- The order will also affect functioning of 32 outlets in Mahe
- Hoteliers were looking out for a relaxation in state liquor policy
- Tourism industry is already hit by the liquor policy of previous government
Supreme Court order banning liquor shops within the 500-metre radius of National and State Highways is likely to have a serious impact on the hospitality and tourism sector in Kerala. The minor dilution of distance from 500 to 200 metre is not likely to yield much gain.
Kerala State Beverages Corporation (Bevco) would have to windup or relocate as many as 144 outlets and nine Consumerfed outlets along the highways. Of the 850 beer and wine parlours, 500 would have to down shutters. As many as 15 to 20 five star bar hotels also fall under the purview of the order. Other than this, toddy shops too will have to wind up operations. The state exchequer is likely to incur a loss of ₹600 crore.
The order will also affect the functioning of 32 liquor outlets in Mahe.
The state government has relocated some outlets but is struggling to douse the public ire against this. It won't be easy for the government to identify the locations for moving outlets.
The hoteliers who have spent a sprucing amount to set up buildings with the hope of brisk business following LDF government's new liquor policy would be the worst hit. The tourism industry is already affected by the liquor policy of previous UDF government. The state which was once of the favourite destination for hosting business meetings and international conferences has lost out to neighbouring countries like Sri Lanka.
It was hoping that the state government would relax the policy and allow bars for three and four-star hotels in prime tourist destinations. But, the Supreme Court order came as a huge blow to hoteliers who are already facing difficulty.
Last Updated 31, Mar 2018, 6:33 PM IST