KOCHI: The Arrival of foreign tourists to Kerala has dropped significantly this season due to the peak tax rate of 28, but the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, Exhibitions/Events (MICE) segment, which was down in the dumps, is making a comeback, thanks to relaxation in the new liquor policy.
Industry officers said two crucial moves — the extension of bar timings until 11 pm (from earlier 10 pm) and permission to serve liquor in banquet halls — have helped hotels and restaurants to lure MICE tourists into the state.
The previous UDF government’s liquor policy had severely dented MICE tourism in the state. After growing at 9.1 per cent in 2013, it fell to 4.8 in 2014 and plummeted to 0.6 in 2015. “The new liquor policy has helped the MICE segment.
The extension of bar timings by one hour and opening up banquet halls to serve the liquor have helped us attract big corporate houses,” said Crowne Plaza-Kochi executive assistant manager Dileep Kumar P I.He said companies like Pfizer and Larsen & Toubro recently held major conferences at Crowne Plaza, mainly due to easing of the liquor policy.