Laksala to open third purpose-built outlet at Peradeniya Botanical Gardens

Tuesday, 15 October 2013 00:12 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

With the entire country preparing for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), Laksala the official state gift shop for the conference is also expanding its outlets. Under the Divi Neguma social developmental scheme with the guidance of Minister of Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa, a new outlet is currently being constructed at the entrance to the Peradeniya botanical garden. The outlet will open in time for the CHOGM, for the spouses of the heads of states to visit en route to the botanical garden. The Peradeniya garden which is a national asset, is the third highest visited tourist attraction in Sri Lanka and attracts over 1.4 million visitors both local and foreigners annually. Over the years, the selection of plants have increased and the garden has continued to flourish making it a must visit tourist attraction in the country’s hill capital. With the objective of popularising and promoting the Sri Lankan handy-crafts industry globally, Laksala, has taken the initiative to open a plush outlet at the entrance to the park. “The elegant, single storied outlet is built in line with the rich and mountainous surrounding. Complementing the ancient history of the botanical garden, the new Laksala outlet proudly carries over 15,000 stock keeping units, which includes souvenirs and artefacts that depict characteristics of the historical botanical garden,” commented Laksala Chairman/CEO Anil Koswatte. According to Koswatte, Laksala is in the process of constructing purpose built outlets. The outlet in Peradeniya is the third of such a chain, with the other two being Pinnawala and Kandy. “The objectives of these purpose built outlets are to showcase and sell items that are synonymous with the location,” added Koswatte. Elaborating further he said, since Sri Lanka has an ancient history with a colonial past, there are many places of interest for the delegates attending the CHOGM. The Peradeniya botanical garden is one such place with a long and proud history punctuated by colonialism and industrial change. Therefore opening an outlet at the entrance to the garden is an opportunity to combine both places to project the heritage of Sri Lanka. Laksala has progressed rapidly under the Divi Neguma Social Development Scheme, sphere headed by the ministry of Economic Development. The Minister of Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa has been instrumental in driving this project forward and has opened outlets in Galle, Welipenna and the Museum Gallery Cafe during the course of this year. The expansion of the Laksala stores not only serves as revenue generators for the national economy, but also as a step towards assisting village craftsmen and rural suppliers. Currently there are more than 7,500 artisans, craftsmen and suppliers registered with Laksala from across the Island.