Kerala Shopping Festival from December 1

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Mumbai, Aug 30 (UNI) The grand Kerala Shopping Festival will be held from December 1 to January 15 next in Kochi, with the objective of converting the state into the most preferred shopping destination.

Talking to reporters here yesterday, the Director and Secretary of Kerala Tourism--M Sivsankar and Dr Venu respectively said Rs 20 crore had already been earmarked in the Budget by the government for the festival.

''The Kerala government got a huge success in their first shopping festival and now are planning for the second season. This will be highly beneficial to the state's endeavour to become a commercial hub,'' they said.

The Kerala Tourism Department is also organising road shows in New Delhi, Chandigarh, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Bangalore, Chennai and Mumbai to promote the festival.

The officials said the most acclaimed destination in the country, Kerala started of well this year by bagging Pacific Asia Travel Writers Association's award as the ''land for all seasons''.

Kerala had earned a revenue of Rs 11,433 crore in the year 2007, they said, adding that international tourists are coming to the tiny state, situated in southern India, for its variety and innovative projects like elephant safaris.

UNI JM SR KK BST0444

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