COLOMBO, Oct. 2 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lanka is expecting an influx of tourists, including from China, during a month-long Colombo International Shopping Festival which began on Oct. 1, Sri Lankan Tourism Minister John Amaratunga told Xinhua on Monday.
The international shopping festival, organized by the Sri Lanka Retailers Association in collaboration with the Tourism Ministry, will promote Sri Lanka as a global shopping hub.
Amaratunga said the shopping festival will offer goods and items at a discounted rate at various shopping malls and tourists could reap its benefits.
He said the festival will provide world-class and internationally renowned original brands at competitive prices. The event will be held under the theme "One Island, One Big Mall."
"The Colombo International Shopping Festival has been a roaring success in the past and has now begun to attract tourists. From next year we hope to hold the festival island wide," Amaratunga said.
Leonard Perera, an official with the organizers said that last year an estimated 2.5 million people had attended the festival, of whom 30 percent were Chinese tourists.
He said this year the event had partnered with China's UnionPay for the benefit of the Chinese visitors.
A special shopping weekend will also be held from Oct. 21 to 22, Perera said.
In order to promote the event, Sri Lanka has launched a special international advertising campaign to promote the country as a "shopping hub" in South Asia.
The Colombo International Shopping Festival will conclude on Nov. 15.