The economic slowdown has not dampened the Ministry of Tourism’s plans to create a ‘second shopping season’ for Kerala, Onam being the first season. The Ministry has chosen Malayala Manorama to partner with it for this initiative. The Grand Kerala Shopping Festival attempts to reinstate the positive and optimistic vibes among people. The Government of Kerala will put in Rs 20 crore for the activity. Junction K, the integrated media solution from the Manorama Group, is the media partner for the Grand Kerala Shopping Festival (GKSF).
Elaborating on Malayala Manorama’s initiatives surrounding the event, Varghese Chandy, Senior General Manager, Marketing Operations, Malayala Manorama, said, “The main objective is to develop a second shopping season in Kerala. It is the largest ever initiative of its kind. The vision of GKSF is to make Kerala an international shopping destination over a period of five years and to develop the Festival in the scale of Dubai/ Malaysian shopping festivals. Malayala Manorama will pool its resources to develop GKSF to achieve its objectives.”
Commenting on the objectives of the event, Minister for Home, Vigilance and Tourism, Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, said, “The Festival is a strong step taken forward to regain the lost glory of Kerala in the map of international trade and commerce. The Government aims to utilise the growth in the tourism sector to develop the state as an international trade and tourism destination. As compared to shopping festivals being held in other countries, GKSF converts the entire state of Kerala into a giant shopping mall, incorporating not just the big players, but also the small and medium scale industries in the state.”
Explaining the marketing and promotional strategies of the event, Chandy said, “The venture is designed to induce remarkably large number of footfalls into the member establishments and to ultimately effect shopping through the exciting offers. The results of this Festival will also serve as a pointer to the success of Junction K and also its inevitability as a choice for effective marketing solutions in the state. Connecting the readers of Malayala Manorama to GKSF through promotions, readers’ contests and editorial would be key factors for the same.”
Speaking about the success of the first edition of the Festival last year, KN Satheesh, Director, Grand Kerala Shopping Festival, said, “The Festival is being coordinated jointly by the Departments of Tourism, Industries and Commerce, Finance, Local Self-Government and Civil Supplies, along with the traders and manufacturers in the state. The first edition of the Festival held in 2007 created a silent revolution in the trade and commerce sectors in the state. The first 31 days of the Festival itself generated additional tax revenue to the tune of Rs 90 crore.”
T Balakrishnan, Principal Secretary, Industries and Commerce, said, “The Grand Kerala Shopping Festival intends to be a modern and progressive reinvention of that lively age of trade and commerce. The advent of information technology and the huge growth in the tourism sector has helped in creating a favourable atmosphere in the state. The Festival is being held during the December-January season when maximum number of tourists visit the state.”