Liquor ban woes

TravTalk - India - - BULLETIN -

The word liquor ban has taken on a spe­cial mean­ing for our travel and hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try. Al­ready be­lea­guered by var­i­ous li­censes and un­der­cut­ting, in­dus­try stake­hold­ers are now reel­ing un­der the re­cent SC di­rec­tive. The rip­ple and a seem­ingly un­in­tended ef­fect of the ban on liquor sale near high­ways is giv­ing rise to a new prob­lem, not un­like the ban we saw some states put on the sale of beef. Yes, trav­ellers don’t visit a des­ti­na­tion for al­co­hol or, for that mat­ter, beef, but these are things that some would ap­pre­ci­ate be­ing made avail­able to them.

But like the pre­vi­ous ban, this too shall set­tle down in face of yet an­other dis­pute that con­cerns the pub­lic at large. For now though, this topic is trend­ing. Dis­cus­sions at a two-day hos­pi­tal­ity in­vest­ment con­fer­ence in Mumbai re­cently re­volved around the chal­lenges of run­ning a ho­tel. If the low av­er­age room rates and high costs weren’t enough, ho­tels also have to fight po­lit­i­cal, le­gal and cul­tural is­sues that are far trick­ier than en­sur­ing a healthy P&L. It makes one won­der whether do­ing busi­ness out­side In­dia would make more sense given the mug­gi­ness of the cur­rent cli­mate in In­dia.

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