Thursday, September 4, 2014

New Alcohol Regulations in Kerala

The regulations in Kerala about alcohol have been restrictive for many years as there is a history of alcoholism in some sections of the local population.  A full licence is very expensive and it would be hard for hotels to re-coup the cost in profits (particularly small hotels).  There are also restrictions regarding the position of the bar/restaurant and their proximity to temples, churches or schools which means that few hotels are able to obtain a full licence.  Many smaller hotels therefore apply for a Beer and Wine licence and most guesthouses do not apply at all. 

From 12 September 2014 the rules will become even more restricted.  Only 5 star hotels can have a full licence (there are only around 20 five star hotels in the whole of Kerala). This means that many of our customers favourite hotels (because they are not five star) will no longer be able to offer a full range of drinks.  In addition the Kerala government have added every Sunday to the existing 1st of the month and all national and religious holidays as ‘dry days’ when no alcohol may be consumed. 

This restriction is a great pity for foreign tourists who like to enjoy an aperitif before dinner and a beer or wine with their meal.  As tourism is a major source of income for the state it does seem very short sighted.  We hope that common sense will resume and the rules will be changed so that hotels can provide the refreshments their residents require.  But, in the meantime, we hope you understand the difficult situation this restriction has placed on the hoteliers and not pressurise them into breaking the law. 

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