GTM expo showcases emerging trends in tourism, free entry for public on Sep 30

The travel and trade exhibition of Global Travel Market (GTM 2023) opened here today, offering a vivid glance into riveting trends in the tourism sector that elevate the experience of visitors as well as familiarise them with different cultures. The first edition of GTM 2023, South India’s prestigious travel expo, showcased a wide range of innovative products from across the world including technologies aligned with the latest trends. The show, being held at Travancore International Convention Centre, Greenfield International Stadium, Karyavattom, has more than 200 stalls put up by major hoteliers and resorts, tourism boards and organisations, airlines, travel agents, tour operators and travel tech innovators. GTM 2023, an annual B2B travel and trade exhibition, is organised by South Kerala Hoteliers Forum (SKHF), Trivandrum Chamber of Commerce and Industries (TCCI), Tavaz Ventures, Metro Media and Citrine Hospitality Ventures. Apart from the stalls from Kerala that highlight the state’s culture, landscape, heritage, cuisine, martial arts and handicrafts, the expo has three stalls representing Jammu and Kashmir. One of the sellers from J&K finds GTM 2023 as a platform to woo tourists to the Union Territory.

According to Tariq Najar, owner of UT Kashmir Tour and Travels, J&K had ups and downs in the tourism sector last year but now things have changed. He said the footfall of visitors from Kerala to the northern state is on the rise even as they get more tourists from Gujarat and Maharashtra. “There are hardly any security issues in J&K and more people are coming now to explore the valley. The government is also promoting tourism and we have added more attractions like trekking,” Najar said. He exuded confidence that GTM would give a momentum to the tourism sector in J&K as he sees a good business at the event. Noida-based helloGTX offers software for travel agents and tour operators to automate their day-to-day activities. Ms Neha Jaiswal, the firm’s Client Success Manager, said the helloGTX software is used by travel agents for B2C and B2B activities.

“More than 250 travel agents are using the software. It helps to manage customers, leads, itineraries, invoicing, suppliers, websites and campaigns,” Jaiswal added. Kochi-based startup TNTEV has come up with charging solutions for electric vehicles. The device is specifically designed for hotels, resorts and offices to facilitate charging of vehicles. Mr Don Varghese, Sales Manager, TNTEV, said the product Riod can be used by guests after scanning the QR code while they take rest at the property. He said hotels can offer it as an added amenity to their services. They have installed it in around four resorts in Munnar and a property in Aluva. Meanwhile, in tune with the latest adventure tourism, a first-of-its-kind buggy bike adventure ride is coming up in Kovalam. “This is an off-road experience named quad bike adventure. We are also going to introduce paintball (shooting game) for those who like adventure activities,” said Akhil M, Reservation Manager of Area 51.

More than 1000 trade visitors, 600 plus domestic and 100 international tour operators and 100 plus corporate buyers are attending the summit. The expo will be open for the public to visit on September 30. Recognised tour operators and travel agents can attend the various sessions at the expo venue through spot registration on September 29. Also, pavilions featuring six themes including inbound travel to Kerala, outbound travel operators (both B2B and B2C), Ayurveda, yoga and wellness, resorts, retreats and hospitals, wedding tourism, corporate conclaves, homestays and serviced villas have been set up at the travel expo.