Staff Reporter

Festival includes trade fairs, cultural events

KANNUR: The month-long Malabar Shopping Festival being held in Kozhikode is expected to provide a major boost to tourism and trade in the region, its organisers have said.

The fete, first-ever shopping carnival to be held in the State, being organised under the joint auspices of the district administration of Kozhikode and the Kozhikode City Corporation, is attracting a large number of people, said Kozhikode Mayor M. Bhaskaran and festival director A. Jayathilak at a press conference here on Friday.

The festival, modelled on various international shopping festivals, was intended to promote trade and tourism at a time when the Kozhikode City Council was celebrating its 140th anniversary, they said.

The shopping festival, inaugurated by Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Isaac on December 22, included trade fairs, entertainment programmes, sports and cultural events, they said. The carnival, concluding on January 20, was also aimed at attracting domestic and foreign tourists.

A tour package covering tourist spots in the Malabar region would begin on January 1, they said.

The 300-odd stalls arranged at the trade fair venues exhibited products, including quality products from the rural sector. An estimated 20,000 to 25,000 people were visiting the festival venues every day, they said. Amusement programmes being held at the Dream City and on the beach were also proving to be major attractions, they added.

The events that were under way or would begin in a couple of days included magic shows, food festival, aqua fest, halwa fest, book fair, beach volleyball, water sports, obstacle courses, street entertainments, mass run, drama fest, business seminars, treasure hunt, helicopter ride, horse, elephant and camel rides, bungee jumping, zorbing, shopping contests, cyber games, quiz, package tour, theme nights and movie festival. A snow park would be arranged for five days beginning January 8, said Mr. Bhaskaran and Dr. Jayathilak.

They said lucky draw prizes valued at Rs.1 crore as a sales promotion measure were also drawing crowds. Prize coupons would be available on purchases from every shop in the city, they added.