Sri Lank plans annual shopping festival for foreign, local shoppers

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Feb 03, 2016 (LBO) – Sri Lanka plans to commence an annual shopping festival with the participation of the Sri Lanka Retailers’ Association targeting both foreign and local shoppers.

Representatives of companies such as The Factory Outlet, DSI, KPMG, Swarnamahal Jewellers, Hameedia, Singer, Softlogic Retail, Exclusive Lines and Mydeal.lk met with the Minister of Finance Ravi Karunanayake to discuss the ‘Sri Lanka Shopping Festival,’ to be held annually with the support of the government.

“Sri Lanka Retailers’ Association aims to harness the resources of the organized retail industry to a common platform to promote innovation and growth in retailing,” a statement said.

A steering committee involving the Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Development Strategies & International Trade, Ministry of Plantation Industries, Export Development Board, Sri Lanka Tea Board, Sri Lankan Airlines, Hotels Association, Travel Agents Association, and Sri Lanka Retailers’ Association together with media was proposed by the minister.

The committee will operate as a collaborative public-private partnership with a government allocation of 50 million rupees in the 2017 budget for the proposed “Colombo Fair”.

“This fair will be colored by cultural and sporting events, musical programs and book exhibitions etc. It will be similar to the Dubai Shopping Festival, Great Singapore Sale and Malaysian Mega Shopping Carnival which will ensure that the locals gets a first-hand experience of a shopping extravaganza.”

“Currently we see an increase in tourist arrivals and there are limited activities in the country to attract shoppers. Tourist visits are usually only limited to historical locations,” Hussain Sadique, chairman of SLRA said.

He added that the project’s main objective is to attract travelers from regions such as South Asia, Middle East and Europe.

“We want to make traveling to Sri Lanka easier, faster, and exciting coupled with affordability and value for money”, he said.