Kochi: While it was not feasible to avoid hartals in the State outright, the Government of Kerala would do its utmost to ensure minimal disruption to tourism activities, Chief Minister, Shri Pinarayi Vijayan said while inaugurating the ninth edition of Kerala Travel Mart (KTM).
The CM was responding to a request for tourism-friendly policies with regards to hartals and excise regulations made by KTM Society President, Abraham George during his welcome address.
Noting that it was important that visitors leave with the best impression of the State, CM also said mechanisms to stop open defecation was being implemented with a stated deadline of November 1, the official start of the tourist season.
Terming KTM a shining example of a public-private partnership, CM said it was a matter of pride that an initiative started in Kerala by the government is counted among the best of its type. He marked for special mention, the State’s award-winning ‘Responsible Tourism’ initiatives and the Muziris and Spice Route projects – two important sectors for Kerala’s tourism industry and the themes for KTM 2016.
“I hope that this Mart will enable buyers to make new relationships and partnerships, create new packages and bring more visitors to Kerala,” the CM added.
The ceremony was presided over by Minister for Tourism, Shri A C Moideen who said the Mart was important to distribute the benefits of tourism across the State. “Tourism can become a major catalyst for social change by providing opportunities for employment, preserving traditional ways of life and engaging with local communities.” expressing hope that KTM would open new avenues for success for both the state and its people.
Citing the importance of tourism to the State – accounting for 10% of the State’s GDP and providing employment to three million people, Principal Secretary (Tourism), Dr Venu V said, “The Mart is seen as the spearhead for inclusive, accessible growth for tourism in the State as well as a showcase for the vibrancy of Kerala as a tourist destination.”
Prof. K V Thomas, MP; P K Biju, MP; M Vijyakumar, KTDC Chairman; Suman Billa IAS, Joint Secretary, Union Ministry of Tourism; and Kerala Tourism Director, U V Jose were among those present.
Kerala Biz News