THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: It's curtains for the much-hyped Grand Kerala Shopping Festival (GKSF). The state government on Wednesday decided to wind up GKSF, a brainchild of previous UDF government to promote state tourism, citing failure in achieving profit or benefit from the project. The festival has been scrapped following a report submitted by tourism director, P Balakiran.
For the last three years, GKSF has been put on hold following the reluctance of the Tourism Department. Sources said the GKSF was a farce project for corruption. Modelled on the lines of the highly successful Dubai shopping festival, the 45-day annual shopping event of Kerala Tourism used to begin on December 1 every year.
The festival first started on 1 December 2007 and went on till 15 January in the new year lasting for a period of 46 days with an aim to promote and develop commerce, trade and industrial sector of Kerala using the brand value of the state tourism. The objective of the festival is to make the state an international shopping destination over a period of 5 years and create employment to develop traditional trade centres.
During this period, stores and shops registered under the GKSF offered a wide range of discounts, vat refunds etc. Along with the guaranteed shopping experience, shoppers are provided with gift coupons for a fixed worth of purchase entering them into weekly and mega lucky draws.
Over 3,000 outlets selling jewellery, electronic goods, textiles, consumer-durables, cars and autos, as well as hotels, restaurants and shopping malls across the state registered for this shopping festival.