Friday, October 31, 2014

Four Star and Heritage Hotels to retain their Licences

The High Court ruling has enabled more than just the five star hotels to serve alcohol.  This is a partial victory for common sense and from the visitors’ point of view it is not just the few who chose to stay in five star hotels that will be able to ‘drink’ with their meal. 

The Times of India newspaper dedicated a whole page to the news item.  I was interviewed about the effect this ban would have on tourists and many of my comments were included.  See the link below:

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Sundays are now 'Dry Days' in Kerala

Further to my Blog below I have recently returned from Kerala where there was much discussion within the industry about the new alcohol licencing rules.  Heavy drinking amongst local men within some sections of Kerala society is creating serious problems within families (domestic violence and financial hardship).  A local politician wants to tackle this issue and it would, of course, be a popular move amongst female voters.  The new law was rushed in and already hundreds of bars in Kerala have been closed.  However, the politicians did not, apparently, consider the implications for tourism within the state.    

It is, of course, unfair to penalise tourists for a local issue – but the blanket approach does just that (hotel bars, even those that only serve residents, are not exempt from the ruling).  Bizarrely, the new rule only targets bars and not ‘Off Licences’ – so people will still be able to buy alcohol by the bottle!!

The travel industry recognises that this move will have a detrimental effect on their business and has taken the case to the High Court of India.  At the time of writing a decision is pending.  This means that the new rule did not come into force on 12 September as planned and although many bars have already been closed - most hotel bars remain open for the time being.  But from 1 October the other part of this new regulation – adding every Sunday to the list of ‘dry days’ - has been adopted.

For our customers and all visitors to Kerala the situation remains fluid and you will need to take local advice about the consumption of alcohol.

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