Trivandrum: Setting records in business registrations, sales and sponsorships, and pioneering new projects involving greater public participation, the sixth season of the Grand Kerala Shopping Festival (GKSF) has concluded, taking the state another step closer to its objective of making Kerala an international shopping destination.
Interacting with the media, Minister for Tourism, Shri A P Anil Kumar said, “The highlight of GKSF 6 is that it has been able to reach a larger number of people and touch every district in Kerala. The dramatic increase in the number of registrations, even from places like Idukki for instance, is proof of this. There was a substantial increase in the number of domestic and international tourists to Kerala during the GKSF period.”
Held over 48 days from December 15, 2012 to January 31, 2013; the Grand Kerala Shopping Festival was bigger both in scale and in outcome than any of the previous seasons. The closing ceremony of GKSF 6 will be held on February 3.
Season 6 marked also marked a shift in focus for the shopping festival; from purely sales and commerce to a more varied and inclusive programme strongly oriented towards the tourism industry. It saw the introduction of a number of new initiatives such as the Global village, thematic exhibitions and the Contemporary Art Fair that enhanced visitor experience this tourism season.
The Minister also added that Government sponsorship for GKSF has been static over the seasons at Rs.25 crores. The Government is looking at slowly decreasing this amount and GKSF should, in the coming seasons, garner more sponsorship from outside and become self sufficient.
The number of merchant establishments registering for GKSF touched a record 6,341 in Season 6 – nearly 15% higher than last season. Registrations in the premium Gold category nearly doubled from 265 in Season 5 to 524 this time. There were 3,336 registrations in the Silver category, around the same as last year; and 2,481 in the general category, around 500 more than last season.
GKSF coupon sales also hit an all-time record of 55 lakhs this season. More importantly, this new high in coupon sales was achieved during a period of slowdown for overall retail business. GKSF also managed to secure sponsorships worth Rs 10 crores this season, the highest amount ever.
One of the Season 6 initiatives that took the festival to newer heights was the Global Village trade fair organised in Kochi. Yet another novel feature of GKSF Season 6 was the extensive use of technology right from the start.
Kerala Biz News