The success story of transforming Kerala as an established global tourist destination, will form the theme of discussion at a unique International Conference on Global Trends in Tourism Studies organised by Kerala Institute of Tourism and Travel Studies (KITTS).

The seminar is organised on 28th and 29th September as part of the Pearl Jubilee Celebrations of KITTS, with the support of Kerala Tourism, India Tourism and UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).

Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan will inaugurate the programme at 9.30 am at Amphi Theatre, KITTS in the presence of Minister for Tourism Kadakampally Surendran.

Hae Guk Hwang, Deputy Director, Regional Department for Asia and the Pacific, UNWTO; Anand Kumar IAS, Secretary, New and Renewable Energy, Government of India, and Founder Director, KITTS; V.S. Sivakumar MLA; M Vijayakumar, Chairman, KTDC; Baby Mathew, President, Kerala Travel Mart Society and E.M. Najeeb, Senior Vice President, IATO, and Member, National Tourism Advisory Council will speak on the occasion.

The Conference is conceived against the backdrop of India being the host country for UNWTO World Tourism Day Celebrations with the theme of the year as “Tourism and Jobs: A better future for all.”

The conference begins with a plenary session “A Retrospective Journey on 30 Years of Kerala Tourism.”  Dr. Venu V, Principal Secretary, Govt of Kerala, K. Anand Kumar,  Secretary, Govt of India & Founder Director, KITTS, T. Balakrishnan, former Secretary,  Dept of Tourism, and U.V Jose, former Director, Kerala Tourism who were responsible for the transformation  of Kerala Tourism after it was  declared as an industry in 1986, will participate in the session.  Rani George, Secretary, and P. Bala Kiran, Director, Kerala Tourism, will speak on this occasion.

The event will deliberate on various topics concerning the present tourism industry, including Tourism and Technology; Heritage Tourism; Adventure Tourism; Gastronomy Tourism; MICE and Cruise Tourism; Luxury and Wellness Tourism in six sessions.

The elite panel of speakers, consisting of industry stalwarts and veterans with global exposure and exquisite knowledge about the industry, will share their thoughts on Kerala Tourism, and how it can move forward in turbulent times.

Around 40 speakers, including representatives from the industry – Dipak Deva, MD and CEO, SITA; Sudhir Patil, Director, Veena World; Michael Hyderali, MD, Micato Safari; Manesh Poddar, Director, Orient Express; M.C. Samir, MD and CEO, ITC Fortune Hotels; Steve Borgia, MD,  Indeco Hotels; Akshay Kumar, CEO, Mercury Himalayan Expeditions, New Delhi; Chander Mansharamani, Vice Chairman, India Convention Promotion Board; Chewang Motup Goba, MD, Rimo Expeditions; Prabhat Verma, Sr. VP, Taj Hotels and Resorts; and Dinesh Bhaskar, Former Group Director, Atmosphere Hotels and Resorts, Maldives –  will deliver lectures during the conference.

By Manoj

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