A record 1,400 buyers take part in Kerala Travel Mart

Kerala Travel Mart 2012 ended here on Sunday on a high note with the organisers claiming that the fete was a success despite the recessionary trends in mainland Europe and some parts of North America.

General convener and president of the Travel Mart, Riaz Ahmed, said that attendance at the Travel Mart exceeded expectations to touch 1,400. It was more than the last edition of the biennial fair in which around 1,200 buyers had participated.

Kerala Tourism Secretary Suman Billa said that the Travel Mart elicited positive response from the industry players.

He pointed out that Kerala had turned out to be buyer’s market. It is a position of strength for the State, he said.

Kerala Travel Mart 2012 has identified waste management as the core issue that will be tackled head on. A resolution passed at the valedictory of the Travel Mart on Sunday said that Kerala would be made a clean destination.

Kerala tourism and the tourism industry in the State have decided to join hands to launch the new initiative to give Kerala a clean image and create a new brand, said a statement issued at the end of the Travel Mart.

Mr. Billa said that the State Tourism Department would back the efforts by the industry players in creating a new image for the State.

He said that local bodies are basically responsible for tackling waste. However, there are differences in perception about how clean a town or a destination must be between the local bodies and the tourism industry.

Mr. Ahmed said that nine destinations had been identified for taking up waste management in which hotels at these destinations would take the initiative along with a core group that will oversee the activities on this count.

The nine destinations identified for the initial programme are: Kovalam, Fort Kochi, Marine Drive in Ernakulam, Munnar, Thekkady, Kumarakom, Alappuzha and Wayanad. These destinations will have waste segregation units.

Plastic waste will be turned into granules for road building, he added.

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