Thiruvananthapuram, Nov 26 : Kerala today flagged off an intensive national campaign to woo tourists from across the country to the forthcoming Grand Kerala Shopping Festival (GKSF), a spring-board event to catapult the State as an international shopping destination.
The colourful campaign, which will travel to eight major cities in the run-up to the mega fiesta, was flagged off from the Kerala House in New Delhi by Union Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs, Vayalar Ravi, in the presence of a host of dignitaries in a festive atmosphere, an offical press release said here today.
The campaign vehicle, heralding the advent of God's Own Country onto the global shopping calendar, will have stopovers at Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Indore, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai and Bangalore before culminating at Kannur in Kerala where the 48-day mega fiesta will get off on December 15. The South Indian Bank-GKSF, already billed as the biggest fiesta of the kind in Asia, aims to transform entire Kerala into 'one single shopping mall' with high-voltage campaigns, promotions, tantalizing discounts, incentives from the government, and gifts and gold worth millions of rupees, coinciding with the peak tourism and pilgrim season.
Among the vast number of dignitaries and leaders present at the flag-off function in New Delhi today were Minister of State (Independent charge) for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution K V Thomas, Union Minister of State for HRD Shashi Tharoor, Union Minister of State for Labour, Kodikunnil Suresh and Kerala Tourism Minister A P Anil Kumar.
The road-shows, supported by Kunnath Pharma, are being organized in association with the Kerala associations and South Indian Bank (SIB), the title sponsors of the event. MPs P C Chacko, P T Thomas, K P Dhanapalan, N Peethambara Kurup, Anto Antony, Kerala House Resident Commissioner Bishwanath Sinha, GKSF Director U V Jose, and GM (Delhi) region of SIB T J Raphael were also present. Anil Kumar said the road-show is part of our attempts to make GKSF more popular, wider and bigger by going to the major domestic tourism markets.