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KERALA TO BE PROJECTED AS WEDDING AND HONEYMOON SPOT

Aiming to project Kerala as ideal destination for weddings, honeymoons and conferences, the three day Kerala Travel Mart (KTM) will get underway here from September 18. The Mart aims to project Kerala as the ideal destination for weddings and honeymoons along with conferences and exhibitions, state's Tourism Minister A P Anil Kumar told reporters here. The mart will also highlight innovative tourism products like Village life experience and culture tours, he said, adding, they will reach out to buyers from new markets like Australia,, Brazil, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Japan, South Africa, Sweden and USA.

These emerging segments are being viewed very seriously by tourist destinations and KTM intends to increase Kearla's market share to an additional Rs 5,000 crore. Only 10 per cent of the national inbound tourist traffic reaches kerala and the KTM has set a target of 15 per cent arrivals from new and emerging markets, he said. The Minister said global slow down had not impacted international arrivals to the state. Both domestic and foreign arrivals of tourists has increased this year though the state did not get the expected growth. Kerala Tourism is planning to conduct a survey of hotels, homestays and tour operators in the state and it is expected to be ready in a month's time. The Kerala government's Tourism Department is partnering with the Kerala Travel Mart Society to host the eighth edition which brings together the business entrepreneurs behind the tourism products and services of Kerala on a single platform. Tour operators, hotels, resorts, homestays, houseboats, ayurveda resorts, cultural art centres and many others will be showcasing their products at the mart. Over the past 13 years, since the first Mart, KTM has attracted over 1,000 international buyers who have established business partners among the various sections in the Tourism industry of Kerala. KTM is held once in two years during September and the success of each Mart has inspired the KTM society to innovate, think out-of-the box and take each mart to the next level.
Kerala is targetting 20 lakh foreign tourists by 2020.

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