Special Correspondent

KOCHI: The second edition of Grand Kerala Shopping Festival started off across cities and selected tourism centres in the State. The government, which is organising the event, in association with various commercial bodies, has taken a cue from international shopping events.

Special coupons are given to customers at the partnering outlets during the festival ending January 15 next year. ‘Scratch and win’ prizes and gold coins are being offered. A grand prize of 5 kg is the biggest attraction. Various cultural shows and exhibitions are being organised in different cities to coincide with the extravaganza.

The fair took off in Kochi along with other cities.

The momentum is expected to pick up in the days to come. The approaching Christmas and New Year will offer splendid opportunities for the shoppers while the government will gain from the taxes. The coupons are based on the bills prepared on the purchase, thus preventing unaccounted transactions.

Turning the light on places of tourist attraction is another objective of the festival. Domestic as well as foreign tourists will find shopping an added attraction.

Many cities across the world have immensely gained from shopping extravaganzas. Kerala, known for its prominent place in the tourism circuit, intends to follow suit.

The shopping spree during the Onam season is well known. The Grand Kerala Shopping festival signals the revival of the shopping fervour.

The festival is also expected to contribute significantly to the growth of handicrafts and traditional craftwork.