Will government's new alcohol policy make Kerala a less attractive place for tourists? How the alcohol ban affect the tourism industry? The Kerala tourism industry is eagerly looking forward for the answers which will be clearer in the coming months.
The freedom to enjoy a wide variety of their favourite foods and drinks has been one of the main attractions of Kerala for foreign tourists. So will the proposed alcohol ban make Kerala tourist "less"? Government made a statement regarding the issue, saying that foreign tourists don't come here to drink. It was met with opposition from many quarters, with those from the tourism industry in the forefront.On Tuesday the Kerala High Court on Tuesday upheld the liquor policy of the state government that permitted bars to function only in hotels of five-star and above categories. This order means that 300 bars in two, three, and four-star hotels being shut down, leaving just 24 bars in five-star hotels functioning in Kerala. Beer and wine parlours would also continue to function. "The right to drink is not a fundamental right" , says the court.
According to a Kovalam based tourist guide , government's alcohol policy will not impact tourism industry adversely. Most foreign tourists are from countries with cooler climates and prefer chilled beverages. Their most preferred drink is beer, not hard liquor. Around 11.30 -12 in the morning, when the heat goes up, they have a beer or two, which is like a routine for them. And with dinner, most tourists prefer wine. And most tourist area have enough wine and beer parlours to cater their need. But there is a large section holding the opposite view. Regardless of their personal preferences, a tourist should be offered a choice of drinks, which is what hospitality is all about says a hotel manager from Cochin. What if the tourist wants to have gin or vodka , already hotel staffs normally find it hard to explain dry days to them. He is quite sure that the ban will slowly poison tourism industry.