KOCHI: When it comes to killing a thriving industry, the Kerala Government’s new liquor policy takes the cake! To deal with complaints on rising liquor addiction among a section of population, the government decision to close all the bars in the state (excluding 5-star bars) and making Sundays a dry day is akin to throwing the baby out with the bath water.
Not surprisingly, the policy is taking a toll on the money-spinning tourism industry with both foreign and domestic travellers turning away from ‘God’s Own Country,’ where tourism earnings account for 20 per cent of the state GDP. The most affected segment is MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions) tourism, where the state had started to do well in recent years.
Industry officials reckoned at least 50-55 conferences may have moved out of Kerala since the changes came into place.
Some of the high-profile cancellations include a 100-member conference by Swiss watchmaker Rolex at CGH Earth’s property, 70-strong meeting by computer maker Dell at Raviz Ashtamudi resort in Kollam and a 600-member meet by a North Indian tractor company.