Tourism may take a hit in Kerala

The decision to deny bar licences to two-star, three-star, and four-star category hotels and allow sale of liquor only in five-star hotels with the Hotel & Restaurant Approval and Classification Committee (HRACC) certification will impact the tourist sector.

The decision has been taken without taking tourism authorities and the industry into confidence. Tourism Minister A.P. Anil Kumar, who is in Delhi attending a meet of tourism ministers, was reportedly kept in the dark about the decision.

“By this, we are denying the facility of having beer and wine to tourists in hotels with four-star and below category. This will affect domestic and international tourist arrivals and send a wrong message about the destination,” a Confederation of Tourism Industry Kerala official told The Hindu.

The majority of tourists patronised two-star, three-star, and four-star hotels and resorts in 15 tourist destinations, he said adding that there were only 14 five-star hotels in the State.

Describing it as an “emotional decision” that is “not practical and not intelligent”, he said the tourism sector would face dire consequences if the decision was implemented. The revenue, direct and indirect, (Rs.22,926.55 crore in 2013) from the tourism sector and foreign exchange earnings (Rs.5,560.77 crore last year) would decline. The decision would convey a wrong message to investors and hospitality brands that were planning to come to Kerala. “Today, we have many tourism hospitality brands. Others in the pipeline will now have second thoughts,” he said.

Restricting the bar licence to five-star hotels would have a debilitating impact on allied sectors. The decision would benefit States such as Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Goa.

Confederation officials told The Hindu that the government should have spared the classified hotels and explored other ways to control the sale and use of liquor.

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Printable version | Jun 20, 2021 7:09:36 PM |

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