rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Business » A refreshing holiday and a shopping festival? Kerala beckons you!

A refreshing holiday and a shopping festival? Kerala beckons you!

Last updated on: September 27, 2011 13:54 IST

A refreshing holiday and a shopping festival? Kerala beckons you!

     Next

Next
Richa Prakash

Kerala has been a favourite tourist destination for many in India and abroad, thanks to its beaches, the lush greens, the backwaters, ayurveda...

Now add one more offering to the list: shopping, courtesy the Grand Kerala Shopping Festival (GKSF), a government of Kerala initiative.


Image: Kerala Shopping Festival.

     Next

A refreshing holiday and a shopping festival? Kerala beckons you!

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Started in 2007, the event aimed to rival the internationally renowned shopping festivals of Dubai and Malaysia in five years. Five years on, the organisers dismiss the comparison.

"Our intention was not to compete with anyone. We wanted to make Kerala an international shopping destination. We have created a brand. People are keen to participate. So I think we've done pretty well," says Dr Rathan Kelkar, director, GKSF.



Image: Kerala's backwaters.
Photographs: Courtesy, Kerala Tourism.
Prev     Next

A refreshing holiday and a shopping festival? Kerala beckons you!

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

The festival generated around Rs 2,200 crore (Rs 22 billion) in sales in its last edition (2010). This year, the organisers hope to see an increase of at least 15 to 20 per cent.

A state-wide event held in December-January every year, the GKSF was publicised heavily in its inaugural year, but seemed to disappear from the mass media thereafter.



Image: Kerala beckon tourists.
Photographs: Courtesy, Kerala Tourism.
Prev     Next

A refreshing holiday and a shopping festival? Kerala beckons you!

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

"We are doing more compared to previous years in terms of publicity. The intention initially was to create a brand within Kerala. Now that it has been done, we are consciously going outside the state," informs Kelkar.

A big-ticket promotion plan is in place. "We have tie-ups with Google, social networking sites and the sites of our sponsors. We want to target radio, print and visual media too. We are looking at innovative branding mechanisms like banners on buses etc," notes Kelkar. The marketing and promotion part is looked after by event management company Crayons.



Image: Kerala to offer a shopping bonanza.

Prev     Next

A refreshing holiday and a shopping festival? Kerala beckons you!

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Still on the lookout for partners and title sponsors for this year, the event had brands like Jet Airways, ICICI Bank, World Gold Council, Sony and Mahindra on board last year.

The negotiations for this year are on. "From the brands' perspective, the entire state of Kerala is the audience, as well as all the tourists who visit," claims Vishwatosh Das, associate vice-president, Crayons Communication Group.



Image: Shopping festival in December.

Prev     Next

A refreshing holiday and a shopping festival? Kerala beckons you!

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

The organisers are expecting some major brands to come forward, and hope to receive more tourists during the event.

"We have attractive schemes for our partners like one wherein we pay 50 per cent of their advertising expenditure outside the state, going up to Rs 500,000," says Kelkar.



Image: Big expectations.

Prev     Next

A refreshing holiday and a shopping festival? Kerala beckons you!

Prev     More
Prev

More

What about the visiting tourists? "It's all about shopping and winning prizes this time. There are discounts, special offers like 100 per cent VAT refund on shopping, lucky draws and prizes that include gold up to 101 kg and free/discounted air tickets," says Kelkar.

"Tourists always came here for the experience, now we are giving them a complete package that includes shopping. This makes it a complete tourist destination," signs off Kelkar.



Image: A complete package for tourists.
Photographs: Courtesy, Kerala Tourism.
Prev     More
Source: