Willingdon Island.
The traffic was horrible in Seaport-Airport road and Google Map helped us by showing an alternate route which had less traffic. But still, it took around one hour to cover the distance of 12 km.
We reached the venue by around 12 and parking the car was a mess. We had to park the car in a No Parking area and had to walk almost a kilometer to reach the entrance. The expo was already crowded with various people related to the travel industry, local peoples, students from the travel industry, travel agents etc.
There were people from various industries which was categorized as Adventure Tours, Airlines, Resorts, Hotels, Spa, Ayurveda Resorts, Eco Tourism, Event Managers, Homestays, Houseboats, Tour operators, Travel Agents etc.
I was very much surprised to see the number of participants who has taken this chance efficiently. KTM is the largest conclave of tourism stakeholders in Kerala and the only such gathering in India focusing on a single destination.
It took almost 5-6 hours for us to visit all the stalls in KTM. I guess there were around 250+ stalls and it is heard that KTM 2016 has witnessed almost one lakh business meetings.
There were two food courts and we had our lunch from one of the food courts which was neatly maintained. We had Vegetable Biriyani from the famous BTH hotel’s outlet and the food was tasty and spicy.
There is a definite shift towards eco-friendly rural, responsible tourism which is reflected in the ninth edition of Kerala Travel Mart. The participation of homestays and resorts, which offer eco-friendly, organic and sustainable services was a surprising factor.
And finally, at around 5 Pm, we left the place by carrying a bag full of visiting cards and brochures of various properties and firms who offer travel related services in Kerala.
And I wish I could set up a stall next year in Kerala Travel Mart by introducing a new category as “Travel Bloggers” for making people understand the importance of digital marketing and blogging industry.