Thiruvananthapuram: ITB Berlin 2017, the world’s largest travel trade show, will take place from March 8 to 12. This time, Kerala Tourism pavilion will have 11 sellers from the State and D Balamurali IAS, Additional Director, Kerala Tourism and MD, Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC) will lead the Kerala delegation. Talking to Destination Kerala, Balamurali said Kerala Tourism is aiming at further strengthening its presence in Germany, which has been a key market for the State. “With a good participation of sellers for this ITB edition, we expect to receive enthusiastic response from the buyer community across the globe at the fair, thereby contributing to the growth of foreign tourist arrivals to our State in the coming months.” As in the previous year, stunning images of quiet backwaters and exciting snake boat race will form the backdrop of the Kerala Tourism pavilion.
Members of the trade are also hopeful that the event would help bolster tie-up with existing operators as well as attract new clients for their products in Kerala.
“Besides meeting tour operators who are associating with us in the business, attending ITB would help us know the current trends in travel. German tourists are particular about the quality of the product and the services being offered. Through interactions with stakeholders, we can understand whether our products meet the expectations of the tourists or not? With the industry facing tough competition from the neighbouring States as well as countries, this is important for the trade in Kerala to stay ahead,” said Ranjit Mathew, MD, Nattika Beach Resort, who has been a regular visitor to ITB for the last two decades.
In the 2016 edition of ITB a total of 10,000 companies and organisations from 187 countries exhibited their products and services to around 1,80,000 visitors, who included 120,000 trade visitors.