Liquor ban woes
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.